Spanish Springs beats up Galena
The fact Spanish Springs won at home on Friday night against Galena wasn’t surprising.
Both teams are among the most talented in the 4A North and someone had to leave a winner.
The fashion in which the Cougars won, however, was astonishing. Marcus Loadholt scored nine of his game-high 23 points early in the third quarter to create separation and led Spanish Springs to a commanding 58-42 victory.
“If this was a boxing match, we got beat up,” Galena coach Brian Voyles said.
The Cougars improved to 7-2 overall and remained unbeaten in 4A North play at 4-0. The Grizzlies (9-2, 3-1) suffered their second overall defeat and first against regional competition.
The win gives Spanish Springs an early head start in the High Desert League title race and will likely provide tiebreaker points down the road with Galena expected to win a lot of basketball games this season, but coach Kyle Penney downplayed its significance.
“it’s an early game. It’s no different than last night (win over Douglas). It’s no different than any other game we’ve played,” he said. “The one difference being the hype around it. It’s Galena-Spanish Springs. Two, who are supposed to be good, teams.
“What’s the impact this game is going to have? Nobody knows that answer right now.”
Turnovers were the most telling stat of the night. Spanish Springs, a turnover prone team, gave the ball away just seven times while forcing 20 Grizzly turnovers.
“If we’re going to get out-(muscled) and have 20 turnovers, you just saw our season right there,” Voyles said.
Loadholt’s third-quarter barrage grew Spanish Springs’ 28-24 halftime lead to 39-26 with two minutes left in the third.
Led by Moses Wood (15 points) and Dillon Voyles (10 points), Galena whittled the distance to 49-41 with 3:12 left in the fourth following a Wood bucket.
Neither team scored over the next minute until Jalen Townsell provided the dagger – a triple from the top of the key that put the lead at an insurmountable 11 with just two minutes left.
“(That was) big, big,” Penney said. “Jalen responded huge in some situations where I wasn’t necessarily the happiest with him and he came back and hit two threes both times. The maturation for that kid just keeps going up. Solid, just solid.”
Townsell finished with 12 points. Bryce DeLong also reached double figures, finishing with 15. He connected on 6-of-7 fourth-quarter free throws to put the game away.
Unfortunately for Townsell and DeLong, their big nights were overshadowed by Loadholt’s 23-point showing.
“We can’t let him (Loadholt) catch it because he has such a quick release,” Voyles said. “He’s tough. He’s a tough player.”
Galena held its only lead of the night early in the second quarter, 14-13, after a Spencer Conatser (nine points) bucket. The Cougs responded by scoring 10 of the next 13 points – including a Townsell triple – to go up by six and never surrendered the lead.
Spanish Springs, the High Desert League’s only unbeaten team (in 4A North play), takes its annual trip to San Diego Dec. 27-30 then returns to regional play on Jan. 3 at Damonte Ranch (1-10, 1-3).
“At this point right now, four (regional) games going into the New Year break, I told our kids we passed the test,” Penney said. “But at the same time, you’re the hunted. If you don’t stay hungry, you don’t come to work, you don’t come to get better … Nobody’s going to remember (Dec. 16) in February.”
Raiders edged by Tigers
Reed had a pair of possessions late with the chance to tie or take the lead and came up empty both times, falling at home to Douglas on Friday night, 62-58.
The Raiders dropped to 1-5, 1-2 in the 4A North with their fifth straight loss. The Tigers improved to 3-6, 2-2.
Douglas could have likely prevented the game from coming down to the wire by simply converting free throws. The Tigers were just 46 percent at the stripe (13-of-28). Reed hit 11-of-16 freebies.
Jeremy Ramos led all scorers with 16 points in the loss. Lincoln Turner finished with 15 and sophomore Matt Williams added 13.
Tre Jackson led Douglas with 15 points. Ian Ozolins (12 points) was the only other Tiger in double figures.
The Raiders trailed the vast majority of the night, taking a 51-43 deficit to the fourth quarter where their comeback effort came up short.
Reed plays a rescheduled game against Bishop Manogue (6-3, 3-0), at Bishop Manogue, on Monday night.
Sparks suffers seventh-straight defeat
Sparks’ season-opening losing streak stretched to seven games on Friday night with a narrow 53-49 home loss to Truckee.
The Railroaders dipped to 0-7, 0-3 in the 3A North while the Wolverines improved to 2-4, 1-2.
Matt Longland hit 8-of-12 free throws and led all scorers with 21 points in the loss.
Both teams were tied at 32 going to the decisive fourth quarter.
Sparks will continue to look for its first win of the season on Tuesday night in a non-league home game against Lassen.
4A North Scoreboard
Spanish Springs 58, Galena 42
Douglas 62, Reed 58
Reno 74, Damonte Ranch 67
McQueen 64, Wooster 52
Mishop Manogue 78, North Valleys 63
Carson 57, Hug 53
Cougars push winning streak to five
For the first time since the 2013-14 season, Spanish Springs has won five straight.
The Cougars led Galena from the jump at home on Friday night and grabbed their fifth consecutive victory, 59-32.
“We’re playing well,” said Spanish Springs coach Art Cardenas who took over before the 2013-14 season. “We’re being consistent and defensively we’re getting better. Offensively, we’re doing a pretty good job executing. We’re still in too much of a hurry, but we’re doing a pretty good job.
Of greater significance, Spanish Springs (6-3, 4-0) remained unbeaten in 4A North play. Galena dropped to 3-4, 1-3.
“The last few years we’ve dug ourselves in a hole and had to try to dig out,” Cardenas said. “This year, we’re ahead of the game.”
The Cougars were balanced offensively, with 10 different players getting on the stat sheet. Kendall Tegins led the way with 11 points. Anhelica Shanrock and Kalli Prendergast both had 10. Serena Shanchez finished with eight.
“Anhelica is probably our best scorer, but we’ve had other girls step up,” Cardenas said. “We try to get up the court quickly and get easy baskets and we’ve been able to do that.”
Spanish Springs never trailed in the win, leading by as much as 30 late in the fourth quarter.
Kristin Farrell led the Grizzlies with 11 points.
Spanish Springs returns to non-league play over the holiday break, starting with a contest at Lassen on Tuesday. The next 4A North contest isn’t scheduled until Jan. 3 at Damonte Ranch (1-6, 0-4).
Reed handles Douglas
Taylor Johnson scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Raiders to a comfortable 63-29 home win over Douglas on Friday night.
Reed improved to 4-2, 3-1 in the 4A North while the Tigers moved to 2-6, 1-3.
Freshman Autumn Wadsworth was the only other player, on either team, to finish in double figures. She scored 14 in the win.
The Raiders broke the game open in the second quarter after holding just a 10-6 lead through eight minutes. Johnson scored 11 of her 22 points as the Raiders took a 31-13 advantage to the locker room.
Taylynn Kizer and Hannah Carr both scored nine points for the Tigers.
Reed will host a non-league tournament after Christmas then return to 4A North action on Jan. 3 at Wooster (2-6, 1-3).
4A North Scoreboard
Spanish Springs 59, Galena 32
Reed 63, Douglas 29
Carson 57, Hug 21
Reno 49, Damonte Ranch 13
McQueen 56, Wooster 20
Bishop Manogue 80, North Valleys 25