A key game, pitting a good offense against a good defense, looms in the boys North Division I High Desert League when Spanish Springs plays at Reno on Friday night.
Reno is in first place at 6-1, with Spanish Springs and McQueen close behind with 5-2 records.
As a team, Spanish Springs is scoring 66.4 points per game, while the Huskies rely on defense, averaging 48.2.
Marcus Loadholt, a junior, leads the Cougars at 19.9 points per game. Classmate Josh Prizina is averaging 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Prizina said the Huskies’ size presents a challenge for the Cougars.
“We have to outphysical them. We have to work really hard to beat them,” Prizina said. “We need to work as hard as we can and keep doing what we’ve been doing in practice.”
The Huskies have two players listed at 6-foot-6, Mike Heydon and David Kyle and two at 6-5, Casey Scarpa and Thomas Beach.
The Cougars’ Ryan Anderson is 6-6 and Korbin Marcum is 6-4.
Karn Goraya leads the Huskies with 10.6 points per game and Heydon is averaging 9.7.
Prizina and Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said the Cougars need to play better defense.
“We’ve got learn to play physical, we’ve got to learn to play through adversity and it’s going to be a real physical game, I suspect,” Penney said. “Their bigs are good. We’re not real deep, in that position, but we’ve got kids that will battle.”
He said the Cougars can improve on offense as well. Mainly by finding the open shooter and not just blindly driving to the basket.
“We’ve got guys that can shoot, but we’ve got work on meshing that in a team setting, not just a catch and try to put your had down and go to the rim,” Penney said.
Boys basketball Standings
(Through Tuesday; league games only)
High Desert: Reno 6-1; McQueen 5-2; Spanish Springs 5-2; Reed 2-5; North Valleys 1-5; Hug 0-7.
Sierra: Carson 7-0; Douglas 5-2; Bishop Manogue 4-2; Galena 3-4; Damonte Ranch 2-5; Wooster 1-6.
Friday’s games: Girls at 5:15 p.m, boys at 7 p.m., Hug at Reed; North Valleys at McQueen; Spanish Springs at Reno; Bishop Manogue at Damonte Ranch; Carson at Wooster; Douglas at Galena.