Vikings wish Wave boys happy new year
Tahoe Daily Tribune
Though the Wave boys basketball team might have hoped for a fresh start in 2016, the Vikings downed Fallon 69-56 at the Blue Gym in South Tahoe on Saturday.
The Wave’s next game is at home, a non-conference bout with Yerington today at 6 p.m.
The loss was unlike others the Wave has suffered slowing down in the second half after an early lead. Just the opposite, Fallon coach Brad Barton said this was not the case.
“It was actually during the second quarter that we had some turnovers and they knocked down a couple of 3-pointers that changed the balance,” Barton said. “Otherwise the game was pretty consistently competitive the whole game.”
After a back and forth start, South Tahoe (5-8, 2-1) closed the first quarter with nine straight points to take a 25-17 lead. Steals from juniors Noah Jackson and Moses-Chakmakis that led to fast break layups capped the run, and the Vikings held Fallon (3-9, 1-3) scoreless in the last three minutes to jump in front.
Late in the second quarter, another 9-0 run helped South Tahoe extend its lead. A 3-pointer from senior Blake Blocker with 1:24 left in the half made it 41-23, and at halftime the hosts held a 17-point advantage while controlling the game.
In two meetings with Fallon last season — including a loss to conclude the regular season that kept them out of the playoffs — South Tahoe averaged 46 points per game while struggling to crack the Greenwave’s 1-3-1 zone defense. On Saturday, the Vikings nearly reached that total in the first two quarters while slicing through the zone.
South Tahoe put the breaks on its offense after halftime, and led by 18 points after an even third quarter. The Vikings opened up a 67-45 lead midway through the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws from Blocker, and won handily despite a 14-2 run from Fallon in the last four minutes.
The Vikings were knocked out of the postseason by Fallon each of the last two seasons, and had revenge on their minds entering Saturday’s game. South Tahoe was able to beat the Greenwave due in large part to outside shooting with 10 3-pointers, including three apiece from Blocker, Moses-Chakmakis and Denzel Perez.
The other hangup that held the Wave back was the absence of Clay Davison, 20. Barton said the team usually relies on Davison as a big man to stop opponents up the middle, and that his absence gave South Tahoe opportunities to make baskets at the rim.
“Shooting is the thing that kills us,” Barton said. “Our shooting percentage is really low right now, and we don’t have a guy shooting the outside that we can rely on. So we have to up the tempo to create offense out of speed.”
In Davison’s absence, junior Dylan Ridenour led the Wave with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Ridenour was one of four Greenwave players with at least seven points in the loss, including Marshall Coverston with 9 points, Cade Vercellotti with eight, and Dalton Kaady who set the bar at seven.
For South Tahoe, Perez led the team with a game-high 21 points Saturday, scoring 20 points in the first three frames and 10 of the Vikings’ 15 third-quarter points. Moses-Chakmakis finished with 16 points, including 12 in the first half. Blocker scored 13 and Jackson added seven.
With another game against the undefeated Elko Indians team this weekend, Barton said he will be using the game against Yerington today to prepare, but Yerington would be no less of a challenge.
“What (Yerington) has that we don’t is some good reliable shooters, so we’ll have to find a way to lock down their shooters because if we don’t, we’ll definitely be in trouble again,” he said.
LVN Sports Editor Mike Sciandra contributed to this story.