The victory completed a season sweep for the SSHS gang over its High Desert League rival from northwest Reno. The Cougars have swept the Lancers in four straight seasons and have only lost once to McQueen in the last 15 meetings between the two schools.
Senior shooting guard Riley Holladay scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Spanish Springs effort Tuesday. She got plenty of help from teammates. Senior forward Lyndsey Anderson and junior point guard Hannah Woytek chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Cougars clamped down on defense, allowing just 18 points through three periods before giving up 13 to the Lancers in a fourth period with the outcome already well in hand.
McQueen shot just 10-of-47 (21 percent) from the floor. Conversely, Spanish Springs was 22-of-52 (42 percent).
"The defensive numbers look pretty good," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "We did do some good things defensively, but we also got lazy at times and had way too many fouls. We still need to shore those things up if we want to make a good playoff run."
The conference clash was close through five-plus minutes. McQueen's Emma White banked in a baseline 3-pointer and got a putback for the Lancers' first five points. That left the MHS club down 6-5 with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter.
That's when Spanish Springs got it going offensively. The Cougars ripped off 11 straight points to close out the quarter. Those were the start of a 15-0 run that stretched into the second quarter. Layups by Anderson and capped the burst that left Spanish Springs on top 21-5 seven minutes before halftime.
The Cougars wound up outscoring the Lancers 14-5 in the second period and pushed their lead to 31-10 at the intermission.
"It took us a few minutes to get going, but then we were able to speed up the game with our defense and we got some buckets in transition. We need that. When we are playing well it's because our defense and rebounding are allowing us to dictate the game," Eckles said.
Spanish Springs led 41-18 after three quarters. Then it scored 11 of the first 13 points in the fourth period to forge ahead 52-20. The 32-point gap was the widest of the lopsided affair.
The Cougars helped their cause by dominating the glass. They won the rebounding war 50-34. Five different Spanish Springs players had five boards or more.
With the win, Spanish Springs improves to 20-6 overall and 11-4 in league play. It's the third time Spanish Springs has won 20 games in the last six seasons, but the first time the Cougars have done it in back-to-back campaigns.
"That's a nice accomplishment for our kids and one they should be proud of when they look back in 10 years, but I think we've all got bigger goals as we go into this postseason," Eckles said. "Still, I'm happy for the kids, but we've never won 21 games so we'd all like to build on that number."
Spanish Springs, which is already locked into the HDL's third playoff seed, wraps up its regular season at home Friday against cross-town rival Reed at 5:15 p.m.