Viking girls keep playoff dream alive
The dream is alive!
South Tahoe High’s girls basketball team’s goal of qualifying for the region tournament for the first time in five years has gone into overtime.
The Vikings finished in a tie with Wooster for the final tournament bid after splitting their weekend games.
The teams meet tonight at 7 at Carson High in Carson City to determine the Sierra’s fourth seed.
“It’s the only game in Northern Nevada (tonight) … all eyes will be on South Tahoe and Wooster,” said Vikings coach Tim Jaureguito. “That’s exciting. I just hope my girls know what a great opportunity they have and what an exciting opportunity it is for them.”
The one-game playoff on a neutral court came into play after two Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association rules didn’t break the tie. The teams split their regular-season series, nullifying the first tiebreaker. Under the second, the Vikings and Colts still remained tied because their division wins came against the same opponents: one against each other and two apiece against North Valleys and Hug.
Friday’s play left the Vikings a game behind Wooster. The Colts upended North Valleys 53-39 while the Viking seniors closed out their home careers by losing to Reno to division champion, 59-32.
“We really played well on the defensive end, but we couldn’t hit the basket,” Jaureguito said. “At times, we really frustrated the heck out of Reno. And that’s the type of defense we’ll have to play against Wooster.”
Senior guard Lindsay Hitt led all scorers with 16 points.
On Saturday, the Vikings drew the easier opponent and made up the one-game deficit. The Vikings trounced the Hug Hawks 59-31 in Reno, while division runner-up Douglas was doing STHS a favor with a 62-44 drubbing of Wooster.
With senior Jenn Galea unable to play more than a half Friday and Saturday because of an illness, 5-foot-11 sophomore Brittany Schneider came up with a clutch performance. Schneider scored 16 points, including 10 in the final period, as the Vikings pulled away from Hug.
Senior Beth Hickman has also been a key contributor in recent weeks — and her weekend play was no different, according to Jaureguito.
“People put all of this pressure on Lindsay to do this and to do that, but Lindsay can’t do everything,” Jaureguito said. “We have to have people like Amy (Carter), Beth and Brittany to step up and take that role and score some points for us.”
Last Tuesday, the Vikings enhanced their playoff chances by blow out the Colts in the second half for a 75-56 triumph in Reno. Hitt scored 31 points, but it was the Vikings’ balanced attack that offset a 35-point effort by Brianne McGowan.
“We know Brianne is going to score, and our whole philosophy is we have to play great defense on five people and not just worry about one,” Jaureguito said.
Tonight’s survivor advances to the eight-team regional tournament Wednesday at Spanish Springs High in Sparks. Waiting is High Desert champion Fallon (17-3).
“I’m not putting us there and saying we’re going to automatically win,” Jaureguito said. “But making the postseason has been a goal and I really don’t see those seniors letting that slip away from them at this point in time.”