The point of traveling early in the season is to play against competition you won’t see in the regular season, to expose weaknesses against unfamiliar foes.
Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, the Cougs traveled all the way to San Diego to play in the Torrey Pines Classic by Under Armor and got stuck playing against High Desert League rival McQueen on Tuesday night. They rolled 55-38.
They improved to 6-5 on the season one night after falling 51-50 to La Costa Canyon (Calif.). They bested Oakland, 66-47, in the Torrey Pines opener on Saturday.
The lopsided outcome may have come as a surprise to some because both squads, along with Reno, are considered to be the front runners for the HDL title. The Lancers dropped to 9-5.
The Cougs weren’t particularly sharp offensively (hitting just 2-of-11 shots from deep) but stymied the Lancers defensively. McQueen had just 21 points after three quarters before outscoring Spanish Springs 17-12 in the fourth.
Josh Prizina led the Cougs with 14 points and 11 boards. Ryan Anderson finished with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor. Marcus Loadhoalt had a quiet night by his standards, turning in eight points, but passed out six assists.
Spanish Springs pulled away early, leading 27-13 at the break, and grew the margin to 43-21 after three before getting edged in the final eight minutes.
The Cougars wrap up their San Diego trip Wednesday against Mater Dei Catholic (Calif.) at 4:50 p.m.
Sparks hangs on in DI-A North opener
Sparks built a comfy lead after three quarters before hanging on in the fourth quarter to win its DI-A North opener on Tuesday night at home against Spring Creek, 59-58.
The Railroaders improved to 2-6, 1-0 while the Spartans dropped to 5-5, 1-1.
After three quarters, Sparks’ lead sat at 50-36. Then it was hang on time.
Spring Creek outscored its hosts 22-9 over the final eight minutes but it wasn’t enough.
John Anguiano led the Railroaders with 18 points and Agustin Juarez chipped in 11. Matt Longland had nine.
Free throws have been a problem for Sparks early in the season but that was not the case in the win. The Railroaders hit 13-of-18 freebies (72 percent).
Sparks will try to win its second straight on Wednesday night at home against Elko. Tip is at 6 p.m.
Carson handles Reed
The Reed boys were no match on the road at Carson, a regional title favorite, on Tuesday night.
The Raiders were on the short end of a 52-34 decision and fell to 4-8, 1-3 in the DI North. The Senators improved to 8-4, 3-0.
Carson’s Jayden DeJoseph and Asa Carter both had big nights, nearly outscoring the Raiders by themselves. Both finished with 16.
“All of Asa’s looks were uncontested 12-foot jumpers and (Jayden) had probably five open layups,” Reed coach Zach Sanford said. “They are a good squad.”
No Reed player reached double figures in the loss. Marianos Kalderimoglou nearly reached the plateau, however, finishing with nine. Isaac Nieves and Jeremy Ramos both had seven.
Sanford’s squad hung around early, trailing just 17-13 after the first quarter, but managed just five points in the second quarter and trailed 29-18 at the break and the lead continued to swell in the second half.
Reed, which has now dropped three straight, will try to get back in the win column next Tuesday at Galena. Tip is at 7 p.m.