Spanish Springs followed up that early DRHS bucket with a string of 13-straight points and the hosts never trailed again en route to a 54-30 romp in a Division I North girls prep basketball crossover league game.
"It was far from our best effort, and there's certainly room for improvement, but we did some positive things," Spanish Springs coach Christine Eckles said. "Damonte Ranch is much improved from a year ago. Their kids came to play, but I thought for the most part, ours did too."
Damonte Ranch tried to fluster Spanish Springs with some early full-court pressure but the Cougars welcomed it and broke the Mustangs' press schemes for easy layups. That helped key the Cougars early spurt as they ran out to a 21-11 lead after one period of play.
The pace slowed in the second period as Spanish Springs won the quarter just 8-7 and took a 29-18 lead into halftime. The two teams traded buckets through the first four-plus minutes of the third period before Spanish Springs blew the game open.
A 3-pointer by Kayla Bruesewitz left Damonte down 37-25 at the 3:40 mark of the third period. The conference clash got ugly from there. The Mustangs did not score again in the third and managed only five points through the remainder of the contest.
Following the Bruesewitz trey, Spanish Springs proceeded to score 15 straight points to widen the gap and nix any slim hopes the Mustangs had of mounting a comeback.
Lyndsey Anderson finished with a game-high 15 points for Spanish Springs. KK Lang chipped in 10 points for the Cougars. Laneesha Terrance had eight points and 10 rebounds for the hosts while Riley Holladay turned in a solid all-around performance, finishing with eight points five steals, five rebounds and five assists.
Taylor Nuttal was the lone Damonte Ranch player to hit for double digits in the scoring column, finishing with 11 points.
"Defensively, after the first quarter we were pretty good," Eckles said. "We gave up some open looks early but we buckled down, got better ball pressure and got in some passing lanes as the game wore on."
Spanish Springs shot 24-of-53 (45 percent) from the field while Damonte Ranch was 11-of-35 (31 percent). Shooting wasn't the only area where the Cougars held an advantage. Spanish Springs out-rebounded Damonte 27-20 and forced 25 Mustangs turnovers while committing only 13.
The Cougars improved to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in league play with the victory. They will play again Jan. 18 at Reed.
"Now we've got a week off to keep working at getting better," Eckles said. "This will be a good stretch to get some shots up, improve our conditioning and work on our schemes. I think we'll get some good commitment and focus over the next week as we head into the bulk of our league schedule."