The first school to jump right into league play is Spanish Springs, which takes on Bishop Manogue today. The girls tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., while the boys start at 7 p.m. at BMHS.
The Cougar boys recently returned from San Diego after going 2-2 in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. Spanish Springs opened the tourney with a win, but followed that up with two straight losses. However, coach Kyle Penney said he liked how his team battled in the final two games, especially in a 57-54 win over Rancho Bernardo. The Cougars trailed by two heading into the final quarter and outscored their opponent by five.
The boys are hoping that momentum carries over to the final stretch of league after racking up a 4-1 record through the first five league clashes.
The Lady Cougars also closed out a winter tournament with a win after dropping their previous game. The Spanish Springs girls were not challenged in that game though, outscoring Desert Oasis 36-15 in the middle two quarters to cruise to a 59-34 victory.
One team that recorded plenty of wins over break was the Reed girls hoops squad. The Raiders went 4-0 over two days at McQueen’s Silver State Slam after competing at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix.
“It was a lot of games in a short period of time. I think we just threw a lot at all our girls,” Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper-Ramirez said. “The Nike tournament threw a lot at us and then this tournament. There hasn’t been a lot of time to digest everything. The six practices will be really good to see what we took out of all of it. I think the more game time, the more experience you will get, and the better off you will be in the long run.”
Reed doesn’t return to league play until next week when it heads to North Valleys Tuesday.
The boys have won five of their last six games, but they have been off from game action since Dec. 22 when it took third place in Sparks High’s Rail City Classic.
Another team that will have a long layoff between games is the Sparks girls basketball squad, which used winter break for practice. When the Railroaders take on Spring Creek Friday night, it will have been nearly three weeks since their last game.
On the other hand, the boys have been busy, playing seven more non-league games than the girls. While the Maroon and Gold is only 5-7 on the season, coach Dan Schreiber feels the non-league slate has prepared his team for the Division I-A gauntlet that starts this weekend at Spring Creek and Elko.
“We’ve played some pretty hard teams. Wooster is middle of the pack in their division. You can easily see Wooster in a playoff spot in February,” Schreiber said after a loss to the Colts. “When you factor in Galena, Hug twice, we had a pretty hard preseason. We’ll be ready. Christmas is always a hard time to be playing. We’ll be there.”