swingman Brandon Delong propelled Spanish Springs to its fourth win in five tries. Delong poured in a game-high 28 points as Spanish Springs overcame a slow start to capture a 60-51 win Thursday over host Elko at the annual EHS Red Lion Tournament.
Elko got off to a quick 12-4 lead but Spanish Springs trimmed the
margin to 14-9 by the first quarter’s conclusion. A big second quarter helped Spanish Springs take the lead by halftime, 30-26. The guests never relinquished that advantage.
“They got off to a good start and we were a little sluggish early,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “We were able to get some turnovers in the second quarter and we eventually got up double digits, but we just couldn’t shake them.”
outscored Elko 21-12 in the second quarter and forged ahead by the
four-point cushion at the intermission. The Cougars won the third period 15-13 and led 45-39, heading into the final quarter.
The SSHS club extended its edge to double digits early in the fourth quarter only to watch Elko surge and stay in contention. A Tim Meo layup helped Elko get to within three, 50-47, but that’s as good as it got for Elko.
Spanish Springs (4-1) scored 10 of the game’s final 14 points to seal the win in the first-round
In addition to Delong’s big night, Spanish Springs got 11 points from Jake Longero. Nathan Klekas paced the Elko offense with 14 points. Meo chipped in 12.
The foul line was a key area for Spanish Springs. The Cougars knocked down 9-of-15 shots from the stripe while Elko (2-1) got only five tries in the contest, knocking down three.
“We only got to the free-throw line five times,” Elko coach Chris Klekas said. “When you’re not getting to the line, you’re not going to win many games.”
Spanish Springs will play Skyview, Utah today in Elko at 6 p.m.