The SSHS squad certainly put its guests on lockdown in the final two quarters with some stellar defense en route to a 63-33 romp in the High Desert League affair.
Spanish Springs led 27-22 at halftime, but blew the game open after the break allowing McQueen just 11 second-half points. On the flip side, the Cougars racked up 36 after the intermission and captured a sweep of the season series.
“This was a big game with playoff implications,” Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. “I’m sure they wanted to get a split against us and keep themselves in striking distance of this place. But our girls were up to the task and played well, especially in the second half.”
Spanish Springs won the previous meeting at McQueen 58-45 in mid-December.
McQueen scored the first points of the second half when Lauren Mathis converted on a 3-point play, pulling the MHS crew within two, 27-25, 30 seconds into the third period.
That’s as good as it got for the visitors as they as they scored only four points through the remainder of the third quarter and eight into the final buzzer.
After the Mathis three-point play, Spanish Springs went on a 16-2 spurt, capped by a Riley Holladay runner in the waning seconds of the third. The Sparks school extended its lead to 43-27 with the pivotal burst.
The Cougars did not let up. They posted the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, forging ahead 53-29 and the romp was on.
“We did a lot right tonight and that’s indicative on the scoreboard,” Eckles said. “I liked that a lot of kids contributed in a lot of ways. That’s what makes this team one of our better clubs ever at Spanish Springs. We are unselfish and the kids are buying into their roles.”
Lyndsey Anderson led Spanish Springs with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Holladay chipped in 14 points and dished out six assists. Three other Cougars contributed at least eight points to the balanced offensive effort.
Given the final score, it’s probably no surprise the hosts dominated the stat sheet. Spanish Springs won the rebounding battle 47-29 and forced 19 turnovers, while limiting its giveaways to 14.
The Cougars connected on 28-of-69 field goal attempts (40.6 percent) while McQueen was 13-of-51 (25.5 percent).
McQueen’s sister duo of Sierra and Taylor Baker combines to average nearly 25 points a game. The girls were held to 15 Friday night and just four in the second half.
“There is no all-league defensive team but if there was our sophomore guard Myrissa Prince would be on it,” Eckles said. “She will guard anybody and she’s fearless. It’s a real luxury to have a clamp-down defender like her.
“Anytime you hold a league opponent to 33 points you’ve done a good job and you should win. I’m proud of our girls for buying in on the defensive end of the floor.”
Spanish Springs improved to 17-6 overall and 9-3 in league tilts. The Cougars play again Tuesday when they host Carson in a Northern 4A crossover league game at 6 p.m.