South Tahoe girls b-ball splits with Truckee, Lowry
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls basketball team shook off the effects of a tough loss and cold offensive stretches to narrowly beat its crosslake rival last Saturday. The Vikings edged visiting Truckee 39-37 a day after losing to league-leading Lowry during a two-game homestand.
On Saturday, South Tahoe (8-11, 5-5 I-A Northern) held on to complete a season sweep of the rival Wolverines. The Vikings prevailed despite not making a field goal for the last 11:50 of regulation — their last seven points all came from the free-throw line.
“To win a close game is good — even though it shouldn’t have been as close,” Vikings coach Mike Neiger said.
South Tahoe trailed 18-15 after an offensive-minded first quarter, and made adjustments to its defense to stifle Truckee (4-10, 2-7) over the next two periods. The Wolverines scored five points combined in the second and third quarters, allowing the Vikings to take a 22-20 lead into halftime and stretch that advantage to 11 points headed into the fourth quarter.
“It was just assignments — (forward Valeria Garcia) was playing post but guarding their outlet, and it didn’t really translate,” Neiger said. “We switched that up and everybody focused on their individual jobs.”
The Vikings looked like they would roll to a second victory over the Wolverines — but an offensive drought allowed Truckee to methodically rally. South Tahoe’s first point of the fourth quarter came at the 1:37 mark, on a free throw from guard Ally King.
King’s free throw put the Vikings ahead 35-27, but Truckee wasn’t done. A layup by guard Marcelle Reynaud followed by two threes from guard Sydney Mock brought the Wolverines to within a point — King made a free throw during that stretch to keep South Tahoe in front.
After Mock’s second three-pointer, King sunk both attempts from the line to make it 38-35 with 25.8 seconds to play. South Tahoe had a 39-36 lead with 10.3 seconds left when a foul sent Reynaud to the line — after making the first shot, she missed the second by design and Truckee pulled down the rebound.
Wolverines forward Maddie Monson rebounded the missed free throw and put up a shot, but her potential game-tying putback glanced off the rim. Garcia secured that board and passed the ball to King, who ran out the remaining four seconds to clinch the victory.
“It was that offensive funk again — but Ally came up with those clutch free throws to seal the win,” Neiger said.
King led all scorers with 17 points in the victory — she scored all five of South Tahoe’s fourth quarter points from the free-throw line as part of a 7-for-12 performance. Garcia added six points, forward Catherine Baghdikian scored five to go along with nine rebounds and forward Annie Buchser grabbed nine boards.
For Truckee, Mock led the way with 13 points — including nine in the fourth quarter — and Reynaud added nine. South Tahoe beat the Wolverines 48-33 on Dec. 16 in the teams’ first meeting.
“We played very well, I just wish we wouldn’t have gone into panic mode for a little bit,” Truckee head coach Dave Shalvis said. “When they ran their plays, they ran them great and we scored — when they tried to improvise that’s when we turned it over.”
Friday night, the Vikings came up short against league-leading Lowry. South Tahoe lost to the defending state champion Buckaroos 40-22, who wore down the Vikings with physical play to remain unbeaten in league.
“Lowry is physical to a strong degree — they brought intensity and committed to whatever defense they presented us,” Neiger said.
Lowry (14-4, 9-0) opened the game on 9-2 run, and had a 15-10 lead over South Tahoe after the first quarter. The Vikings trailed 18-11 at halftime after an offensively challenged second quarter — both teams combined for four points and neither made a field goal.
For South Tahoe, the second quarter represented a missed opportunity. The Vikings couldn’t make up ground despite being in the bonus for the entire frame coupled with foul trouble forcing Lowry frontcourt starters Jasmine Marchand and Payton Naveran to the bench.
Naveran returned to the court after halftime and made an immediate impact as the Buckaroos kept South Tahoe at a distance. The junior forward scored seven of Lowry’s 11 third-quarter points, and the Vikings trailed 29-19 headed into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, South Tahoe was held to three points as Lowry pulled away. The Vikings didn’t get closer than 11 points in the eventual 18-point defeat.
King led South Tahoe with nine points in the loss and Baghdikian finished with five. The Vikings were held to 22 points for the second straight contest, matching a season low.
For Lowry, guard Alyssa Dendary scored a game-high 11 points. Naveran added seven and Marchand finished with six — the Buckaroos’ inside duo combined for 11 points after halftime.
South Tahoe resumes league play a two-game road trip beginning Friday night. The Vikings face Elko on Friday at 6 p.m. and play at Spring Creek Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We just have to play our basketball and play smart — we should be okay,” Neiger said.
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