Vikings pull even with Colts for final playoff berth
Tim Jaureguito has said more than once that seniors hold the key to any kind of success in high school sports.
The South Tahoe High girls basketball coach’s words never rung more true than Tuesday night when the Vikings stayed in the playoff chase with a 77-56 thumping of Wooster in Reno.
Seniors Lindsay Hitt, Beth Hickman and Jenn Galea combined for 61 points as the Vikings pulled into a fourth-place tie with Wooster at 4-6. STHS has games remaining with Reno and Hug, while the Colts must play North Valleys and Douglas.
“They set a goal and they want to make the playoffs, and they weren’t going to be denied. All the credit goes to them,” Jaureguito said. “Going into the locker room afterward the nice thing about it was that they had the confidence of knowing that they can get it done when they have to.”
The Vikings took a six-point lead into the second half, but Wooster tied the visitors at 47 after three periods. Nine free throws, including four each by Hitt and Galea, helped the Vikings score 30 points in the final period.
“We did a lot of things right,” Jaureguito said. “We played a lot of different players, and they played like a team tonight. Going into this game that was probably our biggest focus.”
Hitt scored 31 points to help offset a game-high 35-point effort by Wooster center Brianne McGowan.
The Vikings (12-12) will pay tribute to their seniors on Friday night when Reno visits. The Sierra Division leaders, who entered Tuesday’s play with an 8-1 record, will undoubtedly encounter an emotional group of Vikings.
“It will be the last time they’ll play on that court, and anything can happen,” Jaureguito said.
Seven-point possession foils Vikings
It’s tough to beat a team when you give up a seven-point possession in the fourth quarter.
That was the unusual set of circumstances that crippled the South Tahoe High boys basketball team in its crucial 65-55 Sierra Division loss at Wooster on Tuesday night.
Tied at 53, Wooster guard Julian Hatcher buried a 3-point shot and was fouled. A STHS player received a technical foul on the play and before the possession ended the Colts led 60-53.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said STHS coach Derek Allister. “It’s disappointing to have a game like this and not play as well as we have been playing. To have a C game, that hurts a little.”
Hatcher, who burned the Vikings for 42 points last time, scored 29 this time. Twenty-one of his points came on 3-point shots.
Curtis Johnson continued his strong play, scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Senior Matt Mora scored 13 points.
“We really struggled offensively,” Allister said. “They did a nice job defensively. We really struggled completing passes, and didn’t seem to have a lot of pop for a big game like this.”
No support for Warriors
The bounce went the Whittell High’s way, but the officials’ ensuing call did not.
Jake Summers’ 3-point basket with 17 seconds left was disallowed because it touched the hoop’s support, sending the Warriors to a 67-63 defeat to Smith Valley on Tuesday in Zephyr Cove.
“This is tough, but we’ll give Incline all they want,” said WHS coach Don Amaral.
The waved-off field goal left Whittell (2-19) behind 65-63. Smith Valley followed up with two free throws by Travis Hansen to put away the Warriors.
Hansen made all nine of his shots in the final period, sinking six field goals, a 3-pointer and two free throws. He finished with a game-high 31 points.
Ryan Salomon had 23 points and 15 boards for the Warriors, while Nestor Flores scored 14 points, Brian Jones 10 and Summers nine.
Warriors can’t overcome six-point first half
Smith Valley limited Whittell High to six first-half points to post a 48-30 nonleague girls basketball victory Tuesday night in Zephyr Cove.
Despite their first-half struggles to put the ball in the basket, the Warriors only found themselves down by 13 points.
“These kids play hard,” said Whittell coach Lindsay Wines. “We knew we were in it in the first half, but the shots just weren’t falling tonight. We felt if kept plugging away at it, we could make things happen.”
Whittell junior Ashley Wines scored 15 points, and freshman Whitney Gielow was a point shy of a double-double. The 5-foot-1 Gielow had nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors’ 24-point second half included 16 points in the final period.
The Warriors (3-19), who were mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration on Friday night, travel to Incline for a 4:30 p.m. matchup Thursday.