Spanish Springs got a boost of confidence, and maybe a little lesson in handling adversity.
Marcus Loadholt scored 20 points and Josh Prizina added 17 as the Cougars beat Hug, 73-56, in boys basketall Tuesday at Spanish Springs.
The Cougars improved to 5-2 in league, 9-6 overall.
The Hawks got with seven points on several occasions, the last at 43-36 early in the third quarter. But each time, the Cougars would answer with a short run to safely extend the lead.
Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said the Cougars mindset might not have been where it should be.
“We need to do a better job as coaches, and kids, to have better preparation,” Penney said. “They were tough to guard.”
Penney said the game was a good opportunity to work on reaching standards the team has set.
“It gives us a lot of momentum because it’s a league victory and a league victory pushes us toward our goal that we had last year and we just want to do better than we did last year,” Prizina said.
He said there is plenty of room for improvement, though.
“We could have executed our offense more and limited our turnovers and we could have played a lot better defense too,” Prizina said.
Zohnathan Williams led Hug with 21 points.
Hug coach Luke Archer was glad his team played the entire game with an effort that has been lacking previously.
“They’re a good team, very well coached,” Archer said. “Our guys played really hard, just physical effort, the entire game, at a high level. It’s the level it needs to e at for us to be successful.”
A few lapses, by the Hawks, and failure to box out led to the Cougars’ baskets.
“I think they will learn that if you work hard and do your best, it’s fun, especially when you start to see results,” Archer said. “It’s starting to get in their heads that this is the type of team effort it takes to be successful.”
Hug has just eight players remaining after losing some to poor grades.
“If the effort stays high and the focus stays good, which I think that it will, we’re moving in the right direction,” Archer said.
The Hawks hit some long 3-pointers to stay close throughout the game.
In other games Tuesday, McQueen beat Reed, 70-48 as Octavian Corley and Tavian Cheathon-Dayton each scored 13 points and Orlando Easter had 11. Corley had nine rebounds.
Bishop Manogue beat Galena, 50-49 and Karn Goraya had 21 points as Reno beat North Valleys, 79-56. Douglas beat Wooster, 81-36, and Carson beat Damonte, 61-36.