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Cougar girls pull away from Hug for lopsided win
by Dan Eckles
Feb 07, 2014 | 701 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS senior point guard Hannah Woytek prepares to dish out one of her seven assists Friday in the Cougars' HDL home win over Hug.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS senior point guard Hannah Woytek prepares to dish out one of her seven assists Friday in the Cougars' HDL home win over Hug.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars junior post Katrina Prendergast (in white) is fouled as a pair of Hug defenders converge during Friday's lopsided SSHS victory.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars junior post Katrina Prendergast (in white) is fouled as a pair of Hug defenders converge during Friday's lopsided SSHS victory.
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A big third quarter helped the Spanish Springs girls basketball team cruise to a 64-33 High Desert League home win over last-place Hug Friday night.

Spanish Springs improved to 16-7 overall and 7-7 in conference clashes. Additionally, the Cougars locked up the HDL's No. 3 playoff seed in the upcoming North Region tournament. The SSHS school earned its fourth-straight postseason berth and its sixth in the past seven years.

The 64 points were a season high for the Cougars, who completed a season sweep of Hug for the fourth-straight season. Friday's win was much more impressive for Spanish Springs than the first go round where the Cougs managed just a 44-35 win at Hug in December.

"Right now, we're a little more in sync in our offense and executing our sets than we were then," first-year Spanish Springs coach Art Cardenas said. "As the game wore on, we got out and ran. Then they wore down a bit and we continued to run. And for the most part, we did a good job finishing."

Friday's game was close through the first quarter and a half. Spanish Springs led 16-7 after the first quarter and pushed its lead to 18-7 when reserve guard Sarah Barron knocked down a mid-range jumper a minute into the second quarter.

Hug responded with an 11-4 spurt, trimming the hosts' lead to 22-18 with 3:17 to go before halftime.

"In the second quarter, they pressured us a little bit and they were being physical," Cardenas said. "I told the girls, if they were being physical, we had to match that. I think we did and then settled in."

Spanish Springs proceeded to rip off a 10-1 run into the intermission, a burst capped by Mariah Vargas' 3-pointer as the horn sounded on the second quarter.

Leading 32-19, Spanish Springs erased any faint Hug comeback hopes by outscoring the Hawks 20-6 in the third period. Cougars senior point guard Hannah Woytek keyed the eight-minute stretch with 12 points in the period.

On Senior Night, Woytek finished with 19 points to lead all scorers. She also gave away seven assists and snagged five steals.

"Our defense got better in the second half," Woytek said. "We started out-rebounding them and holding them to one (shot) and done. Then we were able to get out and run. And for some reason, we were sprinting way harder in the second half."

Another Cougars senior, forward Adriana Pennington chipped in a double-double to the winning cause, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Spanish Springs led 52-24 after three quarters and it continued to pull away. A layup by junior forward Katrina Prendergast forged the Cougars ahead 62-28 with just over three minutes left in the contest. The 34-point gap was the widest margin of the night.

"A lot of our girls were getting out and running, attacking the basket," Cardenas said. "I tell the girls, there's nothing easier than a layup. And if they'll run, Hannah will get them the ball."

Nine different Cougars scored in the romp. Hug failed to get a player into double digits in the scoring column.
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