Patient Vikings outlast Senators
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – Patience is a key for the South Tahoe High School boys basketball team.
Friday night, it helped the Vikings clinch the Northern 4A Division II championship with a 70-45 home victory against Carson. It’s the Vikings’ 15th division crown during coach Tom Orlich’s 24 seasons with the school.
John Giannoni III scored 21 points and Josh David added 17 as South Tahoe (19-5) improved its Division II-leading record to 9-1.
The Vikings, who have now won six straight games since stumbling at home against Wooster on Jan. 15, took charge with a 10-1 run to start the second quarter.
Josh David buried a 3-pointer off an assist from Matt Williams to start the run. Bobby Larmore scored on a turnaround move to the basket, then he forced a 5-second call on Carson’s next possession. Larmore, a 6-foot-6 junior, then scored on a putback and David fed Giannoni for a 3-pointer from the top of the key as South Tahoe stretched its lead to 24-14 with 5:33 left in the period.
Then to show some of that patience, South Tahoe ended the first half by working two minutes off the clock. The delay offense paid off when Adam Williams buried a 3-pointer to give the Vikings a 38-20 lead at halftime.
Carson cut into the deficit early in the third quarter. First, Lee Biddlecome grabbed an offensive rebound and jammed home a dunk. Then Jason Mead beat two defenders for a driving layup, and Matt Leck dished to Cody Longero for another layup to make it 47-33.
After Orlich called for a time-out, the Vikings pulled the ball out and ran the final 3:03 off the clock to end the period.
“No, that’s not something we wanted to do,” Orlich said. “We had a total lapse of every phase of the game and I felt we had to do something to change the tempo of the game. And we had to do something about Biddlecome because he was just staying in the key blocking all of our shots and we weren’t getting any calls.”
Biddlecome finished the night as Carson’s leading scorer with 10 points, and the 6-foot-9 junior also blocked five shots.
“We made a little run at them in the third quarter, but they’re well schooled,” Andreasen said. “They run that stall very effectively.”
That’s where patience comes in, Orlich said.
“Offensively, when we’re impatient, we don’t play well,” Orlich said. “That’s the No. 1 thing we’re trying to work on right now.”
The Senators still only trailed 53-38 with 4:46 to go after Marc Liveratti converted a three-point play and Eric Clark fed Biddlecome for a layup.
David shot 8-for-8 from the free throw line and scored 10 points in the final period to help the Vikings close out the win.
Another highlight for the Vikings came with 1:30 left when junior center Travis McCollum was inserted to take two technical foul shots. McCollum has missed the entire season with a torn ACL and isn’t expected to play in any remaining games.
“It meant a lot to him and it meant a lot to the team,” Orlich said. “Travis still is one of our leaders, even though he isn’t playing he always comes to every practice, every team meeting and every game. He could have easily said I’ll be back next year, but he’s the captain of our program and a lot of our success is because of him.”
Carson (13-10) slipped to 5-5 in division play.
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