SPARKS – A month into the basketball season, the Spring Creek girls are finding their stride.
The Lady Spartans wrapped up the Varsity Elite Tournament on Friday with a 3-1 record, closing with three-consecutive victories over Division 4A programs – gaining contributions from a wide array of players, upper and lower classes alike.
Spring Creek defeated Loyalton (California) on Friday at Reed High School by a final score of 64-35.
The first period painted a picture of a fairly competitive contest, Spring Creek leading 15-7 after eight minutes.
Junior Jasmine Yadeskie packed the Lady Spartans in the opening frame, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points.
“Jasmine did a really good job of attacking the rim and getting layups,” said Spring Creek coach Holly Miller. “We were without Kaitlyn McLeod and Kylee Dimick because of the flu, so it was nice to see girls step up and fill roles.”
The second quarter changed the overall look of the canvas entirely, Spring Creek commanding the paintbrush and taking control of the ballgame.
The Lady Spartans ripped off 25 points in the second, limiting Loyalton to only six.
Sophomore Elizabeth Canning continued her hot shooting from the perimeter, burying three 3s in the period.
Junior Alayna Grosz and sophomore Cheyenne Cleveland added six points each in the period, giving the trio of Canning, Gross and Cleveland 21 of Spring Creek’s 25 points in the quarter – coming from players who are not seniors.
“We got some wide-open looks in the post by making the extra pass. We didn’t settle for a decent look and that created some great opportunities,” Miller said.
At halftime, Spring Creek opened a more-than comfortable lead of 40-13.
Loyalton had more success in the third and fourth quarters, losing a closer battle of 14-12 in the third and closing with a dead-heat score of 10-10 in the fourth – stemming from what Miller called a “tough matchup.”
“Loyalton had a girl who was a 6-footer, but she really didn’t play in the post. She played on the wing and used ball screens. She was a good ball handler and got the rim,” Miller said. “We did a better job of rotating against her in the first half, drawing charges and making her travel. In the second half, she scored the most of her points but we maintained our lead.”
The Lady Spartans closed the Varsity Elite Tournament with a 3-1 record and three straight victories with a final score of 65-34 over Loyalton.
Grosz led Spring Creek with 17 points, scoring six points in the second and third quarters each.
Yadeskie finished with 14 points, sparking the Lady Spartans with a double-digit effort of 10 points in the first quarter.
Canning served as the third player in double figures with 11 points, nine coming on three triples in the second period.
The Lady Spartans closed with four players in double digits, gaining 10 from junior Caitlyn Dimick – six of which she scored in the final frame.
Cleveland scored all six of her points in the second period.
SPRING CREEK – 15 – 25 – 14 – 10 – 64 Total
LOYALTON – 7 – 6 – 12 – 10 – 35 Total
“Everything about the trip was a confidence builder for us, even the loss to McQueen in the first game. We had the one bad quarter but battled back and cut the lead to nine in the third quarter in that game,” Miller said. “It’s nice as a coach to see everyone go into the game and step up. We had big moments from our starters, the bench made plays and we had some sophomores make big shots. It is nice to see the growth and improvement, knowing that a team can’t just focus on Kaitlyn or Kylee and that we have girls who will make defenses respect them.”
The Lady Spartans (8-6 overall, 2-2 in league) will play their next game and return Division 3A North action at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Elko (2-2 in league) in Spring Creek.