Vikes say pressure is on Galena |

Vikes say pressure is on Galena

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of preview stories leading up to Saturday’s South Tahoe-Galena boys basketball game in South Lake Tahoe.

The pressure is on Galena.

That’s the mindset for the South Tahoe High boys basketball team heading into Saturday’s showdown with the Grizzlies in South Lake Tahoe.

“It’s their goal to go undefeated in Northern Nevada. All we’ve wanted to do is win a league title and go from there,” said Tahoe senior center Casey Dowling. “I’d be feeling it if I were them. They don’t want to lose a game.”

Added Viking coach Tom Orlich, “Galena has all the pieces to make a great team. This is the year they’re supposed to beat everybody. If they don’t, they’ll be disappointed. I know, because I’ve been there.”

But don’t for a second think the Vikings are about to let the high-powered Grizzlies come to Tahoe and stroll away with a win. Both teams, as of Wednesday, are undefeated in Northern Nevada League play. In addition, both are feeling the residual effects of last year’s zone overtime victory by Galena and are eager to see who’s the best in the league at this point in the season.

“There’s so much riding on this game, maybe even a little revenge factor after zone last year. When the schedule came out, we definitely looked at this game as the most important of the season,” Dowling said. “Funny thing is that it really doesn’t mean much as far as league standings. But we’re pumped up. A lot of people have already proclaimed Galena the best and haven’t given us much thought. I know they didn’t expect us to be undefeated. Now they’re starting to realize that we’re not going to roll over.”

Viking senior guard Alan Case agreed.

“It doesn’t mean much in league. It’s just to see who’s the better team in Northern Nevada right now. We want to be the better team.”

The Vikings certainly won’t roll over, as their style typically doesn’t permit another team to blow them out of the gymnasium. But the team is concerned that a lackluster three-point win Tuesday at Douglas, a team the Vikes beat by 43 points earlier in the season, may have been a sign that they’re not quite where they should be going in Saturday.

“It was a pretty bad performance. We just didn’t execute offensively. We were throwing the ball up from all over. We’ve got some things to work out in practice, but we should be OK,” Case said.

Added Orlich, “We struggled. If we play like that against Galena, we’ll get blown out. They’re the best ball club to come along since our team in 1992.”

In all, Tahoe fans can expect the high-intensity contest they’ve come to expect in big games at South Tahoe.

“It’s like a Super Bowl. Both teams will be motivated. Maybe the fans will see a team that can give Galena a game,” Orlich said.

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