STHS girls rally to reach zone |

STHS girls rally to reach zone

South Tahoe High’s girls basketball team didn’t post its first division win until Jan. 28 – a 42-41 verdict at Galena.

Yet, the Vikings wrapped up a zone berth with back-to-back wins to end their regular season – 32-30 over Galena and 35-29 over Sparks, both at home.

Despite the lack of victories – South Tahoe ended the season at 3-7 in Division I and 6-16 overall – the feat was not taken lightly.

“This is a big accomplishment for this group,” South Tahoe coach Dave Barich said.

The Vikings reward: They get to face Division II champion Carson in Carson in the opening round of today’s NIAA Northern AAAA Zone Tournament.

Game time is 7 p.m.

The Vikings, who have battled adversity throughout the season, will face their most difficult challenge tonight. Bekah Foster, the team’s leading scorer, will see limited if any action due to an ankle injury sustained in last Friday’s win over Sparks.

“At this point, she’s less than 50-50. If the game would’ve been (Tuesday), she wouldn’t have played,” Barich said. “It’s a pretty bad sprain, worse than I thought. We’ll have to judge whether she can be effective or not during warm-ups and the first couple of minutes.”

Carson comes into the game at 10-2 in division and 17-6 overall.

But while Barich knows the odds may be against his girls, he also knows that one victory gets his team into the state tournament.

And he sees a tactical bright side.

The Vikings were dominated by Reed, McQueen and Elko in divisional games this year. The main reason: they just weren’t tall enough.

South Tahoe has three players, including junior guard Faye Clapp that are listed at 5-foot-10, but the bulk of the team is smaller than 5-8. Barich said he hopes Clapp will fill the scoring role while Terra Williams needs to have a good game down low.

“We’re the underdogs, but our division was stacked. We know we can beat Carson,” Williams said.

According to Barich the height factor allowed teams like Elko, with two six footers, to control the boards and the game.

In contrast, Carson’s does not have a starter taller than 5-9.

“With Reed, McQueen and Elko it’s the height that gets us,” Barich said. “They just dominate on the inside. But were not facing that with Carson.”

Barich acknowledges that Carson has quickness and depth. But he said his team is better equipped to deal with those factors.

He points to the only time the two teams met this season.

South Tahoe did lose the game – 55-38 at the lake on Feb. 7 – but they also held Carson standout Lynda Upton to 14 points.

“She’s one of the best and we were able to hold her,” Barich said.

Barich said if the Vikings are to have any kind of chance this time around, they would have to do the same.

“We’re definitely aware of her,” he said. “We don’t want her to have a huge game on us.”

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