Spanish springs limited Elko to six, 11 and five points in the first three periods of play. In the process, the Cougars built a 49-22 lead after three periods and cruised to the key High Desert League win over the visiting Indians.
"We got a lot practice in this week and we worked on a lot of defensive stuff, bumping cutters, recovering. It showed," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. "The week of practice was nice. It definitely paid off for us."
Washoe County teams did not play during the work week as the past five days were marked as Finals Week. The result was teams got four days of practice together without a game. That was good for Spanish Springs as it came it crisp and sharp from the opening tip.
The Cougars hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter and built a 17-6 lead after the initial eight minutes. The visiting Indians never got within single digits the rest of the way.
Spanish Springs reserve guard Kyle Raymond had a team-high 15 points. Tyler Emrick and Adam Miller added 12 and 10 for the SSHS cagers.
Jimmy McPhearson and Josh Hays scored 14 and 11 respectively for Elko.
"Spanish Springs shot the ball well and we didn't defend well," Elko coach Chris Klekas said. "That's a combination that's disastrous for us and it was right off the bat."
Spanish Springs improved to 13-6 overall and 2-2 in HDL affairs. Elko fell to 6-10 overall and 0-3 in league play. Spanish Springs is off today, but returns to the hardwood for a home game against Reed Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Spanish Springs picked up just its second win in eight tries at Elko, holding off the Indians 50-47.
Elko cut the SSHS lead to one, 48-47, but Cougars senior point guard Caitlin McKinney canned two foul shots with 8 seconds remaining in the contest to account for the final margin. Elko's Shelby Bruns got off an off-balance look at a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was an airball, securing the SSHS win.
"Caitlin's free throws were big. She'd gone to the line just before and made one of two," Cougars coach Christine Eckles said. "Then they fouled her again. She knocked them both down. She stepped up, gave us a little bit of room so we could play defense and make them have to hit a tough shot."
Spanish Springs was 0-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter prior to McKinney hitting 3-of-4 in the final 30 seconds. For the game, Spanish Springs managed to hit just 5-of-15 from the charity stripe, nearly costing it a win.
Ari James scored 13 points and Tiffany Lang chipped in 11 for the Cougars.
Spanish Springs ran its win streak to seven and now sits 14-7 overall and 3-1 in HDL. The Cougars host Reed Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.