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Season is on the line for Viking girls

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

Call it a grudge match, but to South Tahoe and Wooster high schools, today’s girls basketball game in Reno means so much more.

At stake is the final playoff berth in the Sierra Division — a feat the Vikings haven’t accomplished since the 1996-97 season.

“It’s for all the marbles,” said STHS girls coach Tim Jaureguito. “Beating them once, we feel we have just as good of a chance going in as they do.”

Wooster takes a one-game lead into today’s 5:15 p.m. division game. A win is critical for STHS, which would be eliminated from postseason consideration in defeat.

“We’re feeling petty strong right now,” said STHS senior Amy Carter. “We’re playing together, we’re really motivated and we’re confident in each other.”

Two previous meetings suggest that tonight’s game should be a crowd pleaser. STHS won the first encounter in December, scoring three points in the final 5 seconds to squeak out a 60-59 overtime victory in the Carson Lions Invitational.

However, the Colts avenged that defeat by trouncing the Vikings 62-48 Jan. 18 in South Lake Tahoe. Colts center Brianne McGowan determined the Vikings’ fate as she scored 12 of her game-high 26 points in the third period.

McGowan broke open a tight game with her aggressive play inside.

“Last time we used a box and a chaser and put two people on her the whole time,” Jaureguito said. “But it didn’t have anything to do with her getting the ball. Other people were shooting and she would get the rebound and put it in.”

Jaureguito plans to use a similar defensive plan but hopes his girls do a better job with their defensive rebounding. But the game plan will remain a secret until tip-off.

“We have our ways to do it,” Carter said.

Wooster also has a big assignment in trying to hold down scoring machine Lindsay Hitt. Hitt has averaged 14.5 points per game in the two games, but has been topping the 20-point barrier lately.

“Hitt is not going to beat Wooster. South Tahoe has to beat Wooster,” Jaureguito said. “In order for us to be successful Tuesday night, it has to be a team effort.”

The South Tahoe High boys basketball team is also battling for a postseason spot. The fifth-place Vikings and Colts share identical 3-6 records and trail fourth-place Douglas by a game and a half with three games remaining. Only the top four teams qualify for the zone tournament.

Wooster and STHS meet tonight at 7 in Reno.


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