In the end, South Tahoe's loss in its regular season finale Saturday, Feb. 10, to Churchill County didn't mean too much.
The Vikings were going to be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association's Class 3A Northern League Boys' Basketball Championships and the road to the title and state playoffs will still go through the top seed and tournament host Elko Indians.
The Vikings were beaten 79-65 by the Greenwave at South Tahoe and will play No. 4 seed Fernley Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. in Elko, Nevada.
South Tahoe has played Fernley twice this season and both games came down to the final seconds. The Vikings lost 52-50 Jan. 6 at home and came up short again by two points, 65-63, Feb. 6, on the road.
Should South Tahoe figure out how to beat Fernley, it would play Northern League champion Elko at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the semifinals. The Indians beat the Vikings by 11 points both times they met this season.
Win or lose Thursday night, the Vikings will spend the night in Elko and not make the five hour or so drive back to the basin.
The top two seeds Elko and Churchill receive first-round byes. In the other side of the six-team, single-elimination bracket, No. 3 Spring Creek will play No. 6 Dayton.
The championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.