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Galena shuts down Spanish Springs
by Dan Eckles
Jan 28, 2014 | 934 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars point guard Hannah Woytek (with ball) drives into the lane and eyes the basket with Galena defender Kaitlyn Hawthorne looking on.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars point guard Hannah Woytek (with ball) drives into the lane and eyes the basket with Galena defender Kaitlyn Hawthorne looking on.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Mariah Vargas sizes up the Galena defense during the second half of play in Tuesday's DI North crossover league game.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Mariah Vargas sizes up the Galena defense during the second half of play in Tuesday's DI North crossover league game.
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RENO -- For the fourth time this winter the Galena Grizzlies held an opponent to under 30 points. They've won on all four of those occasions. The latest came Tuesday night when Galena pulled out a 37-29 triumph over visiting Spanish Springs in a DI North girls prep basketball league affair.

The host Grizz used a 'triangle-and-two' defensive scheme, along with their man-to-man, to effectively disrupt the Spanish Springs offense all night.

"We weren't executing against it. They had us well scouted," first-year Cougars coach Art Cardenas said. "A lot of stuff we do goes through Hannah (Woytek) and Mariah (Vargas). If you take those two out, it's tough for us to get a win and our other kids didn't respond well.

"Plus, we were one shot and done a lot of the time. They had a size advantage and rebounding is something we're struggling with right now."

Galena ended the first half on a 9-0 run -- a spurt capped by back-to-back Paige Brown layups -- and earned a 20-14 lead at halftime.

Spanish Springs had taken a 14-11 lead after its standout senior point guard, Woytek, dropped consecutive 3-point bombs midway through the second quarter. It was the final lead of the night for the guests as Galena responded with its key outburst.

Still, the Cougars showed some fight. They opened the third quarter by scoring six straight points to tie the contest at 20-20. That's as good as it got for Spanish Springs. Paige Brown, who finished with a team-high 15 points and 15 rebounds, made a layup and Kaitlyn Hawthorne drained a 3-pointer of her own, forging the Grizz ahead 25-20 at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Galena (7-9, 4-7) went on to score eight of the of the first 10 points in the fourth quarter, increasing its lead to 33-22, the widest margin of the game.

The Spanish Springs defense forced 22 Grizzlies turnovers and limited its hosts to 14-of-48 (29 percent) shooting but it was still not enough to steal a key league road win.

Woytek had a solid game for Spanish Springs, throwing in 15 points while grabbing nine steals and giving away five assists. The Cougars also got 10 points from junior forward Katrina Prendergast, but the rest of the SSHS roster managed only four points combined.

Vargas, the Cougars' shooting guard, was held scoreless in defeat.

"I thought we did what we set out to defensively," second-year Galena coach Jeff Keyes said. "Hannah still played pretty well and she carried them offensively, but our plan was to take either her or Vargas out of the game, slow them down, and Vargas didn't score. So that helped us."

The Cougars (14-6, 5-6) have lost back-to-back games for the first time this winter and their quest for wins doesn't get any easier as they hit the road Friday to play at defending state champion Reno at 5:15 p.m.

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