South Tahoe basketball sweeps Sparks on the road
SPARKS, Nev. — The South Tahoe basketball teams hit the road for a doubleheader Wednesday, Jan. 20, and returned home with a pair of double-digit wins. The Vikings’ boys beat Sparks 77-63 and South Tahoe’s girls downed the Railroaders 54-34 for the teams’ second league sweep of the season.
In the boys’ game, South Tahoe withstood a hot shooting night from Sparks to complete the sweep. The Vikings rode strong performances in the first and third quarters to a 77-63 win over the Railroaders.
“Sparks shot the ball well against us,” South Tahoe boys’ coach Joby Cefalu said. “We were able to switch things up defensively, but they definitely dumped a bunch of shots on us and made it a close game.”
South Tahoe (7-9, 4-2 I-A Northern) led 25-15 after the first quarter, but saw that lead trimmed to three by halftime. In the third quarter, the Vikings took control and opened up a 57-42 advantage — then held off Sparks (4-11, 3-5) after an even fourth quarter.
“In the third quarter, we played tough defense and closed out their 3-point shooters,” Cefalu said. “That ultimately made the difference — we were able to stretch it enough and put them away.”
Senior Blake Blocker scored a game-high 21 points for South Tahoe, and was one of four Vikings in double figures. Junior Harry Moses-Chakmakis finished with 17 points, senior Ethan Strain had 14, senior Joe Albrecht scored 11 and junior Tommy Cefalu added seven.
“Every win is a good one,” Cefalu said. “We’re in a tough league and every game is a playoff game.”
In the girls’ game, the Vikings opened the doubleheader with their most decisive league win of the season. South Tahoe rolled to a 54-34 victory over winless Sparks to end a three-game slide in league play.
“We went in with a mindset of getting back to the basics of early offense and ball movement against their zone, and the girls did a nice job,” Vikings girls’ coach Mike Neiger said. “Bailey, Drue and Zoe really pushed the ball up the floor well.”
South Tahoe (4-8, 3-3 I-A Northern) beat the Railroaders in every quarter en route to the 20-point win. The Vikings were ahead 24-11 at halftime and stayed comfortably in front of Sparks (0-10, 0-8) in the second half.
Junior Drue Champan led all scorers with 16 points in the win. Chapman shot 7-for-19 from the field, and commanded the attention of Sparks’ defense in the form of a box-and-one.
“That opened up the court for Bailey and Brooke,” Neiger said. “We created good opportunities with our press defense and forced turnovers.”
Senior Bailey Barcellos finished with 13 points against Sparks. Junior Claudia Janese had seven points, a team-high 10 rebounds and five steals, junior Brooke Erdody totaled six points and five rebounds, and junior Zoe Mosedale added two points, nine rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
Wednesday’s doubleheader was moved from its original date. South Tahoe was initially scheduled to play at Sparks on Friday, Jan. 15, but the games were postponed due to weather-related transportation issues.
South Tahoe returned to action at home Friday, Jan. 22, against Spring Creek. The Vikings host Elko in a doubleheader Saturday, Jan. 23 — the girls’ game is scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m. with the boys’ contest after.
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