Spanish Springs had no problem against its crosstown rival on Tuesday night, rolling to an 83-39 home win over Reed that featured running clock much of the fourth quarter.
With the victory, paired with McQueen’s loss at Reno, the Cougs (12-7, 8-3) moved into sole possession of second place in the High Desert League.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “The last few games, I think teams have worked really hard against us. I’m proud of our guys for preparation and scouting report.”
Reed, which fell to 6-13, 3-8, dropped out of the playoff picture for the time being. With the loss and North Valleys’ win over Hug, the Raiders and Panthers are both 3-8 in the DI North but North Valleys holds the tiebreaker for the fourth seed thanks to a win over Reed earlier this season.
Leading 69-31 early in the fourth quarter, Jalen Townsell enacted the running clock mercy rule (40-point difference or greater) when he finished an alley oop from Marlin Brucato.
Townsell was one of three Cougs to finish in double figures. He had 14. Marcus Loadholt led the Cougs with 20 and Josh Prizina finished with 12—10 of which came in the first quarter that saw Spanish Springs take a 17-7 lead.
The difference ballooned to 43-18 at the half and sat at 64-29 after three.
Lincoln Turner scored 23 for the Raiders to lead all scorers.
While not mathematically eliminated from league title contention (due to Reno’s win over McQueen and improving to 10-1), odds are still against the Cougs to defend their HDL title.
Penney’s squad will need to win out (with games against Reno and McQueen remaining) and get help.
“We need some help, there’s no doubt,” Penney said. “But the bottom line is, even the help we get, we have to take care of business anyway. So the mindset is us. The ultimate goal for every team is to be in the final four.”
The Cougars will now play all five other HDL squads one last time, starting Friday night at Hug. The Raiders, who now have work to do to get back in the playoff position, host McQueen on Friday.
High Desert League standings
Spanish Springs 8-3
North Valleys 3-8