Cougs celebrate league title on Senior Night
For the second time in Spanish Springs boys basketball history, the Cougars are league champs.
Spanish Springs wrapped up the High Desert League title on Friday night with a dominating 72-28 Senior Night victory over Hug.
The Cougs (19-4, 14-0), who won their 12th straight game, own a three-game lead over Reno with just two games left in the regular season. The Hawks (9-15, 4-10) remained in fifth place, two games behind both McQueen and Reed.
Damani Craig hit 5-of-9 shots from the field, 3-of-5 from deep to score a game-high 18 points in the win. Josh Prizina turned in a double-double, finishing with 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Marcus Loadholt added 11 points.
The Cougs led 35-17 at the half, then broke the game open with a 30-11 advantage in the third.
Spanish Springs now must toe the line being trying remain healthy the final two games of the season without losing any rhythm. The Cougs play at Reno on Tuesday, before ending the regular season next Friday at Reed.
McQueen spoils Turners’ 28-point night
Lincoln Turner was the reason Reed hung around with McQueen on Friday night.
So, it only made sense after scoring a game-high 28 points, he took the final shot.
With the Raiders down two and four seconds left, Turner took a baseline inbounds pass on the right wing and worked his way to the middle of the floor. He heaved up a contested potential game-winning triple from the top of the key.
It was one of his few shots that didn’t hit nylon.
The 60-58 home loss dropped the Raiders (7-15, 6-8) into a third-place tie with McQueen.
“We tried to get inside to Lincoln for that final play,” first-year Reed coach Joe Genung said. “Lincoln had to bounce out. They did a good job staying in front of him those final seconds.”
Reed climbed its way out of a 47-36 hole late in the third quarter – its second double-digit deficit of the night – to eventually tie things up at 55 in the final minutes on a Matt Williams driving layup.
The game was tied one more time, at 57, but the Raiders did not hit another field goal the rest of the way.
Guillermo Ramos-Garcia led McQueen with 21 points in the win, including a couple dagger triples in the second half to help fight off the Turner-led comeback attempt.
He scored six of his points in the Lancers’ game-swinging 19-1 run to start the second half.
“We got really stagnate on defense, and on offense we had a tough time coming out ready to execute. I suppose that’s my fault,” Genung said of McQueen’s run. “We talk a lot about, statistically speaking, you want to win the first four minutes of the first half, first four minutes of the second half, and the final four minutes. We had a tough time with the start of both halves.”
Reed led 32-26 at halftime, overcoming an early 14-4 deficit, but trailed 45-33 after McQueen’s dominant start to the third quarter. The home team never led again.
Jeremy Ramos added 14 points in the loss.
Ramos and Turner accounted for 72 percent of the Raiders’ offensive production, similar to when the two combined for 75 percent (56 points) off the offensive output in the 75-70 win at McQueen two and a half weeks ago.
Reed ends the regular season next week with a game at Hug (4-10 in 4A North) on Tuesday, followed by a home date with Spanish Springs next Friday.
“The next game is a big one,” Genung said. “We have to go on the road. This game is over. We can’t rewind the clock. We just have to get ready to try to get Hug. We still control our destiny.”
Unless McQueen upsets Reno the final day of the regular season, Reed will finish third in the High Desert League if it goes 1-1 next week.
4A North scoreboard
McQueen 60, Reed 58
Spanish Springs 72, Hug 28
Galena 58, Bishop Manogue 54
Carson 59, Damonte Ranch 53
Douglas 59, Wooster 47
Reno 83, North Valleys 53
Raiders avenge loss to Lancers
Reed erased any possibilities of falling to McQueen for a second time early on Friday night.
The Raiders held the Lancers scoreless in the second quarter, led 31-4 at the half, and rolled to a pivotal 60-28 home win.
Both teams entered the contest in a third-place deadlock. Reed (16-5, 10-4) now holds that position outright with two games to play. McQueen (15-9, 9-5) dropped into fourth place.
“It’s a big win,” Reed coach Sara Schopper-Ramirez said. “They came out with confidence. I’m going to say we’re starting to peak, starting to figure it out.”
In the two team’s first meeting two and a half weeks ago at McQueen, Reed fell 45-37. Schopper-Ramirez said other than adding a few different offensive rotations, the difference between Friday’s win and that loss was simple.
“The ball was going in the bucket,” she said. “We just couldn’t buy a bucket the first time we played them.”
Taylor Johnson led the Raiders with 20 points in the victory. Vanessa Hernandez added 14 and freshman Autumn Wadsworth finished with 10.
McQueen’s Kaila Spevack scored all her team-high 10 points in the third quarter.
After jumping out the 27-point halftime lead, Reed did not get complacent. The hosts outscored their guests, 29-24, in the final two quarters.
“The girls lost to them last time, they weren’t going to let up this time,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “People make their runs and we don’t want to give anybody a run right back there and take it from us.”
Reed goes to winless Hug on Tuesday then hosts Spanish Springs in the regular season finale next Friday night with second-place, and a home playoff game, potentially on the line.
Cougs retain grasp on second
Spanish Springs improved to 17-7, 11-3 in the 4A North on Friday night with its third-straight victory, a 44-13 home win over winless Hug.
It was Spanish Springs’ final regular-season home game of the year.
The Cougs remained one game ahead of Reed for second-place in the High Desert League with just two games remaining. They can finish no worse than third (meaning they cannot open the postseason at undefeated Bishop Manogue) thanks to McQueen’s loss at Reed.
Twelve different Spanish Springs players scored, led by Anhelica Shanrock’s eight.
The Cougs led 14-0 after the first quarter and 26-3 at the half.
Spanish Springs goes to league-leading Reno on Tuesday night then wraps the regular season up with a hugely important game at Reed next Friday night.
4A North scoreboard
Reed 60, McQueen 28
Spanish Springs 44, Hug 13
Bishop Manogue 79, Galena 21
Carson 48, Damonte Ranch 41
Douglas 59, Wooster 37
Reno 60, North Valleys 26