Spanish Springs had a 17-10 lead entering the second quarter Saturday afternoon. The Cougars allowed a three-point basket and then scored six points in a nearly three-minute span for a 23-13 lead. Escalon made good on 2 of 4 free throws in the final minute and two second of the second quarter to trail 23-15 at halftime.
"I'm frustrated," Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said after the game, despite the win. "We turned the ball over too much. We don't execute on offense. It's just frustrating. We're not where we need to be."
The teams battled in the third quarter, and Escalon score back-to-back buckets to whittle away the lead to just four points, 23-19. Spanish Springs' Brandon DeLong hit a jumper for the Cougars' first basket of the second half. But Escalon's Robert Leal answered to hold the score at 25-21.
"If we're playing a league game right now, we have no chance of winning that league game it doesn't matter who we play," Penney said.
Spanish Springs outscored Escalon 6-2 in the next two minutes for a 31-23 lead and took a 31-25 edge into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars scored the first six baskets of the fourth quarter to nearly shut down Escalon, with a 37-25 lead. Escalon fought the Cougars but were forced to foul late in the game, and were unable to come back en route to a 48-42 loss for the visiting California squad.
"We had a lot of good plays," Penney said. "Thomas (Perkins) rebounded real well after two substandard games. There was definitely lots of good. But overall, we're not where we need to be yet."
Escalon's Spencer Francesschetti led all scorers with 18 points. Leal added 10 points. Escalon only made eight two-point field goals on the day, along with six shots from beyond the arc.
Thomas Perkins had a team-high of 17 for Spanish Springs. DeLong posted 11.
Spanish Springs had 25 turnovers against Escalon Saturday.
"When you turnover 25 times, that's less offensive opportunities," Penney said. "If you turnover 10 times, that's 15 more shot attempts. Our free-throw percentage is not really good, our shooting percentage is not real good. Our shot selection isn't real good. But defensively our kids responded after yesterday."
Spanish Springs plays Thursday against Sparks at Elko in tournament play.