Galena gives South Tahoe its first loss of season, 60-42
South Tahoe sprinted to a 6-0 start this season by making outside shots. On Tuesday night against Galena, the Vikings got a peek at what happens if they don’t shoot the ball well.
The Grizzlies, who opened the game on an 11-3 run, watched South Tahoe shoot 1-of-10 in the first quarter, as they led throughout in a 60-42 non-league win at South Tahoe High School. The loss was the Vikings’ first of the season.
“We weren’t going to go undefeated,” said coach Derek Allister. “It’s a long process. It’s not sprint, it’s marathon. You just take away what you can from it and hopefully you improve. I don’t think we played poorly. But to shoot poorly and still make it kind of a game, I think shows that we’ve come a long way.”
South Tahoe made just three field goals in the first half, all of which were 3-pointers. The Vikings’ Casey Curcie, who has been averaging around 17 points per game this season, was held scoreless in the first half. Jared Wood, the team’s other leading scorer, got into foul trouble early.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, played smart and disciplined, taking advantage of six South Tahoe turnovers and Derek Lorenzen’s 10 first-half points to open up a 29-14 halftime lead. Luke Babbitt, a 6-foot-7 freshman, scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half for Galena (2-2), which did everything it wanted to defensively.
“We just wanted to stop their breaks,” said Grizzly assistant coach Doug Cordova. “They’re a young team that likes to run and can shoot the ball well. We just wanted to contain them and then execute on offense for us.”
In the third quarter, South Tahoe nearly made a game of it. The Vikings hit 7-of-8 shots to start the third, including three 3-pointers by Curcie, as they cut the lead to 39-33 with 3:24 left in the quarter. But Galena responded with a 10-0 run to pull ahead 49-33 going into the fourth quarter.
“Obviously if we are not making shots, it’s going to be a rough night,” Allister said. “We weren’t shooting it well but somehow we were hanging in there. We were overmatched physically and we had that one little run where we cut it to six. Then it got away from us again.”
Wood opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 50-39, but that’s the closest the Vikings would get. Wood fouled out with 5:18 remaining, and South Tahoe didn’t make another field goal until Curcie’s trey with eight seconds left in the game. Curcie finished with 12 points, and Wood led the Vikings with 17 points. Lorenzen led all scorers with 24 points.
“It was just a rough start and we just weren’t hitting our shots tonight,” Curcie said of the Vikings, who shot 33 percent from the field (13-of-40). “It’s pretty good to lose because we were just on a high from our start. You got to lose sometime.”
South Tahoe faces Dixon, Calif., in the first round of the Colfax Tournament on Thursday at 5 p.m. Cordova expects to maybe see the Vikings again later in the season, hinting at a possible Northern 4A playoff matchup.
“We let our kids know about the tradition between Galena and South Tahoe,” Cordova said. “Tahoe has been playing good. I think they are definitely shifting it back up. I think they’re going to be tough this year.”