Spanish Springs was shut out in the first quarter of a High Desert League matchup at home against McQueen Tuesday. Still, the Cougars overcame the lackluster start and rebounded to post a 48-39 victory.
While the Cougars' offense did a disappearing act through the initial eight minutes, the local squad was fortunate its defense still came to play. Luckily for the hosts, in spite of their first quarter offensive goose egg, they still only trailed 3-0 going into the second period.
Spanish Springs responded in that second quarter, outscoring McQueen 17-11 and earning a 17-14 lead at halftime. The Cougars kept the momentum in the third period, winning the quarter 20-8 and extending their edge to 37-22 heading into the final quarter.
"We started off cold, really slow. We didn't score in the first quarter," rookie Spanish Springs coach Art Cardenas said. "McQueen came out in a zone and got out on our shooters, Hannah (Woytek) and Mariah (Vargas). After the first quarter, we made some adjustments in our zone offense.
"Finally we started hitting some shots. We got good shots early. They just didn't go down. So we made a couple shots and we tried to get out and run and get some easy baskets too."
McQueen (5-10, 1-6) did manage to outscore Spanish Springs 17-11 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
The Cougars' senior all-league point guard Hannah Woytek turned in an 18-point performance to lead all scorers. All 18 of her points came in the second and third periods. She also gave away seven assists and snagged four steals.
Additionally, Spanish Springs got 11 points from senior forward Adriana Pennington, who pulled down 15 rebounds as well, leaving her one short of tying a school record, shared by three other players -- Kyle Molino (2001), Kelly Hernandez (2008, 2009) and Lyndsey Anderson (2011, 2012).
Sadaria McAlister and Christina Farman scored 14 and 11 points to lead McQueen's offensive charge. In fact, the duo accounted for 64 percent of the northwest Reno's school's total offense. No other Lancer finished with more than five points.
The win helped Spanish Springs (11-3) even its mark in conference clashes at 3-3.
"Our defense was really good," Cardenas said. "We wanted to make them miss from the outside. We didn't guard the wings. We really focused on the gaps and recovering to kick outs. The girls did a good job with that."
Spanish Springs is back in action Friday when plays at Damonte Ranch in a DI North crossover league game. Start time is 5:15 p.m.