Plenty of good seats at STHS |

Plenty of good seats at STHS

Where are South Tahoe High’s basketball fans?Are they waiting for a revival of a league championship-caliber team before they decide to fill the stands in the blue gym?

The Hug Hawks must have thought they were playing on a neutral court last Saturday in a pair of Sierra Division makeup games. If not for a pack of loyal Viking students, there may have been cause to fold up one side of the stands.

Sure, the Vikings were competing with the Seattle-Green Bay playoff game, but the resorts were packed with visitors and the early start times still left the evening free.

It’s a shame those fans missed the doubleheader with Hug. Those who attended witnessed a pair of tight games, including an improbable rally by the Viking boys.

Although South Tahoe wound up losing 68-62, the Vikings showed some qualities that true basketball fans can’t resist: heart and resolve. The Vikings tore up an 11-point deficit in two minutes late in the fourth quarter, hinting that they might make some noise before the season is over.

Two of the most exciting players in Northern Nevada wear blue and gold: Vince Capellino and Tony Stagnaro. Capellino is such an efficient and unselfish player. He is a consistent 20-point per game scorer, even though he only shoots about 15 times per game.

Stagnaro is the engine that makes the Vikings go. He is one of the hardest-working defensive players you will see and a fearless penetrator.

Overlooked, however, is his passing. Capellino gets many of his easy points off passes from Stagnaro.

They are a great one-two punch that you don’t want to miss.

South Tahoe basketball fans have been spoiled.

Two state titles, nine regional championships and 16 league titles from 1975-2000 have a way of making fans fickle. The Vikings used to be the New York Yankees of Northern Nevada basketball; now they’ve become the Milwaukee Brewers. But that could change before your eyes.

South Tahoe has struggled to put a winner on the court for the past eight years, but that is no reason to act like a fair-weather fan.

Many high school players thrive on the atmosphere provided by their community. Win or lose, their hard work and dedication deserves your respect.

Don’t miss the STHS girls either. They are threatening to become the first girls’ team to qualify for the postseason since the mid-1990s. The team runs good offensive sets and has exciting guard play led by Tess Braun, Karli Vath and Cassandra Diaz.

So get off your recliners and go watch the Vikings on Friday and Saturday. Both STHS teams could enhance their league positions with wins against North Valleys on Friday, while on Saturday the Vikings have a chance to play one of the top teams in the Northern 4A in Douglas.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or

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