Vikes’ loss to Huskies bites |

Vikes’ loss to Huskies bites

Reno High’s Huskies used their backyard to their advantage in Tuesday’s key division hoops battle, burying South Tahoe’s visiting boys, then hanging on for a 65-54 win.

Reno turned the tables on South Tahoe in a battle for the Northern Nevada 4A Division II lead, building their advantage in the second quarter. After a 13-13 tie at the end of one period, Reno staked a six- point lead by halftime, and cruised from there behind guard Alex Gamboa’s 27 points.

“I think we were ready to play tonight,” said Reno head coach Pete Padgett, whose team improved to 4-0 in league play, 14-4 overall and moved into sole possession of first place. “I really did.”

Reno committed just nine turnovers during the first three quarters against South Tahoe’s vaunted press. The Vikings forced seven more in the fourth period, but could draw no closer than 10 points in the period.

“Our staff just worked and worked and worked preparing for South Tahoe,” Padgett said. “That’s what you have to do when you play Tom (Orlich)’s teams.”

The Huskies did that from the opening tip, beating South Tahoe’s full-court pressure to feed 6-9 freshman center David Padgett a dunk on the opening basket, then creating another easy basket for junior forward David Woods. The Vikings answered, but couldn’t stay even with the Huskies in the second period.

“They really put a good game together, and we didn’t, and you combine it and that’s the score you’re going to get,” said Orlich, whose Vikings fell to 14-4 overall, 2-1 and tied for second in the division with Carson.

Senior guard John Giannoni III led South Tahoe with 16 points, and senior forward Travis McCollum and Andy Butcher had 10 more each, but South Tahoe’s press produced precious few easy baskets. Most of the opportunities came in the fourth period, but the Vikings couldn’t whittle Reno’s lead below seven.

“We didn’t get a whole lot of baskets off the defense,” Giannoni said. “We didn’t execute well defensively, and that’s what we’re going to have to do on the road.”

Orlich agreed:

“We had some shots down the stretch that we missed that could have made the game a little more interesting,” Orlich said.

Reno doubled its lead to 12 by the end of the third quarter, and kept ahead of the Vikings on the strength of solid floor games from its leader. Gamboa, who shot 12 of 20 from the field, added four assists, three rebounds a steal and a block to his game-high scoring, while Wood chipped in six assists and seven rebounds, and David Padgett nine boards, five blocks and an assist. Padgett and Bob Larmore, South Tahoe’s 6-7 senior center, neutralized each other, putting the burden on the guards.

“One of the huge things was Alex and (Reno guard) Ryan Kane played very well defensively,” Pete Padgett said. “(South Tahoe guard Matt) Williams and Giannoni are outstanding players, and I think we did a good job on them.”

Many observers picked Reno, South Tahoe and Carson as the teams to beat in the division. Reno won the first round, but the Vikings and Huskies have one more meeting remaining this season at South Lake Tahoe. Orlich expects Reno will see a different South Tahoe squad at the lake.

“We’re certainly going to be a lot better the second time around,” Orlich said.

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