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Vikings hand Tigers tough loss

by Chuck Smock

Ten seconds into his team’s game with South Tahoe on Friday, Douglas coach Keith Lewis knew the Tigers were in trouble.

The Vikings controlled the opening tipoff and quickly called a play for Clint Joaquin at the top of the key. Joaquin, who caught the ball with plenty of time to size up the shot, buried the 3-pointer and gave the Vikings a lead they would never relinquish.

“Our very first defensive possession summed up the entire evening,” Lewis said. “We let them run a play that everyone in the league runs. And not only did we not guard him, but the guy had ample time to square up.

“I guess the disappointing thing is you can’t convince me that we can’t start a game with more defensive intensity than that. To come out the way we did, there’s no excuse. If these guys want to reach their goal of making it to zone, and making an impact at zone, that flat-out won’t get it done.”

South Tahoe led by eight points four different times in the first quarter. The Vikings held off several charges by the Tigers in the second and third quarters and then secured the 64-46 win by hitting 11 of 14 free throws in the fourth period.

Chris Ortiz led the Vikings with a game-high 27 points. He hit five of his team’s nine 3-pointers in the game.

“Every time we made a run, we’d have a defensive breakdown and they’d make a 3-pointer,” Lewis said. “To not get out there and contest the shooters like we knew we had to do is the frustrating part.”

Seth Lee scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Travis Baker added eight points and five rebounds and Erik Olson scored seven points.

Douglas may have struggled defensively early, but the Tigers had problems shooting the ball all night. They made just 16 of 55 (29 percent) of their shots from the floor, including an 0-for-15 performance from 3-point range.

The Tigers were looking to get back into the win column Tuesday night in a home game with Wooster.

They’ll start the second round of Sierra League play on Friday with a road game at Reno High.

“I think they’re beatable,” Lewis said of the Huskies, who were 4-0 in Sierra League play heading into Tuesday’s game with 3-1 Hug High. “We’re going to have to step it up defensively, but I think we have a good shot.”