So Tuesday night may have been a bad time to be on the Cougars' schedule. Unfortunately for McQueen, it was indeed next up on the Cougars' slate. And the host Lancers were no match for a fired-up Cougars club.
Spanish Springs ripped off the first 19 points of the game and was never threatened. The Cougars forced the implementation of Nevada's 40-point running-clock mercy rule early in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 65-29 road romp in northwest Reno.
"We got off to a great start," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "We had good energy early. We forced turnovers, got out in transition and shared the basketball. It was nice to get back on the winning side of things. I think we still kind of had a bitter taste in our mouths after losing at Manogue last week."
While Spanish Springs had McQueen outmatched. The Cougars still had a letdown. That came in the second quarter. After outscoring McQueen 23-3 in the first quarter, Spanish Springs let its hosts hang around in the second eight minutes. Spanish Springs just barely won the second quarter, 16-15 and led 39-18 at halftime.
"That was frustrating," Eckles said. "We had a one-way discussion at halftime. For the most part, we've had strong first periods all year. But we also seem to be making a trend out of having one bad quarter somewhere along the way. It's usually the second or third. There is just no reason for it. That has come back to bite us in all four of our losses. If it continues, it will continue to haunt us in big games.
"Cleaning that up, eliminating our bad quarters, that has got to be our focus as we hit the meat of our league schedule over the next five weeks. If we want to achieve our goals and make a playoff run, we'd better find a way to get rid of our bad quarters. I just can't stress it enough."
Spanish Springs came out of halftime, looking like a team with renewed purpose. The SSHS club bounced back from its poor second period in fine fashion. The Cougars outscored McQueen 22-5 in the third period, extending their edge to 61-23 after three quarters.
Spanish Springs point guard Hannah Woytek made a driving layup in traffic to begin the fourth-quarter scoring. That bucket made the score 63-23 and put the running-clock rule into effect.
Woytek was one of four Cougars to hit for double digits in the scoring column, posting 10 points and seven assists. Riley Holladay led the way for Spanish Springs. The senior guard nearly turned in her second triple double of the season. She finished with a game-high 17 points, gave away 10 assists and snared nine rebounds.
Lyndsey Anderson added 16 points and Laneesha Terrance contributed 12 for the Cougars.
"We got good offensive balance. We'll win a lot of games if those four score in double figures," Eckles said. "We made the extra pass when we needed to and we had great interior passing.
"Almost all of our offense came when we had good intensity on the defensive end of the floor. That's no secret. We preach that every day. But we still have lapses. You'll never completely get rid of those, but we can have fewer of them and shorten them up. I did like how our girls responded after I got on them at halftime about our second-quarter letdown."
Emma White was the lone Lancer in double digits. She had nearly half of the Lancers' offense, scoring 14 points. Only three McQueen players scored in the lopsided loss.
McQueen is now 2-5 in league play.
Not surprisingly, Spanish Springs dominated the stat sheet. The Cougars made 28-of-72 shots from the field (39 percent) while limiting McQueen to 7-of-48 (21 percent). Spanish Springs forced 27 McQueen turnovers while it committed only 12. The guests also won the war on the boards, out-rebounding McQueen 42-31.
The Cougars (14-4, 5-2) will be in action again Friday night when they meet Damonte Ranch in a Division I North crossover league game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at SSHS.