Vikings’ fourth-quarter rally falls short vs. Galena |

Vikings’ fourth-quarter rally falls short vs. Galena

Teams will be gunning for the Vikings on their home court, but the South Tahoe High boys basketball team is going to make their visitors earn their wins.

The Galena Grizzlies learned firsthand just how difficult it’s going to be to walk the court as winners. On Tuesday night, Galena beat the Vikings 50-39, but not before the Vikings made the contest interesting.

“It was kind of anticlimactic,” said Grizzlies coach Tom Maurer, whose team won in South Tahoe for the first time in school history. “We didn’t show them the real Galena team.”

South Tahoe played with more energy than in previous games, but it was 13 turnovers that was the undoing for the Vikings.

South Tahoe would stop the Grizzlies on defense but not be able to turn that into points at the other end of the court.

“We’re not a good enough team yet to have a lot of turnovers,” Viking coach Derek Allister said. “But the one thing I tell the kids is their saving grace is that we play harder than anyone else.”

Galena led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and opened the lead to 28-16 at the half as the Vikings went scoreless from the floor for the first three-and-half minutes in the second period.

In the second half, the Grizzlies turned up the intensity as Galena’s lead grew to 18 points by the end of the third period.

In the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies started to fall apart as they only managed five points in the final eight minutes. Combined with in-your-face defense by South Tahoe, the lead shrank from 18 to10.

“We’re starting to become a decent defensive team,” Allister said. “We’re down 10 with 10 minutes to go and we missed four free throws and three layups attempts, which would have put us right back in there with about four minutes left.”

Galena coughed up five turnovers in a five-minute span and continued to put the Vikes on the free-throw line, allowing South Tahoe to close the gap with the clock stopped.

“I had to bench some kids for fouls and turning the ball over,” Maurer said. “Some of the veteran players took some bad shots as well.”

But in the end, the Vikings dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of as the closest South Tahoe came was nine points.

Seniors Erick Cappellino and Chris Ortiz led the way for the Vikings in scoring as Cappellino scored 10 and Ortiz had seven.

“There’s no question that this was the best game of the year for Erick,” Allister said. “Chris did a good job of handling the ball and breaking the Galena press.”

The Vikings travel to Amador Valley to play Manuel Arts of Los Angeles on Thursday.

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