Rivalry rout: South Tahoe downs Whittell 50-9 in crosstown girls basketball showdown
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A great discrepancy currently lies between the South Tahoe and Whittell girls basketball programs, and it showed in the latest meeting between the crosstown rivals. The Vikings routed the Warriors 50-9 at the Blue Gym on Wednesday, Jan. 6, winning their seventh straight in the series with a one-sided result.
“In the past when we were really competitive, it was a fun game,” Warriors coach Tom Esposito said. “We don’t have the team that we’ve had in the past right now.”
Both teams started slow, and South Tahoe (3-7) had a 10-4 lead after the first quarter. The Vikings closed with six straight points after Whittell (2-8) pulled even with back-to-back baskets from senior Jordyn Becker and freshman Madison Burch midway through the opening frame.
In the second quarter, the Vikings pulled away and the contest turned non-competitive. South Tahoe outscored the Warriors 20-2 to set the stage for a route — a turnaround jumper from Becker with 4:45 left in the first half was the visitors’ last field goal of the contest.
“We were already beaten before we got in the door,” Esposito said. “It was a just a head thing — if you’re not confident, you’re not going to do very well.”
After Becker’s shot, the Vikings scored 12 straight points — including six in a row from junior Brooke Erdody — to take a 30-6 advantage into the break. South Tahoe led by 18 points with 2:25 left in the half when its student section began chanting, “This is our lake,” as it became clear that the result wasn’t in doubt.
South Tahoe continued to pull away after halftime en route to a 41-point victory, its biggest of the 2015-16 season. Whittell scored three points in the second half — all from the free-throw line — to finish with a season-low total.
Erdody finished with a game-high 10 points, and was one of 10 Vikings to score in the victory. Senior Annie Buchser and junior Zoe Mosedale each scored seven while juniors Drue Chapman and Claudia Janese added six apiece.
“Everybody got good playing time,” Vikings coach Mike Neiger said. “It was good for everybody to get on the floor, run the offense and work on the little things.”
Becker led Whittell with six points, Burch had two and junior Samantha Forvilly added one. The Warriors struggled to possess the ball throughout, even when South Tahoe pulled out of its full-court press.
“It was pretty tough,” Esposito said. “They just beat us up pretty good.”
The Vikings now own seven straight victories over Whittell in girls basketball dating back to the 2010-11 season. On Wednesday night, it was clear that the two teams are on a different level from when they played twice per season in the Mount Rose League earlier in the decade.
“I love the crosstown idea, but it’s tough because of the size,” Neiger said.
Both teams came into the rivalry game a night after losing league contests on the road. South Tahoe fell at Truckee 31-30 in Div. I-A Northern League action while Whittell lost 30-14 at Sierra Lutheran in its Div. IV West League opener.
“It’s a good bounce-back from yesterday,” Neiger said.
The Warriors return to action Friday, Jan. 8, at Excel Christian before returning home Saturday, Jan. 9, against Smith Valley at 4 p.m. The Vikings’ next game comes at Sparks on Friday, Jan. 15.
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