North Valleys, which did not lead after the opening seconds of the second half, used an 11-3 fourth-quarter run to pull into a 55-55 deadlock. That tie came after Hannah Woytek and Lacey Smith drained back-to-back 3-pointers, leaving 2:53 on the game clock.
That’s when Spanish Springs put the game away, outscoring North Valleys 9-3 the rest of the way. Cougars sophomore forward Lyndsey Anderson keyed the late spurt by scoring seven of those nine points.
"I'm pleased we got a win," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "We're scoring a lot of points but we need to improve on the defensive end of the floor.
"We finally got a couple stops, kept them to one shot and got some rebounds. Then we came down and made a couple shots. That was big because we couldn't seem to get a string of stops together until the end."
Anderson was the star of the Cougars’ show all night. She poured in a game-high 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. She was 10-of-15 from the field during the career-high scoring performance.
"Probably the most important thing was we got her a lot of touches. We were able to get her the ball in the middle of floor and she's really comfortable there, hitting short jumpers or attacking the basket. She always rebounds well and gets putbacks. She always works so hard to score. She's a determined kid who finds way to help her basketball team.
"In the second half, they went to a box-and-one to contain her and she still found ways to get rebounds and put the ball in the hole. She probably played one of worst games Tuesday that she's ever played but she's the type of kid that won't allow that to happen a second night. She comes out and gets a career high. That's who she is. That kid's a winner."
Anderson got plenty of offensive help too. Three other Cougars finished in
double figures in the scoring column. Riley Holladay and Amanda O’Farrell both contributed 12 points to the winning cause, while Sam Owens chipped in 10.
Spanish Springs looked like it might pull away early in the fourth period.
Spanish Springs led by four, 43-39, but got a runner by Holladay to end the third quarter and a 3-pointer from O’Farrell to open the fourth. That gave the visitors a nine-point advantage 48-39.
The Cougars’ lead was still eight, 52-44, after a pull-up jumper in the lane by Holladay at the 6:35 mark of the fourth quarter. North Valleys then proceeded to go on its 11-3 burst and tie the game.
North Valleys grabbed a 6-3 lead three minutes into the game, but Spanish Springs responded with a 12-4 spurt to forge ahead 15-10.
The host Panthers hung around. They got a baseline 3-pointer from Jennie Quam and went ahead 24-22 with 1:27 left before halftime. However, Spanish Springs took a 25-24 lead into the locker room at the intermission after Owens canned a trey in the waning seconds of the half.
The stat sheet was pretty even. Spanish Springs turned the ball over just 11 times but forced only 14 turnovers. The Cougars held a slim 32-31 rebounding edge.
Spanish Springs finished 23-60 (38 percent) from the field, while North Valleys had a 22-of-54 (41 percent) effort.
Woytek and Nique Williams each scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.
Spanish Springs sits 13-11 overall and 7-7 in conference clashes. The Cougars host Northern 4A power Reno at 6 p.m. Tuesday.