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Spanish Springs girls rally to steal win from Douglas
by Tribune Staff
Jan 25, 2011 | 923 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore point guard Riley Holladay (with ball) drives by Douglas defender Holly Downer during fourth-quarter action Tuesday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore point guard Riley Holladay (with ball) drives by Douglas defender Holly Downer during fourth-quarter action Tuesday night.
The Spanish Springs Cougars trailed the Douglas Tigers by eight with 5:46 to go in a Northern 4A crossover league game between the two schools. That's about the time sophomores Sam Owens and Lyndsey Anderson decided they weren't going to let the Cougars lose.

The duo scored 14 of the final 16 points in the game for Spanish Springs, all in the final five and half minutes of play, and propelled the SSHS crew to pull out a 49-48 home win in girls prep basketball action Tuesday night.

"I think it's a really good win for us," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "We have a lot of respect for Douglas, their program and the way they are coached. For us to pull out that game, late in the year, is good for us. It's good for us to play in those kinds of situations and good to come out on the winning end."

Anderson capped the Cougars' comeback on a go-ahead putback with 21 seconds left, accounting for the final score.

Douglas' Alex Laing drove to the hoop and was fouled with 3.8 seconds remaining in the game, but she missed both free throws and SSHS senior Julianna Waller pulled down a rebound, icing the Spanish Springs win.

Douglas got a fast-break layup from Diana Regalado with 5:46 left on the game clock to forge her team ahead, 41-33. The Cougars then began to claw their way back.

Spanish Springs, which started the game missing 19 of its first 20 3-point attempts, started trimming the lead as Owens got hot down the stretch. She made three of the Cougars' final four tries from long range to help the local club's cause.

The first of those came with 5:32 showing on the fourth-quarter clock. A Riley Holladay layup followed and Spanish Springs had got to within three, 41-38.

Douglas forward Carly McCullough followed by knocking down 1-of-2 free throws with 4:54 remaining, but on the Cougars' next possession, Owens buried another 3-pointer, cutting the visiting Tigers' lead to one, 42-41.

"The key for us was finally hitting some shots and then that helped us pick up the defensive pressure," Eckles said. "We were getting open looks. They just weren't going down and then you don't have that hop in your step for the defensive end. It seemed like Douglas scored at will for three quarters and then we finally got some stops and were able to go on a run."

After Regalado dropped in a bucket at the fourth period's 4:16 mark, Douglas went back up three, 44-41. However, Owens drained her third trifecta seconds later, pulling Spanish Springs into a 44-44 deadlock.

The Tigers did not roll over and play dead. They got buckets from Regalado and Tia Lyons to go back on top by four, 48-44.

The lead did not stand up as Anderson made 1 of 2 free throws with 2:02 to go and then got another rebound and follow with 1:05 remaining, getting the Cougars within one, 48-47, and setting the stage for her final basket 40 seconds later.

Anderson finished with a game-high 16 points and Owens chipped in 14. Holladay, the Cougars' point guard, had nine points, and the hosts overcame her absence as she fouled out midway through the final period.

Douglas shot a solid 54 percent from the floor (20-37) but was hurt by its limited opportunities. Spanish Spring was 17-of-60 (28 percent) shooting from the field.

The Cougars had 27 offensive rebounds and won the war on the boards 38-32. Spanish Springs also forced 22 turnovers while committing only 12.

"I thought we got good looks all night. We just couldn't hit them," Eckles said. "You hope that you shoot it better than that in your home gym. We had a few shots rushed, but for the most part, they were good shots. But we need to understand when we're not hitting shots, we have to attack the hoop a little more and use our defense to get easy buckets. Finally, Sam got a good rhythm in her footwork. When she does that, she's a good shooter and that helped her get her going.

"And then Lyndsey had some really key buckets where she was shooting in traffic with two and three girls around her. Both of them were just really clutch down the stretch and the rest of the team played good defense down stretch. It's a good team win especially with Riley fouling out. We look at her as a team leader."

After a slow start, Spanish Springs put together a 12-3 first-quarter run and captured a 14-9 lead, following a KK Lang layup with 2:48 remaining in the initial period.

It turned ugly for the Cougars from there. Douglas strung together a 15-3 spurt over a nearly five-minute stretch. The burst gave the Minden school a 26-17 lead with 5:25 left before halftime.

Douglas wound up with a 28-23 lead at intermission.

Regalado finished with a team-high 13 points and McCullough posted 12 in defeat for Douglas.

Spanish Springs (11-10, 5-6) is in action again Friday at McQueen. Tip-off is 6 p.m. in a game that will leave the winner with the inside track to the High Desert League's No. 3 playoff seed.
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