Sam Owens knocked down a pull-up jumper in the lane 30 seconds into the conference clash to kick start the Cougars' early run and Riley Holladay’s layup with 29 seconds left on the first-quarter clock capped the quick 21-0 spurt.
"That was good for us," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "Because the girls were really nervous before the game and it helped that we were able to start on a really positive note and get the lead. I thought we played a pretty good first five-plus minutes."
Spanish Springs did not let up. The Cougars continued to pour it on, pushing their edge to 28, 39-11, by halftime.
Wooster did outscore Spanish Springs 12-8 through the first seven minutes of the third period, but the Cougars stopped the bleeding with a layup from Kylie Baer and another Holladay runner in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
Spanish Springs’ biggest lead was 39. That came with 4:05 to go in the final quarter after freshman Myrissa Prince drained a pair of foul shots.
All 11 players on the Cougars’ roster found the scoring column in the romp.
Sophomore forward Lyndsey Anderson led the way for Spanish Springs. She posted a game-high 17 points while adding six rebounds and five steals. She finished 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Sophomore Sam Owens chipped in 11 points. Holladay, another SSHS sophomore, added six points, eight assists and five steals from her point-guard position.
"Lyndsey was really aggressive offensively," Eckles said. "She rebounds and plays every play so hard. And that helps her be successful. She finished some 'and ones' that were tough finishes and she shot the ball well from free-throw line."
Ayden Finau, was the lone Wooster player to hit for double digits in scoring. She finished with 11 points.
Not surprisingly, Spanish Springs dominated the stat sheet. The Cougars out-rebounded the Colts, 46-29 and forced their hosts into 38 costly turnovers. Spanish Springs shot 26-of-57 (46 percent) from the field compared to Wooster’s 14-43 (32 percent).
Spanish Springs has now won its season opener nine times in the 10 years of its existence. It was the first time Spanish Springs had played at Wooster in four years and the first time they had played the Colts there in five years. Spanish Springs has won won five straight against Wooster.
Eckles was just happy to see her team get a win in a road league game, no matter the fashion.
"Now, every game counts," the Cougars veteran coach said. "There are no nights off so it was good to get a good start, to get a lot of kids good minutes under their belt. We've got some confidence to build on and we'll get back to practice."
Spanish Springs returns to action Friday for a non-league game at home against Colfax, Calif. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.
Wooster's Pablo Contreras buried five treys and tallied a game-high 30 points but it wasn't enough to get the Colts a win on Opening Night. No other Colt had more than six and Wooster was handed a 67-57 home loss by Spanish Springs Tuesday.
The Cougars used a more balanced attack to snare the win. Brandon DeLong notched 20 points to lead the SSHS club while Ryan Swanson and Trevor Shetrawski chipped in 12 and 11 respectively.
Contreras hit back-to-back threes to start the Colts offense and give it an early 6-2 lead, but Spanish Springs scored 11 of the next 15 points and had a 13-12 edge after the initial period.
The visiting Cougars extended their lead to 31-19 by halftime.
"We didn't do anything in terms of preparing for Wooster," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "We've got so many new pieces and it was obvious today we're not real comfortable in what we're trying to do as group. We didn't know anything about Wooster and then Contreras comes out and he started the game with two threes.
"They were tough to guard. Our kids never made adjustments. We were always chasing the dribbler and that plays right into that offense's hands," Penney added about Wooster's dribble-drive offensive scheme. "We could've gone zone but it's too early in the year to do that. We have to figure out how we're going to guard and if can we guard."
Wooster started chipping away after the intermission. A Garrett Powers layup got Wooster within eight, 44-36, with 2:14 to go in the third quarter and that was the score after three periods completed.
Colts guard Eddie Arista got a runner to fall at the 5:14 mark of the fourth quarter. That got Wooster within six, 49-43. It also served as a wake-up call for Spanish Springs.
The Cougars put together an 11-2 spurt that saw them increase their edge to a game-high 15 points, 60-45. Still, Wooster did not roll over and die.
The Colts fought all the way back to again get back to within six, 63-57, after an Alfrado Girardi 3-pointer with 47 ticks to go. That's as good as it got for Wooster. Spanish Springs sank four straight free throws in the final 43 seconds to secure the league win.
"It was tough, but we got that first game out of the way," Penney said. "It was obvious it was our first game, but Wooster is Wooster. That's where I got my start coaching. It's the same kind of kids. They play the same way. They are gritty, tough, hard-nosed kids and they kept coming. It was good for us."
Spanish Springs is in action again Friday when it hosts Bear River of Grass Valley, Calif. at 7 P.M.