STHS girls lose league open |

STHS girls lose league open

Steve Yingling

Wooster gave South Tahoe High a belated Christmas present the Vikings wanted to return Friday night in South Lake Tahoe.

The Colts unveiled a swarming full-court press to trigger a 56-33 Nevada 4A Sierra Division-opening victory over the Vikings.

“We just installed that over Christmas,” said Wooster coach Michael Anderson. “All the coaches talk and everyone knows what everyone is doing, so I kind of saved it until Christmas. I think it caught them off guard a bit.”

The pressure defense allowed Wooster, 6-8 overall, to maximize its athletic ability.

“We’re not a very good offensive team, but we’re pretty athletic. If we can score off our defense, it really helps us,” Anderson said. “I’ve been doing a bad job of coaching as far as I’ve been holding them back. Today is the first game where I really let them loose and got scrappy and it really seemed to help us. We seemed to play with passion and use our athletic ability a little bit.”

South Tahoe often got the ball past half-court, but repeatedly turned the ball over in the frontcourt in transition.

“We’re going to be pressed all season long. Everyone in this league presses,” said Viking junior Beth Hickman. “We have a full-court offense, and we just weren’t ready. We need to run our offense faster and with more confidence.”

When the Vikings did get the ball down low, Wooster 6-foot-1 sophomore center Brianne McGowan swatted the shots away like flies. McGowan finished with seven blocks to go along with 17 points.

Wooster’s early pressure keyed an 18-2 run to start the game. In fact, the Vikings went scoreless nearly six minutes before Hickman buried two free throws with 1 minute, 29 seconds left in the first quarter.

“We need to learn to come out in the beginning with intensity and confidence. We have a tendency to dig ourselves in a hole and it’s real tough to come out of it,” Hickman said.

Amy Carter sank the Vikings’ only basket in a quarter that ended with Wooster ahead 18-4.

The Vikings, however, didn’t go away quietly in their first home game of 2001. They pulled within 15 by intermission and sliced the double-digit deficit to nine, 31-22, on a Lindsey Hitt 3-pointer midway through the third period.

But Jane Christy started an 11-2 run with five straight points, including the Colts’ only trifecta, to put the game away.

Hitt led the Vikings with 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Hickman added six points. Christy scored 16 for Wooster.

South Tahoe travels to 1999-2000 state finalist Reno on Tuesday.

“They are going to press the heck out of us also, so we need to be ready for that,” Hickman said.

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