Cougars coach Kyle Penney took over the program for the 2007-08 season and the SSHS hoopsters had been 0-9 against the Huskies on his watch.
Well, Spanish Springs finally broke through Thursday night, dropping Reno 55-53 in a key High Desert League affair.
"Our defense got better in the second half," Penney said. "We talked at halftime that we had to do something to change the tempo. We went to some zone traps, got some turnovers and controlled the post."
Reno scored the first six points of the game. The visiting Huskies were seemingly in control until late in the third period. The guests did not trail until early in the fourth quarter.
Reno led by 10, 34-24, after a Luke Medeiros hook shot with 4:10 to go in the third period. The Huskies' edge was still seven, 37-30, when Jake Johnson knocked down 1 of 2 foul shots at the third period's 1:32 mark.
That's about the time things started to unravel for Reno.
Spanish Springs scored the final six points of the third after Jake Longero buried two free throws and Tremor Shetrawski got his own putback, pulling the Cougars within one, 37-36, at the quarter's conclusion.
Shetrawski scored a game and season-high 19 points to pace the Spanish Springs offense. He was the lone Cougars player to score in double digits.
"We didn't show up to play a basketball game," Penney said. "We were able to fight back a little bit. Brian Smith came off the bench and did some good things to give us a lift and help keep us in the game in the first half. And then Tremor gave us a spark in the second half, on the glass and hitting some shots."
The host Cougars took their first lead, 38-37, after junior Brandon Delong dropped in a spinning layup in the post just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Spanish Springs led 45-41 after another Delong layup left 3:43 on the game clock. After a short jumper in the lane by Anthony Hascheff, Reno's Jake Pinocchio nailed a pull-up 3-pointer in transition and the Huskies held a 46-45 advantage with 3:08 remaining in the contest.
That's as good as it got for Reno. Pinocchio's bucket gave the visitors their final lead of the game. Spanish Springs put together what proved to be a game-winning 9-0 run in a two-minute stretch. A Longero layup on the break capped the outburst and saw Spanish Springs forge ahead 54-46 with 31 ticks to go in the game.
Spanish Springs needed every point of that late spurt. Reno got a putback, backcourt steal that resulted in a layup and another Pinocchio trey in a span of 14 seconds, trimming the Cougars' lead to 54-53. Unfortunately for Reno, Pinocchio's second 3-pointer came with just 1.6 seconds in the game.
Spanish Springs' Ryan Swanson was fouled with a tenth of a second remaining and he converted 1-of-2 free throws to account for the final 55-53 margin.
"I thought we just kind of steadily let them back in the game," Reno coach Kyle Schellin said. "We did a really good job on the boards in the first three quarters and then we started to allow them some second chances. And they are a pretty good team. You can only hold them down for so long.
Medeiros, Pinocchio and David Abittan scored 13, 12 and 10 points respectively for Reno (10-11, 9-7). However, the Huskies got just 18 points from the remainder of their roster.
Spanish Springs (11-13, 8-7) finishes its regular season tonight at home against HDL-leading Hug. The Cougars can capture the HDL's third playoff seed if they upset the Hawks, but will have to settle for a No. 4 seed if they lose.
Spanish Springs is guaranteed to travel for a first-round regional playoff game Tuesday at 7 p.m.