For the first quarter, it seemed like a repeat of their epic game late last month.
But when Spanish Springs turned up the defensive pressure, and the crowd roared to life, the Cougars rolled over Reed, 53-39, in boys basketball at at Spanish Springs on Friday.
Josh Prizina scored 13 points as Spanish Springs improved to 13-3 in league, 15-10 overall. It was the Cougars eighth consecutive win. Their last loss was by one point to Reno on Jan. 16.
Spanish Springs will host Douglas at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the Northern Region Division I playoffs. Douglas beat Spanish Springs, 42-41, on Jan. 6.
Brandon Barlow added 10 points, but it was his defense on Reed’s Jamel Ramos that was huge. He held Ramos, who averaging 19.1, to 14 points, four in the first half, as Spanish Springs built a 22-15 lead at the break.
“We had to get our mental focus there. It’s all in our minds. We have the capability to do it,” Barlow said. “We can play a lot better than we are now.”
Spanish Springs took a 2-point win over Reed on Jan. 27 in a tightly contested game.
On Friday, the Spanish Springs student section maintained the ‘Silent Night’ tradition, in which they don’t start cheering until the Cougars score their 10th point.
It didn’t come until late in the first quarter, but then points, and cheers, came in waves.
The silence seemed to unnerve the Cougars, at least initially
“We settled down. We got the advantage of substitution patterns in our favor,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said.
Reed coach Dustin Hall said his team did not handle Spanish Springs’ pressure well.
“We’re not doing the little things that are required at this time of the season,” Hall said.
He stopped short of saying the Raiders are not playing well. They had won four straight before Friday.
“We didn’t defend and rebound the way we need to. But I still think we are making progress and I think we’re ready for the next level, which is the playoffs,” Hall said.
Reed will host Bishop Manogue at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Raiders beat Manogue, 58-50 last Saturday.
Hall took his starters out for a long stretch in the third quarter,saying they needed to sit and see what was going on.
“Our starters weren’t performing,” he said. “Our bench guys came in and played hard in that spurt. They need to be held accountable and that’s what that was about.”
Division I Region Playoffs
Quarterfinals — Tuesday: 7., North Valleys at Carson; Bishop Manogue at Reed; Douglas at Spanish Springs; Reno at Galena.
Quarterfinals — Wednesday: 7., McQueen at Bishop Manogue; Galena at Reed; Carson at Reno; North Valleys at Douglas.