Spain Park boys drop first game of season by 2 points

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

RAINSVILLE – After a 12-0 start to the season, the best in Shelby County and one of the best in the state, the Spain Park Jaguars dropped their first game of the season on Saturday, Dec. 12, against the Huffman Vikings.

Forced to battle from behind the majority of the game, the Jags never trailed by more than six at the end of any quarter, but Huffman was able to hold off every comeback attempt to squeak out a 52-50 victory.

The Jaguars are now off to their best start since the 2014-15 season when they started 12-1, while they started 11-1 a year later.

But the 12-0 start was one of the best in school history under third-year head coach Chris Laatsch with the team off an Elite Eight season last year.

Against the Vikings, both offenses showed up ready to play early in the game, but it was Huffman who took the lead.

The Vikings posted 19 points in the first quarter, but the Jaguars were right on their heels with 17 points.

But with a few adjustments in the quarter change, both teams stepped up their defensive pressure in the second quarter.

Both teams came out in the second quarter and held the other to less than 10 points. Huffman, however, was able to tack on one more point than the Jags with nine to take a 28-25 lead into the break.

Out of the halftime break, however, the two teams found their rhythm again on the offensive end.

While it wasn’t as big as the first quarter, Huffman scored 16 points in the third, while the Jags got a couple of big 3-pointers to remain in striking distance with 13 points to make it 44-38 Vikings going to the final quarter.

Down by six points, Spain Park had the exact start it needed in the fourth period.

Over the first six minutes of the frame, the Jaguars went on a 10-5 run to cut the deficit to one point at 49-48.

But over the final two minutes, the Vikings were able to find a way with three more points compared to two from the Jags to close out the 52-50 game.

Spain Park was led by 23 from Cam Crawford, while Blake Floyd and Zach Gray both posted six points and Josh Harrington five.

With the best record in the county and one of the best in the state, Spain Park still sits as a strong favorite in the 7A classification this year with several key wins already on their resume.