Last week was a rough one for the Cougs. They lost three-straight home games, two of which were technically league contests.
It’s fair to say after Friday night’s 72-42 rout at Damonte Ranch, they’ve moved on.
“That was in the past. We’re living right here in the present,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “We still have to get better. We can’t be happy with this.”
The Cougars improved to 4-4, 2-2 in the DI North with the 30-point win after leading by as much as 40. The Mustangs dropped to 2-9, 0-4.
Marcus Loadholt led the way for the Cougs with a game-high 22 points. Jalen Townsell had 13 and Justus Eaglesmith had 10.
Loadholt managed to lead all scorers despite sitting for the majority of the second quarter and nearly the entire second half. He hit three triples in the first four minutes to lead Spanish Springs to an early 18-3 advantage. He scored 13 of his points in the first quarter before getting comfortable on the sideline.
“We have guys that can do that,” Penney said of his group’s fast start. “I mean we still have a long ways to go, we can get better in a lot of areas … We have a lot of guys who can score and I think they want to score right now. We have to learn to trust one another.”
One of the best shooters in the area, Brett Cooper, was held to five points in the first half before finishing with 16 to lead Damonte Ranch.
The Cougs led 49-16 at the break at it got as large as 40, at 64-24, early in the fourth quarter following an Eaglesmith triple before the Mustangs made a small dent in the distance before the final horn.
Spanish Springs now prepares for its annual trip to San Diego for the Torrey Pines Classic by Under Armour, starting Dec. 26.
Girls lead by 11 early, fall by 10
The Spanish Springs girls led by as much as 11 in the first half of Friday’s DI North contest at Damonte Ranch but watched that lead slowly fade before falling 47-37.
The Cougs dropped to 1-6, 1-2 with their sixth-straight loss. The Mustangs improved to 5-2, 2-2.
One of Damonte Ranch’s bigs, Morgan Waller, was hit with three early fouls and watched the majority of the first half as the Cougs built their lead. Waller’s return in the second half, along with the dominance of fellow big Meagan Carlson, ended up being the difference.
Waller scored all 10 of her points in the second half and Carlson scored half of her game-high 18 points out of the break to lead the comeback effort.
“We did a good job neutralizing their size in the first half,” Spanish Springs coach Art Cardenas said. “We just came out (in the second half), we got away from what we talked about. We got away from the game plan.”
Shooter Kyra Bruesewitz also had a big second half, scoring 10 of her 15 points. Only one other Mustang got on the stat sheet.
With the game tied at 30 late in the third quarter, the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run spanning a few minutes into the fourth that ultimately decided the game. The Cougs scored just seven more points the rest of the way.
Anhelica Shanrock did most of the scoring for Spanish Springs, finishing with a team-high 17 points. However, she scored just three points in the second half. No other Coug finished with more than six points.
“They keyed on her (Shanrock),” Cardenas said. “They got up on her a little bit more. Their coach (Ed Sheppard) knew she was hitting some shots early.”
Shanrock’s lone bucket of the second half, a triple with 2:09 left, cut the distance to 43-35 but the Cougs didn’t score again until the final seconds.
Behind Shanrock’s 14 points in the first half, the Cougs led 22-14 at the break while Waller watched.
Shanrock hit consecutive shots from behind the arc to give Spanish Springs its biggest lead of the night, 19-8, with 3:48 left in the second quarter. The Mustangs scored the next six points to sneak within 19-14 before the Cougs scored the final three points of the half.
The Cougs closed the first quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 9-6 edge to the second quarter.
Spanish Springs will look to bounce back Saturday morning at home against Carson. Tip is at 11:45 a.m.