The Lancers used their quickness and outside shooting to deal the Cougars a decisive 68-43 defeat.
Spanish Springs struggled with the full-court pressure in the first quarter. It was still only a four-point McQueen lead, 8-4, three minutes into the game, but the Lancers held the Cougars scoreless over the remaining five minutes.
The long drought allowed McQueen to go on a 13-0 run to take a 21-4 lead into the second quarter. Taylor Dewees swiped a steal in the backcourt and knocked down a 3-pointer to ignite the rally.
A minute later, Dewees sank a trey from way downtown, making it a 17-4 game.
In a 13-second span, Katy Hufford scored a runner and then picked up a steal in the backcourt and took it the distance for a layup, pushing the gap to 21-4.
“We need to do the things we talk about in practice. We need to translate those to the games,” SSHS girls basketball coach Christine Eckles said. “We worked on it (press break) in practice, so I was surprised we didn’t do a better job of it. I knew McQueen is scrappy and quick and if we allowed them to get turnovers and shoot the three, then we’d be in for a long night.”
McQueen forced 25 turnovers, while only coughing it up 13 times on the night.
The Lancers scored the first bucket of the second quarter on another Hufford runner, capping what turned into a string of 15 straight points.
However, the Cougars had a little rally in them. After ending a drought that lasted six and a half minutes, Spanish Springs answered with seven straight, cutting the deficit to 23-11 with 5:46 to go in the half. Lyndsey Anderson started and ended the run with layups.
Erica Sutherland ended the Cougar rally by swishing a 3-pointer from the corner.
A minute and a half later, Dewees fired up three-balls on back-to-back trips down the floor and ripped the twine on both, pushing the McQueen lead to 32-13. The visitors never relinquished momentum after that.
With 2:07 left before halftime, the Lancers enjoyed their first 20-point advantage when Lauren Mathis drove to the hoop and went left-handed with a layup. The scoreboard read 36-16.
The northwest Reno school went back into the locker room enjoying a 38-19 edge at the break.
McQueen’s full-court defense again wreaked havoc in the second half, holding Spanish Springs to just a free throw halfway through the third quarter, which allowed the Lancers to build a 49-20 cushion.
A Dewees 3-pointer at the 3:02 mark of the third increased McQueen’s lead to over the 30-point plateau for the first time, 54-22.
Dewees led all scorers with 21 points behind the strength of five treys, but sat about six minutes after re-aggravating an ankle injury.
McQueen outscored Spanish Springs 20-8 in the third quarter to take a 58-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter after Sierra Baker poured in back-to-back buckets in the final 40 seconds of the third period. Baker had eight of her 12 points in the third.
The Cougars did win the fourth quarter when mostly the reserves played and the Lancers no longer pressed.
Spanish Springs used an 11-0 run during a span of just over three minutes long to make the game more respectable for a moment. The home team got as close as 62-41, but only ended up outscoring McQueen 16-10 in the fourth quarter after the Lancers scored six unanswered points.
Hufford chipped in with 15 points in the winning cause.
Anderson was about the only Cougar to do much offensively from the floor. The sophomore led the team with 13 points after making five of the team’s 11 field goals.
Spanish Springs (4-5, 1-3 in Northern 4A) is back in action against South Tahoe Tuesday. Tip-off for the non-league game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at SSHS