Vikings have special summer basketball team; local briefs |

Vikings have special summer basketball team; local briefs

Steve Yingling

“Extraordinary.” “Exceptional.” “Greatest dreams.”

Those adjectives and nouns probably haven’t been used by South Tahoe Basketball Club coach Tom Orlich since his Vikings won the 1992 state basketball title and earned a No. 19 national ranking.

But Orlich is back at again and so are his players.

“This is quite an accomplishment. This is not just some summer tournament. They are playing exceptionally well. Apparently they haven’t played poorly yet, and that’s the real positive thing,” said Orlich, whose squad had advanced to the semifinals of the third-place pool in the Adidas Big Time Tournament over the weekend in Las Vegas.

Orlich left the team following an overtime loss to a Houston all-star club on Thursday in order to run a three-day camp at South Tahoe High School. He anxiously awaited phone updates throughout the weekend.

“It was hard. I wanted to go down and set the tone on Thursday. I didn’t even know if we’d win a game. I was afraid of them getting demoralized. I wanted them to understand that it was a real learning experience. Not even in my greatest dreams did I think they’d be this successful,” he said.

South Tahoe’s eight-man rotation in Las Vegas included starters Tim Sprinkles, Travis McCollum, John Giannoni, Bobby Larmore and Matt Williams and reserves Casey Kaczmarek, James Clemmer and Andy Butcher.

South Tahoe has beaten Los Angeles Rockfish, Inland Empire of Seattle and Idaho, Rexberg. Its losses have come to Houston and the Indiana Specie I. In the two games South Tahoe has lost, it led going into the final minute but failed to convert clutch free throws.

Meeks Bay resident Shaun Palmer won a NORBA National Championship series dual slalom mountain bike race Saturday and finished sixth in downhill Sunday at Mammoth Mountain.

The 30-year-old Palmer of Mountain Dew/Specialized comfortably won the final run with Brian Lopes of Volvo Cannondale after Lopes hit a gate on the first run. The 1.5-second deficit was more than enough for Palmer to take home first prize.

Chris Kovarik of Australia, a runner-up July 10 at a World Cup downhill at Squaw Valley, won the NORBA downhill Sunday. Myles Rockwell of Durango, Colo., was third, followed by Nathan Rennie of Australia, Jurgen Beneke of Germany, Steve Peat of Sheffield, England, and then Palmer.

Through the halfway point in the six-event series, Palmer stands fifth. Beneke leads Palmer by 78 points.

Meanwhile, Leigh Donovan of Capistrano Beach, Calif., posted a four-second downhill win over Missy Giove of Durango, Colo., to take over the series lead.

Palmer wasn’t the only Lake Tahoe rider to post a victory over four days of racing. Bryan Hawkins of South Lake Tahoe claimed the sport beginner downhill by .24 of a second over Ian Longstreet of Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Amber Ramos overcame a spill that caused a nasty cut on her knee to win her expert 15-18 female cross country race by more than six minutes after capturing the hillclimb on Thursday.

Results for other local downhill racers included: Matt Mirell, third in sport beginner junior males 14 and under; Jon Lovallo, 16th, sports beginner; and Laurel Sorensen, ninth, sport beginner female 19-34;

In cross country racing, Rosemarie Dittfach, fourth, expert women 25-29; Mirell, fifth, junior men 14-and-under race; Sean Sweeney, 22nd, expert men 30-34; Marley Mueller of Tahoe City, 21st, pro women; and Lesley Tone of Olympic Valley, 29th, pro women.

Next weekend, NORBA stops in Deer Valley, Utah.

If you could score on defense, South Tahoe’s 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars would have won their district elimination game Sunday at Jack Tighe Field in Reno.

Instead, South Tahoe only produced five hits and left the bases loaded in three separate inning. Consequently, it was shut out by South Reno, 3-0.

“We played one heck of a defensive game,” said South Tahoe coach Pat Reardon. “Our defense on the infield was something kids dream about. You may see a pro game where they do one of those plays, but we did seven or eight of them.”

Reardon was referring to the four runners South Tahoe picked off at home and additional runner at first base. Figuring into the superlative defensive work were Cody Coffman, Leo Rodelo, Michael Frauenknecht, Royce Reardon and Toby O’Brien.

“We may have gotten beat, but we didn’t lose. They were happy afterward that they played as a team and kept their heads up,” Reardon said. “If we had another week and got our bats going, we would have been fine and taken the whole thing.”

Reardon delivered two hits, and Matt Mora pitched a complete game.

South Tahoe dropped into the losers’ bracket by losing to Sparks 13-2 on Saturday.

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