Short-handed Viking girls fall short vs. Truckee
South Tahoe senior Bailey Segers injured her leg in the final seconds of warmups Tuesday, Dec. 12, and limped to the sideline right before the Vikings game started against Truckee.
She joined fellow starter junior Malorie Neiger, who was injured Saturday against Lowry, on the bench watching as the Vikings tipped off against the rival Wolverines.
The short-handed hosts started strong, but fell behind midway through the opening period and could never quite catch Truckee in a 33-28 loss.
“It was a hard-fought game with a short-handed team,” said Vikings head coach Mike Neiger. “Our girls came together and battled. We just had a couple of fundamental breakdowns with not boxing out and securing a defensive rebound.”
The teams were neck-and-neck the whole way with the Wolverines holding a 16-14 lead at halftime.
Vikings senior Maegan Perez was aggressive in the opening period, driving to the basket to earn five trips to the free throw line, where she converted four. She also made a basket and scored six of South Tahoe’s eight first-quarter points. Kaitlyn Janese added the other bucket.
South Tahoe junior Hailey Naccarato drained consecutive 3-pointers moments apart in the second quarter to account for all of the Vikings scoring in the frame heading to halftime. Naccarato was a strong physical presence for the Vikings, but a little too much physicality put her in foul trouble. For a couple of long stretches, the Vikings were forced to do without her rebounding, shooting, defense and strong drives to the basket.
“Hailey will be a force once she fine tunes the physical part of her game,” Neiger said. “She can shoot outside as well as drive to the basket.”
The Vikings cut the Wolverines lead to one point four separate times in the second half, but could never tie or take the lead.
Segers entered the game with five minutes left in the third period and quickly helped develop a couple of baskets, a pass to Teagan Williamson and another to Perez. She dished her third assist in the fourth period to Williamson to make it 24-23 with 4:55 left, but that’s as close as the Vikings would get.
Truckee’s Emma Cooley canned a bucket seconds later and then added a 3-point play on the Wolverine’s next possession to make it 29-23 with 3:25 remaining. That lead proved to be insurmountable.
Perez finished with a team-high 10 points while Naccarato and Williamson each netted six. Janese added three points, Megan Aquino scored a basket and Teagan Welch hit a free throw.
The Vikings (0-7, 0-2 3A Northern League) will look for their first victory at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, when they host the Elko Indians (2-3, 0-2 3A Northern). The Indians knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs last season. South Tahoe will also host Spring Creek at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Blue Gymnasium.