South Tahoe boys b-ball blasts rival Truckee 87-59, wins third straight |

South Tahoe boys b-ball blasts rival Truckee 87-59, wins third straight

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe senior Ethan Strain scored 11 points in the Vikings’ 87-59 win at Truckee on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The South Tahoe basketball team is clicking as the new year begins. And that’s a scary thing for Vikings’ opponents.

South Tahoe beat cross-lake rival Truckee 87-59 on the road Tuesday, Jan. 5. The Vikings rode a big first half to a decisive victory over the Wolverines, extending their winning streak to three games.

“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season and we’re starting to work together well as a team,” Vikings coach Joby Cefalu said. “The kids were doing the things they need to do — we’ve made a few adjustments and had some hardworking practices.”

South Tahoe (6-8, 3-1 I-A Northern) had a 21-13 lead after the opening frame on Tuesday, and blew the contest open with a dominant second quarter. The Vikings outscored Truckee (2-10, 0-4) by a 27-7 margin to take a commanding 28-point lead into the break.

“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season.”Joby CefaluVikings head coach

In an even second half, the Vikings stayed well in front while rolling to a 28-point victory. After losing its league opener, South Tahoe has won three straight Div. I-A Northern contests by an average of 27 points.

“The offensive output and our percentages were good,” Cefalu said. “Anytime you’re scoring close to 90 points, you’re doing something right.”

The Vikings had three players in double figures, led by senior Blake Blocker’s game-high 19 points. Senior Denzel Perez scored 17 points and hit three 3-pointers while senior Ethan Strain added 11 — the trio scored all but four of its points in the first three quarters.

“It was three guys putting up numbers, and on any given night it could be three or four different guys,” Cefalu said. “The depth that we have in our rotation and the ability for kids to score is better than we’ve had in past years.”

Junior Harry Moses-Chakmakis finished with nine points for South Tahoe and junior Tommy Cefalu scored eight while senior Joe Albrecht and junior Noah Jackson added six apiece. The Vikings have won three straight games, and their coach said the start of their streak — a win over King Drew (Los Angeles) at the San Pedro Pirate Shootout on Dec. 30 — brought the team together.

“That was where the team and coaching staff realized what we have and what we are,” Cefalu said. “The buy-in from the team has been exceptional from one through 13, and I’m very proud of the boys. Everybody is being challenged each and every day in practice.”

For Truckee, junior Ben Miller scored a team-high 13 points while senior Jenner Tresan and junior Justin Wadsworth each finished with 12. The loss was the Wolverines’ fourth straight.

South Tahoe returns to action on the road Friday, Jan. 15, at Sparks. The Vikings return home the following afternoon to face Lowry — tipoff in the Blue Gym is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

“We’re going to hit it hard,” Cefalu said of the 10-day break. “We have some adjustments to make that are going to benefit the team, and I think it will be really good for us.”

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