The Cougars buried four 3-pointers in the first quarter and rained in nine total on the night to hold their guests at bay.
Still, Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney had mixed feelings on the shooting effort.
“I don't know that we shot it that well,” Penney said. “We hit nine threes, but we took 25. So that's not a great percentage. There's improvement that needs to be made in that category. The three certainly doesn't have to be the first shot.”
Spanish Springs never trailed. Bear River did get a putback from Justin Beskeen with nine seconds to go in the first quarter that got the Bruins within three, 18-15.
However, Bear River could never get over the hump. The Cougars got a corner trey at the first-quarter buzzer from Trevor Shetrawski to extend the lead back to six, 21-15.
Bear River hung around for a while. The margin was still three, 26-23, with just over a minute to go before halftime, but Spanish Springs got a trey from Brandon DeLong, and a Ryan Swanson putback, and wound up taking a 31-25 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Spanish Springs began to pull away in the third, outscoring Bear River 12-5 in the eight minutes. The local school then proceeded to outscore the Bruins (0-1) 12-4 through the first four minutes of the fourth period. That gave the hosts a game-high edge of 21 points, 55-34.
DeLong paced the SSHS offense with 20 points while Shetrawski and Swanson both chipped in 12.
Spanish Springs, which beat Wooster in its season opener Tuesday, hosts Merced, Calif. today at 2 p.m.
“There was improvement,” Penney said. “There were also some frustrating moments but it's Game 2. I'm pleased we were better than we were on Tuesday. If we continue to do that, we'll be on pace.”
Also at SSHS Friday, Spanish Springs spotted its guests from Colfax, Calif. a 15-point lead and it proved costly. The Cougars never dug out of that hole and were saddled with a 42-29 non-league loss.
Spanish Springs scored the first points of the game when Riley Holladay made a runner in the lane at the 6:12 mark of the first quarter. Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, the bucket was its only points of the quarter. Colfax reeled off 14 straight points to end the first period.
The visiting Falcons then got a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the second quarter and had a 17-2 edge. The Spanish Springs offense proceeded to show its only real signs of life in the remainder of the second quarter. The SSHS squad outscored Colfax 18-7 into halftime and had trimmed the visitors’ lead to 24-20 by intermission.
Sam Owens and Holladay had a pair of buckets to key the run.
The two teams traded buckets to open the third quarter, leaving Colfax up 26-22. However, that was as good as it got for the hosts. Colfax scored 13 of the next 14 points over an eight-minute stretch that bridged the third and fourth quarters. That outburst left Colfax with a game-high lead of 16 points, 39-23.
Colfax helped its cause by dominating two facets of the game, rebounding and ball security. The Falcons out-rebounded the Cougars by a slim 43-39 margin, but they pulled down 22 offensive rebounds, that led to easy putbacks.
Colfax (1-1) also forced 25 Spanish Springs turnovers while limiting its giveaways to 17.
Apart from its 18-point second-quarter outburst, Spanish Springs had just 11 total points in the other three periods.
“Their offensive rebounds just killed us,” Cougars coach Christine Eckles said. “That’s an area we obviously need to improve, because we did some good things in our half-court defense. But we can’t give up easy points on putbacks.
“This game exposed some things and that’s good. We know what we need to work on and we’ll get to practice and get after it.”
Colfax forward Michelle Walker was the game’s only player to post double digits in the scoring column. She finished with 19 points.
Spanish Springs did not have a player with more than six points in the lackluster loss and it converted on just 12-of-48 shots (25 percent) from the field.
The Cougars (1-1) return to action Tuesday in a Northern 4A crossover league game at Bishop Manogue. Tipoff is 6 p.m.