South Tahoe makes Shootout finals |

South Tahoe makes Shootout finals

Michael Traum

South Tahoe High’s boys basketball club is starting the summer season on a high note.

The Vikings won six straight contests against some of the West Coast’s top programs before losing the final in the last 30 seconds to Jesuit, 64-60, in the 20th annual South Tahoe Shootout over the weekend at South Tahoe High School.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams. Sometimes we go into these tournaments wondering if we’re going to win any games because the caliber of competition is so high. You can’t play an average ball game against some of these teams or you’re going to get blown out,” said South Tahoe coach Tom Orlich.

It was Tahoe’s best finish in the Shootout since the summer prior to the 1991-92 season, when Jerod Haase, Brian Bruso and Co. were 7-0 and went on the win the Nevada state championship.

“Ordinarily, if we do well in the Shootout, we’ll have a good year,” Orlich said. “The big key was exceptional depth. We’ve never had a deeper team at South Tahoe. We just kept rotating players in two units, kept working hard and wearing them down (the other teams). Many coaches said they can’t believe how hard the kids work and how they wished they could get their kids to play that way. I really couldn’t be happier.”

South Tahoe opened play Friday with wins over Milpitas, 61-54, and Judge Memorial (Utah), 72-49. On Saturday, Tahoe downed St. Augustine (San Diego), 69-50, and Barlow (Portland, Ore.), 58-56. On Sunday, Tahoe handled Bishop O’Dowd, 59-50, and Beaverton, Ore., 62-52, before falling to Jesuit in the final minute.

Tahoe will begin its summer travel schedule on July 27-31 at the American Roundball Tournament in Las Vegas before heading to Virginia for sightseeing and contests against teams from that state, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Notes: A one-day “complete-player” camp featuring Haase is scheduled for Tuesday at South Tahoe High. Space is still available. For details, call 544-3416 … Former South Tahoe player Jan Rasmussen is an assistant coach for St. Augustine … South Tahoe last finished 6-1 in the Shootout in 1990-91.

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