The host Cougars won the jump, made two passes and scored three seconds into the game. They had a 9-0 lead just over two minutes into the contest and had built a 16-2 lead after Lyndsey Anderson dropped in a layup at the 4:21 mark of the first period.
“I like that we’re starting fast in most games,” Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. “That shows were focused from the opening tip and it leads to us putting our opponents on their heels. That’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative.”
Hug’s Christen Voyles buried a trey from the corner at the 2:39 mark of the first period, making the scoreboard read 16-5, but Spanish Springs responded by posting 13 unanswered points. That burst was capped by a Riley Holladay 3-pointer, lifting the Cougars into a 29-5 lead.
Holladay made a layup with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter to put the finishing touches on a stellar first half. Holladay poured in 19 points before the break, helping the hosts to a 42-10 halftime advantage. Holladay finished with 19 points as the SSHS starters saw limited minutes in the second half due to the lopsided score.
“Riley played great tonight,” Eckles said. “She had an aggressive mind set and we need that from her every night. She made jumpers. She got into the lane and finished at the rim. She made some nice passes and got teammates involved. It was just fun to watch her play well.”
The Cougars continued to pour it on after the break. They outscored the visiting Hawks 16-8 in the third period. With 37 seconds left in the third, SSHS reserve guard Mariah Vargas canned a trey from the corner, making the score 58-18. That put Nevada’s 40-point running clock mercy rule into effect the rest of the way.
In a fourth quarter comprised largely of minutes from backups, Spanish Springs outscored Hug 10-7.
Not surprisingly, Spanish Springs dominated the stat sheet. The Cougars shot a sterling 53 percent from the floor, canning 28-of-53 shots. Conversely, Hug turned the ball over 35 times and managed to connect on only 10-of-33 (30 percent) field-goal attempts. The Cougars also out-rebounded the Hawks 32-26.
“We did a lot of good things,” Eckles said. “You always look good when you make shots, which we did tonight. We have seen a lot of teams play zone against us here in the early season. Hug played a lot of man so it was good to see us execute some of our sets. We’ll need to be able to do that as the season continues and we see better and better competition.”
In addition to Holladay’s 19 points, Spanish Springs also got 13 points from Anderson and 11 points from Laneesha Terrance. Cougars' point guard Hannah Woytek chipped in a solid all-around game. She scored six points, gave away five assists and grabbed eight steals.
Hug did not get a player into double digits in the scoring column.
With Thursday’s lopsided triumph, Spanish Springs improved to 10-1 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Cougars’ romp over the Hawks is their lone game in an 11-day stretch. Next up on the Spanish Springs’ schedule is the Centennial Holiday Classic in Las Vegas, Dec. 27-29.
“We have gotten off to a great start and taken care of business for the most part,” Eckles said. “But this tournament will be tough. I expect some really tough games. We’ll play Centennial, which may be the toughest game on our schedule this year. It will be a good test for us and I think our kids are looking forward to the trip.”
Reed 72, Narbonne, Calif. 56
In Phoenix, at the Nike Tournament of Champions, Reed got the best of a traditional southern California power Thursday afternoon. The Raiders’ offense exploded in the second and third quarters for a combined 50 points, helping the east Sparks school’s cause on Day 1 of the tourney.
Gabby Williams posted 27 points and Tyler Sumpter chipped in 19 to pace Reed’s offensive arsenal. Tina Vernon added 14 for Reed. The rest of the Raiders’ roster combined for only 12 points.
Reed advances into the winners’ bracket and will meet Hamilton at 1:45 p.m. Friday.