Padgett takes it to Vikings
They say that in team sports no one player determines the outcome of a game, but the South Tahoe High School boys’ basketball team sure could have used Niko Klansek against Reno High and the Huskies powerful center David Padgett on Tuesday night.
Padgett, the 6-foot-11 senior who is set to play for the University of Kansas next year, dominated the game with 21 points and eight blocked shots and sent the Vikings to a 47-26 road loss. The one bright spot of the game was South Tahoe’s defense, which held Padgett to approximately nine points below his season average.
The Vikings’ Klansek, a 6-5 senior forward from Slovenia, returned to his homeland for an emergency earlier in the week and could not make the game.
South Tahoe joined a host of other Sierra 4A Northern conference teams that have failed to contain Padgett, especially in the paint.
The Huskies led 27-9 at halftime, as the Vikings just couldn’t get going offensively.
“We struggled scoring against them. We had no opportunities inside,” said Vikings head coach Derek Allister. “They just locked in on the offensive players on the perimeter and if you drive inside, you have Padgett down there, which makes it tough.
“Not having Niko made a significant difference, (because) David got to stand in the lane and not really guard anybody,” he added. “If he had done that with Niko there, he would have been shooting the ball. They are the better team than us right now, but I’d like to play them at full strength if somehow we got a chance to play again.”
Sophomore point guard Eric Domingo was the leading scorer for the Vikings with eight points. Senior forward Curtis Johnson contributed six and junior Dan Tobin and senior Chris Perry each had four.
“I’m not completely disheartened,” Allister said. “(Padgett) played well and he’s a great player. He is legitimately one of the great players in the history of Nevada basketball and certainly one of the most highly regarded nationally.”
The Vikings’ record is 3-6 in the conference and 6-11 overall, while the Huskies improved to 7-1 in Sierra 4A and 14-5 overall.
South Tahoe travels to North Valleys on Friday in the team’s second consecutive road game. Klansek is returning from Slovenia on Thursday and is expected to play the following night.
“I really believe that we’ll get back to our inside-outside game,” Allister said of facing North Valleys. “They don’t have anybody who can stop Curtis and Niko inside. (Jet lag) is going to be an issue, but you have to do what you have to do, to rise up and be a good player.”
Allister feels his team has a “tremendous shot” at the postseason, but will need to win two of its next three games to have a chance.
“I think we can beat North Valleys there and Douglas there and Hug at home,” he said.
Viking girls improve in loss to Reno
The South Tahoe High School girls’ basketball team dropped a conference road game to Reno 71-38 Tuesday, a big improvement over the Vikings’ scoring the last time these two teams met.
South Tahoe lost that one at home 85-16 on Jan. 10, though several girls were absent from the team at the time.
With the loss, the Vikings drop to 0-9 in Northern 4A Sierra Division play and 1-15 overall, while the Huskies improve to 8-0 in the conference and 16-5 overall.
The Vikings’ next game is at North Valleys on Friday, beginning at 5:15 p.m., followed by another away game at Douglas on Saturday.
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