Vikings end spate of tough division defeats
Three straight defeats of six points or less can either make or break a team.
Trying losses to Hug, North Valleys and Douglas in the past week and a half could have sent the South Tahoe High boys’ basketball team spiraling into the season’s end.
Instead, the Vikings used the experience from the tight defeats to rise up and upset Carson 55-52 on Tuesday in Carson City.
“We did what we had to do to get one,” said STHS junior Dion Murphy. “We didn’t play our best of game, but we pulled it out at the end because we pulled together as a team.”
South Tahoe (4-12 overall, 2-4 Sierra Division) moved a half game behind the fourth-place Senators. The top four teams from the Sierra and High Desert divisions advance to the regional tournament.
Senior guard Chris Eidam scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half as the Vikings overcame a six-point halftime deficit. Eidam hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts in the second half, including two in the final 28 seconds after Carson had sliced STHS’s lead to one.
Five of Eidam’s free throws came in a fourth period that he played through with four fouls.
Senior Mac Cerceo sank two free throws in the closing seconds and Murphy rebounded one of Cerceo’s misses, giving the Vikings an extra possession.
“It was a real gutsy win,” said STHS coach Chris Proctor. “I’m real proud of the team for stepping up because we haven’t had a lot of experience in close games. This is the first one we’ve been able to close.”
The Vikings held Carson to six third-quarter points, turning a 25-19 deficit into a 37-31 lead with eight minutes to go.
“We came out with a different look on D,” said Proctor of the triangle-and-two scheme the Vikings used for the first 3 minutes of the half. “It took them out of their rhythm and we got some transition points.”
South Tahoe won on a night when leading scorer Vince Capellino scored seven points. Murphy also tallied seven and Tony Stagnaro and Chris Klug dropped in six apiece.
The Vikings will play at Hug on Friday and host Damonte on Saturday.
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Strong wind has led to multiple power outages Tuesday morning and a pair of Lake Tahoe ski resorts will not open due to the strong gusts.