In a rare 3:30 p.m. varsity matchup Thursday, the Cougars and Miners locked horns in an initially low-scoring crossover league affair. But after missing everything for the first six minutes, Manogue found its touch from the outside, sinking 10 3-pointers to account for 58 percent of its points in a 52-48 home triumph.
Neither team made any ground in the first half as the score was tied after the first and second quarters. The third was a different story and it spelled disaster for the Purple and Silver.
Spanish Springs scored the first points of the second half on an inbounds play under its own basket. The score by senior Lyndsey Anderson left the scoreboard reading 24-22 in favor of the Cougars, their first lead since it was 6-4.
Three straight points by Laneesha Terrance forged Spanish Springs ahead by two again, 27-25, at the 6:04 mark of the third. That would be the last time the Cougars would be in control until a late rally in the fourth made things interesting.
Six consecutive points by the Miners swung momentum back in their favor.
A third 3-pointer by Hannah Santos in the quarter extended the gap to nine points, 40-31. That was the largest advantage to that point. Santos scored 11 of the Miners’ 22 third-quarter points and finished with 13 on the night.
Manogue knocked down five treys in the third quarter, helping it enjoy a 44-36 lead, entering the final eight minutes of play.
The hosts increased their cushion to double digits for the first time in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a Brianna Holt drive to the hoop. They took a game-high 11-point lead after a Gabbi Concepcion 3-pointer made it 49-38 with 4:55 to play.
Then the Cougars finally found a rhythm.
Riley Holladay banked home a 15-footer and followed that up with a 3-pointer from the left wing. Anderson made a free throw and Holladay capped the 8-0 Spanish Springs run with a deep two-pointer, cutting Manogue’s lead to 49-46 with 2:43 on the clock.
Spanish Springs would not score again until Anderson sank two free throws with 6 seconds left, which made it a two-point game. Anderson scored a game-high 17 points, while Terrance and Holladay added 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Cougars made 17 of 41 shot attempts.
“They’re a good defensive team. We had our opportunities and some open looks early that we didn’t knock down,” SSHS girls basketball coach Christine Eckles said. “We had some easy bunnies that were high-percentage shots. If those go down, we don’t get ourselves in such a big hole. I liked our fight. I thought it was two good teams playing a good game.”
The Miners were held without a shot from the field for nearly the first six minutes of the game.
At the 2:16 mark of the first quarter, Kelly Lujan went the distance for a coast-to-coast layup, cutting the deficit to 6-4. Manogue then forced a turnover in the backcourt and turned that into a Concepcion 3-pointer from the corner, giving the home team its first lead of the game, 7-6, with a 5-0 run over an 11-second span.
Manogue added one more free throw in the opening period, but Spanish Springs tied it up on a Adriana Pennington baseline jumper with 10 seconds on the clock. The 8-8 deadlock remained heading into the second quarter.
After each team made two field goals in the first quarter, it took less than three minutes for both squads to match that offensive output. However, Manogue began to pull away by unleashing a barrage from behind the arc.
Nine of the Miners’ first 11 points of the second quarter came on a trio of 3-pointers. The last 3-pointer pushed Manogue’s lead to 19-15 at the midway point of the second quarter.
But the Cougars fought back and forced another tie by the end of the quarter.
With 2:06 to go in the first half, Anderson scored on a bucket down low and was fouled. She converted the three-point play, making it a 19-18 ballgame.
Lujan answered with a basket from the left elbow, but Terrance tallied her eighth point of the half for the Cougs, slicing the deficit back down to one, 21-20.
After a Miners free throw, KK Lang knotted the score at 22-22 with a minute left in the first half on a layup. The teams went into the locker rooms with that score.
Concepcion paced the Miners with 16 points, and Lujan added 12. Concepcion, Santos and Lujan all drilled three 3-pointers.
“We talked a lot about defending the three-point line well. There were times where we had some mental lapses and did not understand personnel as well as we needed to,” Eckles said. “We let them hit shots. They’re very good off the dribble, so we had to worry about penetration and did a good job on that. They just hit too many threes.”
Spanish Springs (13-4, 4-2) is back in action Tuesday at McQueen. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.