Vikings look for playoff-winning recipe
It seems like everybody has their favorite recipe.
Homemade apple pie, lasagna, chicken noodle soup, chili, Northern Nevada 4A zone tournament wins.
Recipes for Northern Nevada 4A zone tournament wins?
Beau Barkley’s has a few cupfuls of teamwork and a dash of patience.
“We need to come together as a team more and use all five players on the court,” said Barkley, a power forward for the South Tahoe boys basketball team that will host Elko tonight in round one of the boys basketball zone tournament. “Just be patient and work for the open shots. Don’t force anything and make the easy baskets when we have a chance to make them.”
STHS coach Tom Orlich makes his with a teaspoon of preparation and a pinch of battle-tested caution.
“You just try to prep progressively for these type of games. You don’t know what the other team is going to do, but you try to anticipate it,” said Orlich, who is trying to qualify the Vikings (21-5, 11-1 in division) for their 17th consecutive trip to the state tournament. “Hopefully, you try to be sharp, but basically someone is going to go home and have their season over (tonight).”
Elko coach Chris Klekas likes to stick with tried-and-true ingredients like poise, experience and continuity.
“We have to handle the pressure of playing there,” said Klekas, whose Indians (21-5, 5-5 in Div. I) received an 85-47 thrashing from the Vikings in last year’s first-round tourney matchup. “They’re an awful good team and do a lot of things well. It’s going to be a tough chore.
“We’re going to basically stick to what we’ve been doing all year. We’re a man-to-man team that likes to get up and down the floor. We have to play good defense. That’s what you win games with.”
But when it’s all said and done tonight, one of the teams is going to leave South Tahoe’s Blue & Gold Gym with a bad taste in their mouth.
“Any time the first playoff game comes around, you’re either going to play well or you’re going to struggle,” Orlich said. “Basically it’s a new season, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
Orlich himself is not even sure which team will show up tonight. Will it be the one that coasted through the early part of its league schedule? Or the one that scraped by for late-season, come-from-behind wins against Reno and Fallon?
“I really consider ourselves underdogs going into the game,” Orlich said. “I don’t know how much respect we carry among other teams in the league because of how we’ve played this season.”
The Elko team will depart this morning for the South Shore, a bus ride that spans nearly 400 miles and eight hours of driving. The Indians’ fourth-place finish in Division I guaranteed the matchup against the top-seeded Vikes.
“We’re the sacrificial lamb that has to go up the hill. We don’t use that as an excuse, though,” Klekas said. “If we had won a few more games, we wouldn’t have to be the ones going up there.”
Elko features a balanced lineup, paced by point guard Tim Gilligan and 6-foot-10 center Sean Paul. Orlich scouted the Indians in their regular- season finale at Reed and has been reviewing Elko game tapes with his team this week at practice. The Indians are a well-coached team that plays solid defense and has excellent post play, Orlich said.
The Vikings tallest player is 6-foot-6 Bobby Larmore, who will likely join forces with forward Billy Doughty in an effort to contain Paul.
“Obviously, we’re going to have get some (help-side defense) from some guys,” Orlich said. “But you have to a do a good job on the other four guys because one kid is not going to beat you alone.”
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