Viking girls match up well with Hug in division opener
Closing 1999 with a win stands as less important for South Tahoe’s girls than opening 2000 with a league victory at Hug tonight.
While the Vikings (3-9) salvaged two non-forfeit wins from their road-warrioring preseason – the most recent coming 44-10 over Whittell on Dec. 28 – what’s past is prologue. Head coach Tim Jaureguito and his staff always have had an eye on the division schedule, which begins tonight with a trip to Hug for a 5:15 game.
“Everything before is history,” Jaureguito said. “It’s all preseason as far as I’m concerned. We’ve got to go out and take care of business.”
Tonight’s opponent should provide a good measuring stick. The two teams have similar records – 3-9 for the Vikings vs. 4-10 for the Hawks – and had similar overall records last season: 5-24 for South Tahoe and 5-19 for Hug.
“They’re at the same point as we are, record-wise, so it should be a good matchup to start off the division,” Jaureguito said.
Jaureguito, though, has the edge in installing his system. He has had three years to instill his defense-first approach at South Tahoe, while his counterpart on the other bench, Jack Smith, is in his first year at the Hug helm. His predecessor didn’t leave him with a full cupboard.
“We’re short and we’re young, but we’re maturing all the time,” Smith said at the beginning of the season.
South Tahoe turned Whittell’s lack of height against the visiting Warriors. While Whittell’s much smaller players could sneak in for rebounds against 3A competition, the 4A Vikings essentially wiped the Warriors off the boards. Tirah Samura was tops with 11 rebounds, and added a team-high eight points against Whittell. The effectiveness of South Tahoe on the boards allowed the Vikings to overcome a tough afternoon shooting the ball.
While the offense struggled, South Tahoe has several players who can score in Samura, center Chantelle Young and a trio of sophomore guards: Lindsey Hitt, Jen Galea and Amy Carter.
But South Tahoe’s defense seems to be a better indicator for the Vikings in Jaureguito’s running, pressing game plan. And practice has left the coach with good indications:
“I think we’ve had some really good practices since we played Whittell and I think I’d be really surprised, then, if we don’t play a good game,” Jaureguito said.
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