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Spanish Springs takes two at Hug
by Tribune Staff
Jan 11, 2014 | 928 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After dropping their league opener -- on Opening Night of the winter season, Dec. 4 -- the Spanish Springs boys basketball team has strung together a trio of wins in next three conference clashes. The latest of those came Friday night when the Cougars picked up a 55-37 road win over High Desert League rival Hug.

The host Hawks scored the first six points of the game, but it was all downhill from there for Hug. The last HHS lead was at 8-6. Spanish Springs (8-6, 3-1) scored the next six points and led 12-8 at the first quarter's conclusion.

"We didn't get out to a real good start," seventh-year Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "I wasn't real pleased with our energy level to start the game. I think we could've gotten off to a much better start."

After the lackluster opening minutes, the Cougars never relinquished the lead. They led 21-14 at halftime and extended their lead to 37-25 after three quarters of play. Spanish Springs went on to outscore Hug 18-12 in the final period to account for the final 18-point margin.

Spanish Springs was playing its first game since Dec. 30. Still, Penney was reluctant to attribute his team's slow start to rust.

"We've had some good practices in the last week and a half so I don't use that as an excuse," Penney said, alluding to the layoff. "We don't make excuses for anything. We've got six seniors and they know the importance of league games. That's an area we've got to build on. We were fortunate to get the win. Hopefully, we'll learn from it and we won't relive these issues again."

Senior guard Kenny Meyer poured in 20 points and freshman reserve Marcus Loadholt added 12 points to pace the SSHS offensive attack.

Spanish Springs connected on 21-of-48 (43.8 percent) field goal tries Friday.

The Cougars don't get much down time before they compete again. They host Reno in a key HDL matchup Saturday at 3 p.m.

Despite a less than attractive showing, the girls improved to 10-2, 2-2 league games with a 44-35 win over the Hawks.

The game was the Cougars’ first in 13 days – a 32-18 win over Pacific Grove – and Spanish Springs coach Arturo Cardenas said his group played like it.

“We just weren’t sharp, we were off a little,” Cardenas said. “Both offensively and defensively we weren’t executing in the first half and our defense just wasn’t what it was supposed to be.”

The Purple trailed 10-4 early in the first quarter but finished the opening eight minutes on an 8-2 run to knot the High Desert League meeting at 12. Scoring only six points in the second quarter, the Cougars held the Hawks to three second-quarter points and took an 18-15 advantage into the locker room.

After making halftime adjustments to the Hawks man defense which gave the Cougs problems in the first half, Cardenas’ group scored 17 points in the third quarter and took a 35-28 lead into the fourth.

“I got on the girls a little bit about our execution. We were not executing at all in the first half,” Cardenas said. “Our inbounds plays, or even our offense, was a little stagnant. I just told them we needed to execute our sets a little bit better and once we did, we started to get a few easy baskets.”

Spanish Springs narrowly edged the hosts 9-7 in the fourth quarter.

“A win is always good for moral. The two weeks off was a little too long,” Cardenas said.

Mariah Vargas, Katrina Prendergast and Hannah Woytek all scored 12 points for the Cougs.

Like the boys, the girls host Reno Saturday. Tip is at 1:30 p.m. The game will be the first for the Cougs on their home floor since a Dec. 23 win over South Tahoe.

The Huskies are ranked the No. 1 team in the state by Maxpreps.

“That’s going to be a big test for us,” Cardenas said. “But that’s going to tell us exactly where we are at.”

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