Weather playing court jester
Those tiny white flakes are having a big impact on South Shore basketball teams.
The South Tahoe High girls have yet to play a home game, and they already have 11 games in the books.
South Tahoe’s boys’ team hasn’t played since Dec. 22 and the Vikings’ practice schedule continues to be interrupted by the weather because the school doesn’t permit teams to practice on days when classes are canceled.
The Vikings’ home game against Reno was postponed on Tuesday – their second league game and third contest in their past five that has either been canceled or postponed.
Whittell’s two varsity programs have yet to open Northern 2A play, and their past three games have either been postponed or canceled.
A series of Lake Tahoe snowstorms have compacted the two school’s schedules and created a logjam of games.
“We’re fighting to get in a league game,” said Whittell boys’ coach Brian Mehrer, whose team’s Tuesday night contest at Virginia City was canceled because of the latest dump of snow. “We’re not going to make it up because we don’t want to be playing four games in a week.”
Whittell will attempt to open its league schedule today at Silver Stage. The teams were supposed to play last Saturday, when the Tahoe Basin was in throes of one of the wettest storms in years.
No coach has more of a gripe about the weather than Chris Holmes, but the STHS girls’ coach is taking the adverse weather in stride. Holmes’ Vikings have yet to play a home game, but his road-savvy players have compiled a respectable 6-5 record.
“It will be nice to be at home,” said Holmes, whose team is scheduled to host Wooster on Friday and Hug on Saturday. The latter contest is a makeup game that has already been rescheduled twice.
The Vikings were unable to practice on Tuesday when driving conditions worsened later in the day.
“The weather was too bad to travel there. That certainly overrides practice,” he said.
Senior guard Karli Vath has worked on her game at Kahle Community Center when the team can’t practice.
“It is frustrating, but it is just building up the suspense and making us want to win twice as much when the weather comes around,” Vath said.
A busy mix of practice and tournament games during the holidays helped the Vikings stay in the groove.
“I’m not too worried about it. I think we’re solid,” Holmes said. “The majority of the girls have been playing together since the summer and we have a real nice rotation going on.”
Nathan Tolbert said the latest storm didn’t prevent his team from practicing on Tuesday. He said his Whittell girls’ team has stayed sharp by playing and practicing over the holiday break.
“We’ve had two weeks off to work on things we needed to do. Our practice today was pretty good, so I’m hoping to have a good game because they are ready to play,” Tolbert said.
Tolbert is frustrated with how the storms tend to hit or miss depending where you are in the basin.
“A lot of times you’ll get a patch of storm, say at the ‘Y,’ and up Spooner past Cave Rock it’s clear. You may have to put on chains for four or five miles and that’s it,” Tolbert said. “A lot of times we would have gotten through, but at the same time the kids’ safety has to be first. I can’t blame the transportation department for not wanting to go.”
Rescheduling has also eliminated the flow of the league season, according to Tolbert. The Warriors’ league-opening game against Lovelock has been postponed until Jan. 22, then the teams turn around and play for a second time three days later.
“The true spirit of league is to play everybody once and then play them (in order) again,” Tolbert said. “If we split with (Lovelock), it won’t come down to who was better at the end of the season; it will come down to who was better that week.”
In addition, JV and freshman programs at both schools are seeing their schedules shrink as their games are not made up.
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