Spanish Springs won its first three games of the tournament, which was comprised solely of predetermined matchups. The Cougars, who had beaten Atwater, Calif. and Elko on Thursday and Friday respectively, captured a 49-44 win over McClymonds of Oakland Saturday afternoon, but then struggled in a lackluster 36-30 loss to Casa Roble of Orangevale, Calif. Saturday night.
“Overall, I thought we had a good weekend,” Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. “We were able to get some wins and hopefully get a little bit of confidence in what we’re trying to do as a team.”
In its first game Saturday, against McClymonds, Spanish Springs won the game with the help of a solid third period. The Cougars held a slim 22-20 lead at halftime, but outscored the Warriors 18-12 in the eight-minute stretch after halftime.
Spanish Springs scored the first bucket of the fourth quarter on a Lyndsey Anderson putback to forge ahead 43-32. It was the Cougars’ largest lead of the contest, but they could not put their guests away. McClymonds responded with a 10-2 run, trimming the SSHS cagers’ lead to 45-42.
Spanish Springs put the game away by making 4 of 4 free throws in the final minute to close out its California foes.
The Cougars got a balanced offensive effort as four players for the Purple and Silver scored in double digits. Julianna Waller dropped a trio of 3-point bombs and finished with a team-high 13 points. Sam Owens chipped in 11 for Spanish Springs while Lyndsey Anderson and Amanda O’Farrell each added 10.
Morgan Allen pulled down 11 rebounds for Spanish Springs in the win.
“I thought Morgan Allen was really big defensively against their big girl,” Eckles said. “Our girls executed a defensive game plan and then offensively we were able to get more than one or two people involved. So that helped us put more points on the board and get some balance.”
•In the Cougars’ loss Saturday night, to Casa Roble, they struggled to find much offense.
Spanish Springs managed only 13 field goals in the game and made good on only 4 of 13 foul shots.
The Cougars trailed 15-14 late in the second quarter but an Anderson jumper and Owens putback in the final 1:15 before halftime gave Spanish Springs an 18-15 lead at halftime.
Casa Roble outscored Spanish Springs 8-2 through the first six minutes of the third period to forge ahead 23-20. The suburban Sacramento school never trailed again.
The SSHS deficit was still three, 30-27, after Anderson got a hook shot to fall for Spanish Springs with 4:34 to go in the non-league affair.
That’s as good as it got for the Cougars as Casa Roble scored the next two baskets for a 34-27 lead with two and a half minutes to go. It was the largest lead of the game for the visiting Rams.
Spanish Springs did close to within four, 34-30, after Kylie Baer dropped in 1 of 2 free throws with 59 seconds left. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they could get no closer and Casa Roble dropped in a breakaway layup as time expired to account for the final score.
Anderson had 12 for Spanish Springs but no other Cougar had more than seven in defeat.
“The biggest thing that hurt us in the last game was we lacked intensity on either end of the floor and then we struggled against their different zones,” Eckles said. “Plus, we didn’t make any jump shots and we struggled to execute anything offensively. It’s something to learn from.”
Spanish Springs (4-3, 1-1) hits the hardwood again Tuesday for a High Desert League game at Reed. Tip-off is 6 p.m.