Vikings run away from the Mustangs
South Tahoe High’s boys’ basketball team made some noise in its season opener – on and off the court.
Hit with a rare technical foul caused by a fan, the Vikings went on a 10-0 run to conclude the first half, breaking open a close game with Damonte Ranch en route to a 73-53 victory Tuesday night in South Lake Tahoe.
“For a first game we were pretty in sync with one another. That shows what they’ve been doing since last March,” said STHS coach Derek Allister.
A STHS spectator provoked the technical foul by using a noisemaker while the Mustangs’ Jorge Diaz prepared to release his second free throw. Diaz made his do-over from the charity stripe, but Chris Carlson missed the pair of technical shots and the Mustangs were unable to cash in the extra possession.
South Tahoe proceeded to extend its one-point lead to 11 by halftime, 38-27. Jared Wood keyed the late second-quarter surge with a pair of three-pointers and wound up leading all scorers with 23 points.
“It was a matter of unselfish players getting the ball to the open man. That’s the way you gotta play,” Wood said.
The Vikings used an aggressive man-to-man defense and pinpoint interior passes by Conor Freeman and Reid Cocking to provide easy baskets.
“They were extremely unselfish,” Allister said. “We didn’t shoot it great. We’ll have better shooting nights than that.”
The Vikings made 50.9 percent of their shots from the field, sinking 28-of-55 attempts.
Freeman was particularly effective in the second half and finished with 14 points. Senior Casey Curcie scored 10 points and sophomore K.J. Allister netted seven in his first varsity contest.
The Vikings never allowed Damonte Ranch to break the 10-point barrier in the second half. Freeman and Cocking took turns feeding Daniel Tinlin for layups, stretching the Vikings’ lead to 59-32. South Tahoe took its biggest lead at 23 points when Freeman nailed a three-pointer from the wing with 6 minutes, 52 seconds to go.
South Tahoe will now focus on the annual Viking Rotary Classic, a critical fundraiser for the program. The Vikings play twice on Thursday – at 2 p.m. against Pioneer of Davis and at 7:30 p.m. vs. Galt.
The Vikings’ junior varsity and freshman teams also won. Ian Rice’s basket with :05 remaining gave STHS a 51-49 victory. Damonte Ranch had a chance to force overtime but missed the front end of a one-and-one foul shot with no time remaining.
The freshmen started the tripleheader with a 49-34 triumph. Dillon Perucci had 23 points and Tony Stagnaro chipped in eight.