South Tahoe boys b-ball falls to Fernley 67-58 in league opener | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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South Tahoe boys b-ball falls to Fernley 67-58 in league opener

Anthony Gentile
agentile@tahoedailytribune.com
South Tahoe junior Tommy Cefalu goes up for a layup underneath the block attempt of Fernley’s Zach Burns in the Vikings’ league contest against the Vaqueros on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Blue Gym.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe boys basketball team had control in the first half of its Div. I-A Northern League opener on Saturday, Dec. 12, but ultimately couldn’t close it out. The Vikings lost to Fernley 67-58 at the Blue Gym, unable to slow the Vaqueros after the break en route to a fourth straight defeat.

“We are growing as a team and will get better as the season progresses,” Vikings coach Joby Cefalu said. “It was a difficult league opener — you always want to put that one in the win column.”

South Tahoe (1-4, 0-1 I-A Northern) scored the last five points of the first quarter to take a 14-9 lead. The Vikings led by as many as eight points in a back-and-forth second quarter, had a 30-25 advantage at the break after Fernley’s Ethan Hunter hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, South Tahoe senior Denzel Perez knocked down a 3-pointer to put the hosts ahead 37-31. That’s when Fernley (3-3, 1-0) began its comeback.

The Vaqueros went on a 12-2 run to jump in front, capped by a layup from Carlos McIntyre that made it 43-39 with 1:07 left in the frame. Senior Hirshal Sukha ended the run with a layup nine seconds later, and South Tahoe trailed by two entering the fourth quarter.

Fernley scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 48-41 with 6:45 left, and South Tahoe couldn’t get closer than three points down the stretch. The Vikings had chances, but were unable to hit enough shots to break the Vaqueros’ 2-3 zone defense.

With 44 seconds left, Harry Moses-Chakmakis hit a free throw to make it 59-56. On the next possession, Hunter made one of two from the line but the Vaqueros rebounded the miss and were fouled — Zach Burns sank a pair of free throws for the last two of his game-high 32 points to give Fernley a decisive six-point lead.

“We have to finish shots and protect the paint,” Cefalu said.

Burns finished with 32 points on 9-of-24 shooting, and the sophomore was Fernley’s main offensive weapon in the win. Hunter added 17 points, including three 3-pointers.

“He played a great game and we couldn’t stop him,” Cefalu said of the Vaqueros’ leading scorer.

South Tahoe returns to action on the road Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Union Mine (El Dorado, Calif.). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe boys basketball team had control in the first half of its Div. I-A Northern League opener on Saturday, Dec. 12, but ultimately couldn’t close it out. The Vikings lost to Fernley 67-58 at the Blue Gym, unable to slow the Vaqueros after the break en route to a fourth straight defeat.

“We are growing as a team and will get better as the season progresses,” Vikings coach Joby Cefalu said. “It was a difficult league opener — you always want to put that one in the win column.”

South Tahoe (1-4, 0-1 I-A Northern) scored the last five points of the first quarter to take a 14-9 lead. The Vikings led by as many as eight points in a back-and-forth second quarter, had a 30-25 advantage at the break after Fernley’s Ethan Hunter hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, South Tahoe senior Denzel Perez knocked down a 3-pointer to put the hosts ahead 37-31. That’s when Fernley (3-3, 1-0) began its comeback.

The Vaqueros went on a 12-2 run to jump in front, capped by a layup from Carlos McIntyre that made it 43-39 with 1:07 left in the frame. Senior Hirshal Sukha ended the run with a layup nine seconds later, and South Tahoe trailed by two entering the fourth quarter.

Fernley scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 48-41 with 6:45 left, and South Tahoe couldn’t get closer than three points down the stretch. The Vikings had chances, but were unable to hit enough shots to break the Vaqueros’ 2-3 zone defense.

With 44 seconds left, Harry Moses-Chakmakis hit a free throw to make it 59-56. On the next possession, Hunter made one of two from the line but the Vaqueros rebounded the miss and were fouled — Zach Burns sank a pair of free throws for the last two of his game-high 32 points to give Fernley a decisive six-point lead.

“We have to finish shots and protect the paint,” Cefalu said.

Burns finished with 32 points on 9-of-24 shooting, and the sophomore was Fernley’s main offensive weapon in the win. Hunter added 17 points, including three 3-pointers.

“He played a great game and we couldn’t stop him,” Cefalu said of the Vaqueros’ leading scorer.

South Tahoe returns to action on the road Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Union Mine (El Dorado, Calif.). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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