South Tahoe girls b-ball falls to Incline in season opener 35-22
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls basketball team’s season opener on Tuesday, Dec. 1, didn’t go as smoothly as it hoped. The Vikings fell to cross-lake foe Incline 35-22 at the Blue Gym, unable to overcome offensive struggles en route to a debut defeat.
“This was a frustrating night, from the standpoint of lack of execution, lack of intensity and no sense of urgency,” Vikings coach Mike Neiger said. “Hopefully it’s a wake-up call.”
South Tahoe (0-1) trailed 9-6 after a slow-starting first quarter for both teams — from the outset, the Vikings had trouble dealing with the Highlanders’ 3-2 press. In the second quarter, Incline (1-0) got rolling and took control of the game.
Vikings senior Bailey Barcellos scored the first three points of the second quarter to tie the game. Then the Highlanders answered with four straight before closing the first half on an 11-2 run that made it 24-13 at the break.
Incline went inside to pull away from South Tahoe, led by senior Kira Porter. The 6-foot center headed to Howard for volleyball scored half of her game-high 16 points in the frame as part of a near triple-double; she finished 7-of-14 from the field with 15 rebounds and eight blocks.
“If the other team has a weapon like that, you can do certain things to try to limit the damage,” Neiger said. “She was good.”
South Tahoe trailed 27-17 after a low-scoring third quarter. The Vikings were held scoreless for the first six minutes of the frame, and free throws from Barcellos along with a jumper from Drue Chapman accounted for all of the hosts’ points.
“On some nights the shots aren’t going to fall, but you still have to work harder to get more open looks,” Neiger said.
In the fourth quarter, Incline opened with a 6-2 run and led by at least 12 points afterward on the way to a 13-point victory. South Tahoe has opened against the Highlanders in each of the past three seasons, with each meeting resulting in defeat.
“It’s a teaching moment,” Neiger said. “We have to bring it if we want to compete in league and make playoffs — we have to be better at everything.”
Barcellos led the Vikings with eight points, three assists and four steals in the loss, Annie Buchser scored six points and Brooke Erdody added four points and four rebounds. Claudia Janese pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Zoe Mosedale added six — South Tahoe shot 18 percent from the field on Tuesday and was plagued by turnovers.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that many long passes thrown by us,” Neiger said. “We have a decent press break, but the spacing was off and we weren’t as patient as we could have been.”
Outside of Porter’s performance, Christine Schwartz added nine points for Incline. The Highlanders returned 11 players from last year’s team that made it to the Div. III State semifinals, and their experienced showed Tuesday night.
South Tahoe returned to action on Thursday, Nov. 3, when it tipped off play in the High Sierra Winter Challenge at Galena (Reno, Nev.). The Vikings resume tournament play with games against Casa Roble (Orangevale, Calif.) on Friday, Nov. 4, and Damonte Ranch (Reno, Nev.) on Saturday, Nov. 5.
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