South Tahoe girls b-ball falls to Fernley 41-35
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls basketball team never got into a rhythm offensively last Saturday — and it cost them against a beatable opponent. The Vikings lost to Fernley 41-35 at home, a defeat that brought an end to a two-game winning streak.
“Some days there is just a lid on the basket,” Vikings head coach Mike Neiger said. “I could really tell how bad the girls felt physically by watching the film.”
South Tahoe (6-9, 3-3 I-A Northern) led 8-5 after a first quarter where both teams struggled offensively. Fernley (5-9, 2-4) scored the first 11 points of the second quarter to stun the Vikings, but STHS answered with 8-2 run to close the half — a fast-break layup from guard Drue Chapman in the closing seconds capped the run and made it 18-16.
Vikings guard Ally King hit a three-pointer 43 seconds into the second half to put South Tahoe ahead 19-18 — and set the tone for a tight third quarter. STHS trailed the Vaqueros for most of the frame before taking a 30-28 lead on a pair of King free throws with 1:37 left — Fernley answered from the foul line in the last minute to leave the game tied after three quarters.
Eight seconds into the fourth quarter, Fernley guard Shandell Gemmell hit a long two-pointer to put the visitors ahead 32-30. The Vaqueros scored the first eight points of the quarter before South Tahoe got on the board, and held on to defeat the Vikings.
King scored South Tahoe’s first point of the final frame on a free throw with 2:51 left. Forty-three seconds later, forward Catherine Baghdikian ended the team’s field goal drought to make it 38-33 — and the Vikings eventually made it a three-point game with 1:15 to play.
“I credit the girls for battling through sickness — we had at least four players trying to fight flu-like symptoms,” Neiger said.
South Tahoe’s full-court pressure created turnovers on three straight possessions to get back in the game, and made it close despite continued offensive struggles. But the Vikings’ comeback bid ultimately fell short — Fernley made three free throws and a pair of defensive stops in the last 46 seconds to secure the win.
“It was a letdown after playing two solid games,” Neiger said. “We came out flat and never could get any flow to the offense.”
King scored a game-high 19 points for South Tahoe in the loss to go along with five rebounds and five steals. Chapman added six points, Baghdikian scored five points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and forward Valeria Garcia grabbed nine rebounds — as a team, the Vikings shot 21 percent from the field and 10-of-24 from the free-throw line.
“In the end we have to be able to make free throws,” Neiger said. “Maybe that changes the game in the closing minutes.”
Fernley rode a balanced offensive attack to victory — Gemmell, guard Hailee Edgar, guard Jensen Radley and forward Courtney Dunn scored eight apiece while forward Lynsee Ferretto added seven. For the Vaqueros, the win ended a two-game losing streak.
South Tahoe returned to action Tuesday night at Sparks. The Vikings resume league play Saturday at Fallon — tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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