The Lancers (7-10, 3-4) got three players in double digits in the scoring column and saw another chip in nine. They got off to a large early lead and never trailed, beating their guests to loose balls time and again, out-hustling the Cougars for rebounding position and a doing myriad of other little things that led to the victory.
"Absolutely, we got outplayed from the tip to the end," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "We were complacent. We were not playing team basketball. We were selfish. The kids played hard, but we were not playing with purpose. We've gotten off to a good start this season because we've played with a purpose. We were out of sync."
McQueen was certainly revved up and ready to roll from the opening tip. The Lancers scored the first nine points of the game and ran out to a 17-3 lead late in the first quarter.
"Finally, I thought that was one of our better games all year," McQueen coach John Franklin said. "We came out poised. We were ready to go. We had great energy from the start."
McQueen's Evan Carlson hit a short jumper in the lane to give the Lancers a 17-3 lead with 39 seconds to go in the first period. The 14-point lead was their biggest of night.
Spanish Springs' sharp-shooting guard Kenny Meyer drained a deep 3-pointer as time expired on the initial period for a 17-6 score after the first eight minutes.
From there, the Cougars began to chip away at the MHS edge. TJ McCauley buried a 3-pointer from the corner and the visitors had trimmed McQueen's lead to 22-17 less than three minutes into the second quarter.
Spanish Springs continued to claw its way back. Another Meyer trey made the scoreboard read 29-25, with 1:54 left before halftime.
McQueen stopped the bleeding briefly, scoring the last two buckets of the first half to take a 33-25 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
"It's about playing within your roles," Franklin said. "We had guys that got out of their roles for awhile in the second quarter. They had to settle back in and then they were better."
Spanish Springs was not done. The Cougars began the second half with a 10-2 spurt capped by another Meyer 3-pointer. That burst knotted the contest at 35 apiece with 4:53 remaining in the third period.
Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, that's as good as it got. The Cougars did not score again through the remainder of the quarter. McQueen tallied the final six points of the third and led 41-35, heading into the final quarter.
"That just goes back to being complacent," Penney said. "We missed a couple loose balls. We miss a couple rebounding opportunities and then they get a second chance and a three-point play.
"Give McQueen credit. They did an excellent job. They made us guess what was going to happen. They made us play from behind and we were a step slow all night long."
McQueen kept the momentum and pulled away. The Lancers reeled off seven of the first nine points of the fourth period and pushed their lead back to double figures, 48-37, for the first time since early in the second quarter.
The two league rivals traded buckets over the next five-plus minutes. The margin was still 11, 62-51 after a 3-point play by Lancers reserve guard Jordan Dansereau with just under a minute remaining in the game.
Dansereau killed the Cougars. The back-up senior guard averages less than three points per game but torched Spanish Springs for 16 Tuesday. Kody Eckert led the Lancers with 19 points, while Bryce Harnack chipped in 10.
Meyer, finished with a game-high 22 points and McCauley chipped in 15 for the SSHS hoopsters in the losing effort.
Spanish Springs falls to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in conference clashes. The league loss was the Cougars' first since they fell to Douglas on opening night. Spanish Springs returns to action Friday when it hosts Damonte Ranch at 7 p.m.