In the end, it was Lincoln High of Portland capturing a 49-46 victory during Day I action of the inaugural Winter Break tournament. Thursday's game was played at Carlsbad High School.
Spanish Springs pulled into a 46-46 deadlock with just under two minutes to play in the tourney tilt. Lincoln (6-0), which kept its record perfect with the win, got a 3-pointer with a minute and half remaining in the game for what proved to be the winning bucket. Lincoln was ranked fourth in Oregon by MaxPreps.com.
The two teams traded scoreless possessions through the remainder of regulation.
Cougars guard Kenny Meyer was the only SSHS player to finish in double digits in the scoring column, posting 10 points in defeat.
Lincoln led 18-16 after the first quarter and 29-27 at the half. The Cardinals extended their edge to 40-35 after three periods, setting the stage for the late-game drama.
"They were good defensively," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "They executed well and they shot it well, but defensively, we were pretty good too. So they actually didn't shoot it as well as they normally have.
"We gave them at least 15 points after offensive rebounds. So we were really sound defensively except for not finishing the play. Rebounding was the biggest factor in the game. When your opponent gets 15 more points off the offensive glass, you're not going to win many of those games."
Spanish Springs (5-5) will meet Aliso Niguel Friday at 12:30 p.m.
*In Las Vegas, Reed won its opener of Las Vegas High's Winter Break tournament, downing Lathrop of Fairbanks, Alaska, 59-46 Thursday night.
The tournament game, which was played in two 16-minute halves as opposed to four eight-minute quarters, saw Reed run out to a 30-20 halftime lead. Lathrop stormed back with a 19-6 run to open the second half and forge ahead 39-36.
Reed responded with 12 unanswered points of its own to regain the lead and the momentum.
Raiders senior swingman Trae Wells poured in 25 points to lead the RHS offense while his Reed teammate, Alonzo Vega, added 12.
"They went on that big run early in the second half, but we answered with another run of our own," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "We had some guys step up and make some shots and then held on for the last four or five minutes."
Reed (6-2) plays two games Friday, against tournament host Las Vegas at 1:30 p.m. and then against Arroyo Grande, Calif. at 7:30 p.m.