Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, the Cougars came out on the short end of a 55-52 score, falling in triple overtime, the longest game in the nine-year history of the SSHS program.
Playing without starting senior center Kelly Hernandez, Spanish Springs found itself in a 30-19 hole after South Tahoe's Cassandra Diaz banked in a 3-pointer with 3:19 left in the third period.
From there, Spanish Springs started a furious flurry to get back in contention. The Cougars outscored the visiting Vikings 17-4 through the remainder of the game. The outburst forged Spanish Springs ahead 36-34 after Ari James canned two fouls shots with 2:54 remaining in regulation.
James put up 16 points to pace the Cougars' offense. She also had 11 rebounds and eight steals.
The lone bucket through the rest of the fourth quarter came when Diaz got a runner to fall to knot the score at 36-36.
The Cougars took a 41-38 lead when James dropped in a layup at the 2:13 mark of the first overtime. However, South Tahoe scored the next five points to take a 43-41 lead. Spanish Springs forced double overtime when freshman Sam Owens made a driving layup in traffic from the wing to force a 43-43 deadlock.
In double overtime, the Cougars led 48-46, but Alexis Nunes-Fenley dropped in a layup to tie the game again. South Tahoe took a 50-49 edge when Alexis Holmes drained two free throws with 55 seconds to go in the second extra session.
Holmes led all scorers with 18 points. Diaz added 13 for South Tahoe.
Owens made 1-of-2 fouls shots for Spanish Springs with 16 ticks left that managed to get the Cougars into the third overtime.
The host Cougars never led in triple overtime. Senior Jessica Fralick made a driving layup around a pair of Viking defenders that made the scoreboard read 52-52 with 3:16 to go in the game.
South Tahoe led 55-52 after converting 3-of-4 free throws. That left Spanish Springs nine seconds, but freshman Riley Holladay's 3-pointer from the corner caught iron and bounced out, giving the Vikings a victory.
Holladay scored 13 points in her varsity debut for Spanish Springs.
The loss was the first ever for Spanish Springs in its season opener.
The Cougars got off to a good start, leading 10-4 after the first period. The bad news was they managed only nine points over the next 13-plus minutes.
After a solid defensive start in the first quarter, Spanish Springs allowed 17 second-quarter points and found itself down 21-18 at the intermission.
The Cougars are in action again Thursday when they play at Basic High in Las Vegas. The game is the start of a four-game, three-day road trip to Clark County for Spanish Springs.