South Tahoe boys start Nike tourney 1-1 |

South Tahoe boys start Nike tourney 1-1

South Tahoe’s boys started their final pre-league basketball tune-up 1-1, winning the first round of the San Diego Nike Prep Classic, but losing the second.

The Vikings (8-3 overall) advanced into winners’ bracket on Monday with a 48-44 win over tourney host Rancho Bernardo, but lost 49-43 to Southern California’s Eisenhower in the second on Tuesday. South Tahoe returns to action at 9 a.m. today with a game in the 5th-and-7th-place bracket, against the loser of Tuesday’s late game between Miramonte and San Clemente.

“We’re trying to play for league, so we’ve got to take it in stride,” said Vikings head coach Tom Orlich, whose team is in its third preseason tune-up of the winter. South Tahoe won its hometown Viking Rotary Classic on Dec. 4, and won the consolation championship in the Gridley, Calif., Invitational Basketball Tournament on Dec. 11.

South Tahoe center Bob Larmore, a 6-7 senior, has played well for the Vikings in their two Governor’s Cup bracket games in San Diego. Larmore led his team with 16 points against Eisenhower, and impressed Orlich with his effort and his rebounding against Rancho Bernardo.

“It was one of his better games of the year,” Orlich said after Monday’s game.

Against Rancho Bernardo, South Tahoe broke out to a three-point lead, which swelled to 10 by the fourth quarter, and to 14 with five and a half minutes left. Missed free throws allowed the Governors Cup host Broncos to crawl back into the game, but South Tahoe hung on for the win.

In the second-round loss, the Vikings held all five Eisenhower starters to single figures, but Eisenhower outscored the Vikings 18-10 in the fourth quarter for the win. Senior guard John Giannoni III scored 10 points in the second game for South Tahoe.

South Tahoe was idle for nearly two weeks after winning a non-division game against visiting Sparks on Dec. 14.

“It was nice to play again after so many practices, being off for 10 days,” Orlich said.

The Vikings travel to Hug on Tuesday for their league opener at 7 p.m., then return home to take on Douglas at 7 p.m. Jan. 7. The Douglas game also marks South Tahoe’s celebration for Orlich’s 500th win, which came against Merrill West (Tracy, Calif.), in the Gridley consolation championship.

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