South Tahoe girls b-ball battles bigger schools at High Sierra Winter Challenge, comes up empty
RENO, Nev. — The South Tahoe girls basketball team faced tough competition at the High Sierra Winter Challenge, and came up empty against bigger schools in the tournament held Dec. 3-5. The Vikings lost three games in three days, including contests against Div. I Reno opponents Galena and Damonte Ranch.
“I’m pleased with how we played overall against the larger schools,” Vikings coach Mike Neiger said. “It showed we have multiple scorers and that we need to find consistency in order to succeed.”
South Tahoe (0-4) opened tournament play with a 48-44 overtime loss at Galena on Thursday, Dec. 3. The Vikings showed improvement from a season-opening loss to Incline two days earlier, but ultimately came up short against the Grizzlies.
“From the opening tip, our energy was sky high,” Neiger said. “We were causing turnovers with our trapping defense.”
Junior Claudia Janese anchored South Tahoe’s trap Thursday that intercepted or deflected numerous Galena passes. The teams went into halftime tied at 21, and the Vikings had a five-point lead with three minutes left — then its inexperienced showed.
“We took some ill-advised shots rather than maintain possession and went 0-of-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth,” Neiger said.
Ahead two with six seconds left, South Tahoe missed its eighth free throw of the quarter and Galena took the rebound the length of the court for a game-tying layup at the buzzer. The Grizzles rode that momentum into overtime, where they outscored the Vikings 9-5.
Senior Bailey Barcellos led South Tahoe with 12 points in the loss, senior Annie Buchser finished with 11 and junior Drue Chapman added nine. Junior Maia Smith added six points after filling in for a pair of teammates that went down with injuries.
On Friday, Dec. 4, South Tahoe fell to Casa Roble (Orangevale, Calif.) 53-32. The Vikings struggled to find their offensive stride before pulling to within seven late in the third quarter, but the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III opponents closed the game on a 17-3 run to win going away.
Chapman and junior Zoe Mosedale led South Tahoe with eight points apiece against Casa Roble. Barcellos and Buchser each added seven points.
The Vikings closed out the tournament with a 53-26 defeat against Damonte Ranch. South Tahoe hung with the Mustangs for a half before being outscored by 21 points after the break in the lopsided defeat.
“We couldn’t get anything to fall and made too many mistakes,” Neiger said of the second half.
Chapman led South Tahoe with six points in the loss. Smith, Mosedale and Buchser added four apiece.
South Tahoe returns to action at home on Friday, Dec. 11, when it opens Div. I-A Northern League play against Fernley. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.