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Cougars dispense of Hawks, 63-40
by Dan Eckles
Feb 07, 2014 | 859 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Kenny Meyer (in white) gets off a baseline jumper in traffic during second-half action Friday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Kenny Meyer (in white) gets off a baseline jumper in traffic during second-half action Friday.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS guard Hunter Fralick (with ball) is pursued by Hug's Devin Porter at Spanish Springs Friday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS guard Hunter Fralick (with ball) is pursued by Hug's Devin Porter at Spanish Springs Friday night.
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The longer the game went Friday night, the more impressive the Spanish Springs boys basketball team looked. Spanish Springs outscored Hug in all four quarters and gradually pulled away for a 63-40 High Desert League home win.

The victory meant Spanish Springs wrapped up its winter season with a perfect 11-0 record on its home court, a first in the 13-year history of the boys hoop program.

"It is special," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "People say our school is new but it's not to me. We want to set some traditions. We don't want to lose on Homecoming. We don't want to lose on Senior Night and we don't want to lose on our home court. This year we achieved those three things. That's awesome and something we want to build on in our school and the community. We've got a great gym and we want to fill it up and get an exciting environment."

It was an exciting night for Cougars point guard Kenny Meyer. He played his final regular season home game at SSHS and poured in a game-high 21 points in the process. He also became the all-time scoring leader in school history with the big night.

Meyer, who averages 20.7 points an outing while no other Cougars player even averages double digits, continues to torch opposing defenses night after night.

"That's a credit to Kenny's teammates too," Penney said. "They're working hard to get him open. He's scoring when he needs to and he's passing when he needs to. Plus, he's making tough shots. Some of those are not easy. That just tells you how good a player he is."

Despite holding the lead through much of the first two and half quarters, Spanish Springs could not get much separation. Hug was still within eight, 37-29, after it got a pair of free throws from Ahmad Thomas with 3:30 remaining in the third period.

It proved to be a wake-up call for Spanish Springs as the local school finally began to pull away. The Cougars scored six of the final eight points in the period to extend their edge to 12, 43-31, heading into the final quarter.

"It just goes back to us defensively," Penney said. "We talked at halftime that we had to defend and rebound, and then we did. We got some rebounds and some turnovers, so then we got some runouts and finished shots."

From there, Spanish Springs put the game away, outscoring Hug 20-5 to begin the fourth quarter.

"They ran a few special plays for Kenny Meyer (in the second half). They ran him off some screens and got some isolations," Hug coach Keith Crawford said. "But the biggest thing is we didn't rebound. You expect Kenny Meyer to get his. Still, we had a solid defensive effort, but we didn't rebound. We gave up too many second and third shots to win."

The hosts had a balanced offensive attack as nine different players found the scoring column. In addition to Meyer, Dupree Kness also chipped in double digits, finishing with 10 points.

The Cougars finished the game shooting 25-of-51 (49 percent).

Hug (6-17, 2-12) and Spanish Springs were deadlocked at 8-8 midway through the initial period, but the Cougars outscored the Hawks 7-2 over the final 3:06 of the quarter and led 15-10 after the first eight minutes.

At the 4:44 mark of the second quarter, the guests got a putback from Jeremiah Williams to go on top 19-18. It was the Hawks' lone lead of the HDL tilt. Spanish Springs outscored Hug 14-5 into the halftime break and led 32-24 at the game's midway point.

Thomas and Williams both posted 10 points to pace the Hawks' offense.

Spanish Springs improved to 15-9 overall and 10-4 in league play. Just two games remain for schools on the DI North schedule. The SSHS hoopsters play at McQueen Tuesday and at Reed Feb. 14. Spanish Springs, which is two games back of league-leading Reed, can clinch the HDL's No. 2 seed and a home playoff berth with a win Tuesday at McQueen.

"We can still get better," Penney said. "The season is not over. With that said, the biggest thing is being more consistent."

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