Spanish Springs did exactly what it had to do to open up its state semifinal game with Bishop Gorman last Thursday night – strike first. They just couldn’t keep it up for the entirety of the game.
When the dust settled the Gaels came away with a 75-68 win to move on to the state title game and end the Cougs season in the process.
The Cougs struck first against the six-time defending state champions and jumped out to an early 25-18 lead after the first quarter. The two teams played even in the second quarter and Spanish Springs took a 44-37 lead into the break.
Gorman came out of the half and was able to shut down the high powered offense of Spanish Springs. They held the Cougs to just 24 second half points and sealed the win behind a game-high 24 points from Jamal Bey.
Senior Jalen Townsell led Spanish Springs with 18 points and eight rebounds while Mason Whitaker chipped in 15. Leo Grass and DJ Panfili each added 12 points.
The Gaels went on to win its seventh straight state title when they defeated Bishop Manogue in the championship game, 62-41. Manogue beat Canyon Springs 64-58 in the semifinals the day before.
The Cougs finished the season 24-6 overall and 15-1 in the High Desert League.