A slow start proved costly for North Valleys and Spanish Springs took advantage, cruising to a 71-38 home win in boys prep basketball action.
The league foes traded 3-pointers in the opening minutes and then it got ugly for the visiting Panthers. Spanish Springs reeled off 18 unanswered points over the next five minutes. North Valleys never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
North Valleys got a Thornton Pascual trifecta and a layup, the first two baskets of the second quarter. That got the Panthers within 13, 23-10. They were never that close again.
Spanish Springs scored 15 of the next 16 points in a stretch of less than two minutes. The Cougars went on to capture a 47-19 lead at halftime.
“We lack confidence and we’re struggling to put the ball in the hole,” North Valleys coach Dick Peraldo said. “I know that we scored 76 points in our first game but have combined to score like 67 in the next two. Fundamentals are killing us. We’re not rebounding or shooting the ball well.”
Time and again Spanish Springs broke North Valleys’ full-court pressure for easy buckets. That combined with the red-hot start of junior guard Kenny Meyer was a big reason for the Cougars’ ability to build a 28-point halftime advantage.
Meyer poured in 22 first-half points. He finished with 25 points after playing limited minutes in the second two periods. Meyer knocked down 9-of-13 shots from the floor, including 5-of-7 from 3-point land.
“We knew going in that they liked to pressure and double the ball,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “Our kids were prepared for that and getting Kenny Meyer off to a fast start helped. When you get to the rim and then make shots, momentum gets on your side and things go well for you.”
North Valleys managed to score nine of the first 13 points after halftime, but even that left the Reno school still trailing 51-28. Spanish Springs got going again. It put together a 20-6 run over an eight-minute span that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
Cougars reserve Michael Allen hit a short jumper on the baseline with 3:20 remaining in the game clock, forging Spanish Springs on top 71-34. The 37-point margin was the widest of the game.
Spanish Springs got a balanced offensive attack. After Meyer, no other Cougar scored in double digits, but eight other SSHS players found the scoring column and six of them scored at least six points.
“Our job is to get better right now,” Penney said. “Our goal right now is to get better every day. We must fix the small stuff and we must do that better than we’re doing it right now. Different games call for different things. Tonight the game was fast. Our kids handled it well and did a great job.”
Pascual was the lone Panthers’ player to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Spanish Springs improved to 2-1 overall on the young season. All three games have been conference clashes. Next, the Cougars head to eastern Nevada for a three-day round robin tournament in Elko, starting Thursday.