Vikings basketball crushes North Valleys, pushing for 3rd seed in postseason
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With South Tahoe’s lead dwindling and its offense stagnant, the Lehmann brothers took over.
Cameron Lehmann made an impossible layup then seconds later made a LeBron James-esque block and Andrew Lehmann scored eight points in the final 90 seconds of the first half, including a pair of 3s 20 seconds apart, to put the Vikings back up by 15 and they would go on to thump North Valleys 63-47 Tuesday at South Lake Tahoe.
“It was a huge momentum swing,” said Vikings head coach David Finnegan. “We had 26 in the first and we had only scored, what, five points in the first six minutes of the second quarter, and then we made a couple of plays. Cameron made a great layup and then came down and made an incredible block. Andrew then hit a couple of 3s right before half and that changed the momentum back to our side and we never looked back.”
After running the Panthers out of the gym in the first quarter, the Vikings found themselves locked in a dogfight with about 2 minutes left in the first half.
A 20-point lead was down to eight, 31-23, when Finnegan called a timeout.
“We called a timeout and got yelled at,” said Andrew Lehmann. “It wasn’t good.”
Cameron Lehmann took over right after the timeout.
The senior guard dribbled inside the 3-point line and had the ball knocked away. He got mad, got the ball back and went to the rim.
“I got super mad I lost it, but got it back somehow,” said Cameron Lehmann, who finished with 10 points and four assists. “So I drove in trying to get fouled and threw it up there, I don’t even know how it went in.”
It looked like he triple-pumped, switched hands with the ball three times and then spun it off the glass and into the net, all while getting fouled. He converted the 3-point play.
Seconds later, he found himself on the short end of a 2-on-1 fastbreak. He forced a pass at the free throw line then hustled back, jumped and swatted a sure layup off the glass.
“I felt like I could out jump him and I did,” Cameron Lehmann said. “I felt like LeBron.”
“Cameron had a nice layup and that block off the backboard, that always gets the crowd and us excited,” said senior Logan Chapman.
Andrew Lehmann then plunged a dagger into the Panthers and rendered their rally to get close, immaterial.
The sophomore drained a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left then buried another with 8 seconds left to put the Vikings up 42-27 at halftime.
He scored 24 first half points and finished with a game-high 28, including four 3-pointers.
“At the end of the second quarter, there was a point where I was going to shoot everything,” Andrew Lehmann said.
Chapman set the tone early by driving to the basket continually as the Vikings got out, got behind and nearly ran the Panthers out of the gym in taking a commanding 20-point lead at one point.
Chapman scored a season-high 15 points on three layups and three 3-pointers and added four assists.
Andrew Lehmann also had six rebounds and five steals and Dylan Chartraw had five points, including a long 3-pointer to start the scoring, and also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
“The kids came out hot and firing,” Finnegan said. “They were running the floor really well. I think we surprised them. Our transition got us off to a hot start, Andrew was hot from the field and Logan had his high points for the season. We’ve had sickness and injuries, but our team played really well.”
Three weeks earlier, the Vikings defeated the Panthers 67-55 in Reno and swept the season series.
“We kinda have a rivalry with them so it was nice to beat them both games this year,” Chapman said. “It’s really good because we have a lot of seniors on the team that have been playing together since sixth grade. It’s been a really fun season.”
It’s been more fun because the Vikings (13-7, 10-5 Northern League) are winning at a good rate and are the fourth seed for the postseason with three games left to play, including the season finale Feb. 14 at third-place Lowry (10-3 Northern).
The Vikings host rival Truckee (5-9 Northern) at 7:30 p.m. Friday where the seniors will be celebrated and then they’ll host Fernley (7-9 Northern) Tuesday before heading to Lowry Saturday, Feb. 14.
“We’re injured but other than that we’re playing well,” Finnegan said. “We should be the fourth seed, possibly the third seed. We have Lowry at their house, we beat them and it depends on records and how it goes, but we’re shooting for the third seed.”