Viking basketball team playing great
They way the South Tahoe Basketball Club is playing, few observers in Las Vegas are noticing that the team isn’t a collection of all-stars like the other 236 teams gathered at The Strip for the Adidas Big Time tournament.
“It’s a great experience for the kids. As I told them, we’re not here to win a state championship. We’re here to step up our level of play,” said South Tahoe coach Tom Orlich.
Orlich liked what he saw on Thursday as South Tahoe lost to a collection of Houston all-stars, 78-71. South Tahoe was also scheduled to play a group of Utah all-stars late Thursday night and will conclude pool play against Indiana all-stars on Friday.
“We’re one of the few high school teams in here. Most of them are traveling AAU and club teams,” Orlich said. “It’s just when you play one of these teams there isn’t a weak link.”
South Tahoe led Houston by four points with 35 seconds remaining but missed three of four free throws down the stretch, allowing the Texas team to force overtime.
“They were exciting to watch today. They are all playing hard and getting so much better as a team,” said Orlich, who was touched by the impartial spectators who were won over by his team’s hustle and team play.
Orlich was most impressed by the adjustments made by his interior players, especially 6-foot-6 center Bobby Larmore.
“It was amazing to watch. In the first half he was getting all of shots stuffed, his head was down and he didn’t get a rebound. But in the second half, he and the rest of the team were a lot more confident when they found out they could play with those kids,” Orlich said.
Larmore is coming off an impressive performance at the Pump All-Star Classic in Southern California, where he was selected to the all-star team. Teammate John Giannoni was chosen to the all-hustle team.
Orlich caught an early morning flight Thursday to coach the opening game of the tournament, and then turned around and caught a late afternoon flight out of Las Vegas so he could direct his weekend basketball camp at South Tahoe High. The camp runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
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