But the Cougars got that win they’ve been looking for, ending a three-game losing streak by taking down the Raiders, 62-43, Saturday evening in prep boys basketball action.
“I think that’s what it came down to and that’s what we told the kids. It is nice to win though because we were on a skid there. We played some tough teams,” SSHS boys basketball coach Kyle Penney said. “A win cures a lot of ills. Confidence goes a long way in these sports. We’re still showing we don’t handle pressure very well, but our kids are resilient.”
It was a far cry from the night before when Reed scored 77 points, the highest point total in any game for the east Sparks school all year. At SSHS, the Raiders managed just 15 first-half points and trailed 29-15 at the break.
It could have been much worse. Spanish Springs was in a bonus situation for almost the entire second quarter, but didn’t manage to take advantage of the opportunity. Spanish Springs only sank three shots from the charity stripe in the second quarter.
The Cougars did put together an 8-0 run in the opening minutes of the second quarter, extending their lead to double digits for the first time, 21-10, with 4:50 to go in the first half.
A 6-0 spurt late in the half increased the lead to 27-14, and Phil Smith’s bucket down low with 10 seconds on the clock gave the hosts a 29-15 halftime advantage, the largest gap of the first half. Spanish Springs built on its 12-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play by forcing turnovers and not allowing Reed second-chance opportunities.
“We struggled. Our execution was poor. Our ball control was really poor. We were just giving the ball away,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said. “We played hard like we always do, but there was no purpose or intent on offense. We just didn’t value the ball. We gave it away and they would turn it into points.”
The Purple and White opened the second half with eight straight points. A Ryan Swanson turnaround made it a 20-point game for the first time, 35-15. Tremor Shetrawski capped what turned into a 10-0 run that bridged the second and third quarters by scoring in the paint.
Still, the Raiders would not go away. A.J. Silva initiated a string of seven consecutive points by the visitors when he knocked down a 3-pointer. The rally brought Reed to within 15 points, 37-22, at the 3:53 mark of the third period.
But the Cougs answered with six straight points, started after the Reed bench was called for a technical.
The 20-point cushion was still intact heading into the fourth quarter thanks to Shetrawski swishing a 3-pointer from the corner with 12 seconds on the third-quarter clock. That pushed the gap back to 46-26.
The fourth quarter was ugly for both teams with turnovers leading to easy points. Reed got as close as 52-37 with 4:37 remaining in the game, but there was not much drama otherwise.
Cougars junior Brandon Delong led all scorers with 20 points. Swanson added 10.
Silva paced the Raiders with 11 points as the only member of the Blue and Gold in double figures. Andre Franklin and Dylan Raatz had nine points apiece.
Spanish Springs (8-11, 5-5 in Northern 4A) is at home again Tuesday against Douglas at 7:30 p.m.
Reed (6-10, 3-7 in Northern 4A) is also at home Tuesday. The Raiders host Galena at 7:30 p.m.