Preview of South Tahoe basketball versus Reno
The last time the South Tahoe High School boys’ basketball team faced off against Northern 4A Sierra Division foe Reno, defending the Huskies top-rated center was first and foremost on the minds of Viking players and coaches.
Unfortunately, although South Tahoe’ defense held the University of Kansas-bound center David Padgett about 15 points below his season average, the team failed to contribute enough offense to the effort and the Vikings lost 41-27.
Tonight when the Vikings travel to Reno High to face the Huskies for the teams’ second and final matchup of the regular season, South Tahoe looks to be ready.
“I think we are really prepared,” said Vikings head coach Derek Allister. “We did have a little setback – (senior forward) Niko Klansek had an emergency and had to go back to Slovenia for a couple of days and won’t be back until Thursday.”
Klansek is an integral part of the Vikings team. At 6-foot-5, he was expected to provide some of the Vikings’ defense of the 6-11 Reno star, Padgett. Now those duties will be left up to 6-7 senior forward Curtis Johnson and 6-3 junior forward Danny Tilles, who is expected to start in place of Klansek.
“We tried to make some adjustments in practice today,” said Allister, calling Padgett possibly “the best player in the history of the state of Nevada, and certainly the most highly recognized.”
“He’s a great player, (but) we held him to 14 points the first time around,” he said, noting that Padgett’s season average is about 30 points per game. “We were playing so hard defensively, we had trouble making shots. It was a very disjointed game.
“I would anticipate that both teams will relax a bit more this time,” he added. “I don’t know if you really stop David. One of the things people sometimes overlook is you can shut people down, but if you’re not scoring, it doesn’t matter. We have to do some good things offensively. We have to score.”
The Vikings also struggled in the teams’ last meeting because Johnson picked up three fouls in the first three minutes of the game and had to sit on the bench until halftime.
“That really hurt us,” Allister said. “I think this (game) will be a great measure of where Curtis is as a player.”
Today’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Reno High School, preceded by the girls’ game at 5:15 p.m.
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