South Tahoe primed to rejoin home Shootout
Once again, basketball is an around-the-year passion at South Tahoe High School.
After a conspicuous summer away from the court, the South Tahoe Basketball Club will resume participating in the annual South Tahoe Shootout on Friday.
“It’s very refreshing,” said South Tahoe coach Derek Allister. “It’s been a tough haul these last couple of years. Like I’ve said I’m not into begging kids to play or forcing them to play. These kids have literally begged me to play, and I’m more than happy to get out there and work with them.”
As usual, tournament director Tom Orlich has assembled an impressive list of West Coast programs for the 25th edition of the tournament. Among the teams to watch are Bishop O’Dowd (Bay Area), Judge Memorial (Salt Lake City), St. Ignatius (San Francisco), Oceanview (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Oakland and Beaverton, Ore.
“It was one of the first tournaments to get going in the summer and now it’s copied,” Orlich said. “There’s been a number of players who have been able to be recruited because of this tournament.
“I really enjoy running it.”
In past years the Shootout’s talented pool of players has attracted college coaches because it fell within the NCAA’s summer recruiting timeframe.
However, this Shootout is a week earlier than normal and misses the July 8 cutoff for NCAA coaches.
The 16 teams will play seven round-robin games in two separate pools Friday through Sunday. No championship games are planned and no all-star teams will be selected.
“They come together to play some games and try and get better,” Orlich said.
South Tahoe opens with Woodbridge of Irvine, Calif., at 4:15 p.m. Friday and follows up with Oakland at 6:30 that same night.
On Saturday, South Tahoe plays Amador, Calif., at 8:45 a.m. and Berkeley, Calif., at 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, South Tahoe meets Campolindo of Moraga, Calif., at 8 a.m.; San Juan Diego, Utah, at 11 a.m. and Skyview, Utah, at 2:45 p.m.
In the off-season, South Tahoe has won the NBA Hoop It Up tournament in Sacramento and been competitive in additional tournaments in Sacramento and Oregon.
“Each game we get a little bit better,” Allister said. “I’m pleased with the progression.
“As long as the kids are willing to work, as long as they have great attitudes and as long as they’re coming to the gym willing to learn, I’ll take that any time.”
Junior center Curtis Johnson has been particularly impressive throughout the club season.
“Curtis has obviously had a very good summer,” Allister said. “In fact, the University of Oregon indicated a real interest in him for down the road.”
But Johnson isn’t alone in gaining his coach’s respect.
“Kevin Woodman has been very solid for us, showing signs of really coming on,” Allister said. “He hit a 3-pointer to sent us into another overtime in Oregon and he’s probably our best passer.
“Danny Tobin has played very well in spots. He’s a very quick kid with great heart.”
A mere buck is good for all games daily. Tournament T-shirts will be on sale and a concession stand will feed the hungry.
South Tahoe games
4:15 p.m. — Woodbridge, Irvine; 6:30 p.m. — Oakland.
8:45 a.m. — Amador; 12:30 p.m. — Berkeley.
8 a.m. – Campolindo, Moraga; 11 a.m. — San Juan Diego, Utah; and 2:45 p.m. — Skyview, Utah.