South Tahoe perfect in own Madness in the Mountains tournament |

South Tahoe perfect in own Madness in the Mountains tournament

Steve Yingling

Area basketball teams caught a glimpse of how special the South Tahoe High Vikings can become next winter at the Madness in the Mountains Tournament Friday through Sunday.

Tuning up for some more competitive club tournaments, the South Tahoe Basketball Club went undefeated, allowing no team to come closer than 16 points in six games at South Tahoe High.

“It’s one of those teams that comes along every 10 years. We have the pieces, the athleticism, the instincts and kids who have played a long time together … they have the potential to be pretty good,” said South Tahoe coach Tom Orlich. “We’ll know a lot more by the end of July after we see how we fare against some of these real good teams.

“We have 12 to 13 guys on the team, but all are real good players. Some years we carry 17 to 18 guys, but this year we have 12 to 13 guys who are capable of playing and contributing.”

Falling to a deep South Tahoe club over the weekend were three-time defending zone champion Galena, Sparks, Soquel, Terra Linda, Los Banos and Downey (Stockton).

“I expected to win them all,” Orlich said. “We started out real ragged on Friday and improved throughout the weekend.”

The tournament showcased the return of South Tahoe High junior center/forward Travis McCollum, who missed all of last season except for a ceremonial technical foul shot. McCollum’s enthusiasm and effort impressed Orlich more than anything.

“He’s playing harder than he’s every played, and it’s scary. Having a lot of energy stored up for a year, sometimes he tries to do too much and needs to let the game come to him,” Orlich said.

“When you have Travis, John Gianonni, Tim Sprinkles, Matt Williams and Andy Butcher flying around the court, you can get a lot of good things happening out there.”

South Tahoe’s other inside force – 6-foot-7 Bobby Larmore – also impressed Orlich.

“He’s playing a lot bigger right now,” Orlich said. “In order to become great you have to have size inside. He still has a ways to go, but he’s getting there.”

Breaking down his promising team’s offensive and defensive progess, Orlich believes his team is further along on defense.

“Offense is an area where we’re trying to get our team chemistry, being unselfish and making that extra pass,” he said. “We’ve shown improvement, but we still have a ways to go.”

South Tahoe’s other representative in the tournament competed in the small-schools division, winning four of six games, with players ranging from eighth grade to high school juniors.

“They probably were the most improved team in their division,” said Orlich, complimenting the play of Matt Connelly and Chris Ortiz.

Orlich is anxious to see how his club will fare during a Catholic tournament June 18-20. South Tahoe will play three games on June 19 and 20 in a tournament that features all of the Cathloic school powers from Northern California, including St. Joseph’s, Saint Ignatius, Jesuit and Bishop O’Dowd.

“It’s good to play the Catholic schools because they are very structured and disciplined, so it will be a good test for us,” Orlich said.


Soquel and Sparks

our closest game was with glaena, beat them by 16, we really dding’ get pushed by anybod

Terra LInda and Galena on frfidya, los banos and downey out of stockton on saturday.

“I expect to win, and in know we have pretty good ballckl7.

started real ragged on frdiay and improved througout the weekend.

“I thought all of them showed real improvement. travis ater having year off improved weekend went by.

bobby larmore, 6-7, playing lot bigger now.

ino order to be great, hazve to size inside, still ways away but he’s getting there. thought our bench playe swell at imte,s some juniros showing lot of promise.

“we’ll see, we have 12-13 guys on team, btu all real good players. years we have 17-18 guys, this year 12 -13 guys who are all capable of paying and contributing.

he’s such hurry to want to do everything, havdd lot of energy stored up for year, sometimes tries to do to much and nees to settle down let game to him.

now has to get his timing back, physicall almost 100 percent.

“he’s playing harder than he’s ever played, andit’s scary, sprinkles, travis, matt iwlliams , matt bucher flying around court, you can’t get lot of good things happen out there.

improved def, off is area where we’re tying to get our team chemistiry, makigm extra pass and thought . stil have ways to go, but showe diporpve, but hopefully we’ll be ready to go for nexgt year.

fund-riaser garage sale.

huge cathoic tournament. st ignackus, jesuit, bishop owdod, st rancics will be ther, st. josephis eveyr big atchooic school innorth calif will be there, that will realy tellu us who can play with big boys.

delaslle lost one game,

33-1 last year.

jerome whithead, st. ignacius, third nationa at one.

but it’s good to play the cathlic schoo because veyr structured and deiscipliend, so it’s very good test for us., Jan 18-20.

thre games saturday and three sunday

two teams, eighthgraders, some juniors small hgih schol division, 4-2, got better and better weekend went on, lost in sudden-deaht, one most iproved teams in small schoool divisoin.

8th graders, next year’s JV, matt connelly, chris Oritz, played very well in tournament.

30 kids playing in tournament overall for south tahoe.

“one of teams, eveyr 10 years team coeo along we have pieces, athlet, insticts, kids that have played gae, kids who have played togetehr a long time, they have pot to be prety good. we’ll know lot more by end of july, see how fare against some of these real lgood teams.

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