South Tahoe boys lose heartbreaker to Carson
The class 4A boys’ basketball game between Carson High School and South Tahoe was dead even with just three minutes to go, and the pressure was building.
Then suddenly it snapped.
In the heat of the moment, the South Tahoe boys lost their cool and were called for two quick technical fouls in addition to a personal foul. The Senators didn’t flinch, hitting five consecutive shots from the stripe to wrap this one up, 60-47, before several hundred screaming fans.
Turnovers also were South Tahoe’s undoing, as the smaller, quicker Carson boys grabbed steals and chased loose balls all over the court.
Carson jumped out to an early 8-2 lead behind two three-pointers following a couple of South Tahoe turnovers. The Senators led 28-18 at the half, thanks to a stifling full-court press that forced a number of Viking turnovers.
But with the score 37-34 at the end of the third quarter, following a 16-9 run, South Tahoe seemed poised to steal the lead and possibly the game. The crowd could obviously sense the shifting momentum, growing louder and more boisterous with each passing second.
With 4:09 left in the game, senior South Tahoe forward Niko Klansek hit a three-pointer to tie it at 42, and then came back with another two-point basket to take the lead at the 3:37 mark.
But with the score tied at 45 with 3:10 left, things began to unravel quickly for the Vikings. Senior forward Curtis Johnson, who had 14 points, missed two foul shots and a technical shot at the 2:30 mark, and again missed two foul shots at 1:01 with the score 50-47 in Carson’s favor.
Then, with 45.3 seconds left and the emotions running high, the Vikings were nailed for two technicals after some rough play and words being exchanged with officials.
That allowed Carson’s Ricky Corelli to seal the win for the Senators as he hit all five of his shots from the free-throw line.
Corelli was the leading scorer for Carson with 22 points. Ryan Henry chipped in 13 and Andy Bohm added nine for the Senators.
Klansek lead the way for the Vikings with 17 points, and Johnson contributed 14 points and some key offensive rebounds.
Following the game, South Tahoe head coach Derek Allister was visibly upset with his team’s performance, particularly the technicals.
“I have never been more embarrassed about a team I have coached in 27 years,” Allister said. “I would never condone what went on tonight. Carson was giving a great effort and they’re a great bunch of kids. This really sours the (South Tahoe) basketball program.
“I have never seen such a selfish display on the part of some of my players, and I intend to do something about it,” Allister added. “There are going to be some heads rolling over this. I don’t know where we will go from here. I’ll have to think about it.”
Meanwhile, Carson head coach Bruce Barnes was pleased with his team’s gritty performance.
“I thought we played well at times,” Barnes said. “The South Tahoe kids never gave up and they played hard just like they always do. I thought we regrouped and played well in the fourth quarter.
“Curtis Johnson was a whole lot for us (to handle) tonight,” Barnes added, calling him the “most improved player I’ve seen.”
Carson improved to 5-2 in conference play and 12-8 overall. South Tahoe drops to 2-5 in the conference and 4-11 overall.
South Tahoe was hit with three technical fouls in the game, one each on Klansek, Dan Tobin and Eric Domingo.
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