The Sparks boys used a 16-4 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to snap a four-game losing streak with a 64-51 home win over Truckee on Friday night.
The Railroaders improved to 5-11, 4-5 in the DI-A North to remain in the playoff picture. The Wolverines dropped to 2-15 overall and remained winless, 0-9, in league contests.
“We had four-straight losses. All were pretty much a dog fight,” Sparks coach Dan Schreiber said. “This was probably our best second half we played, where we emotionally allowed ourselves to get involved.”
Leading 30-28 late in the third, Danny Lopez broke the game open.
Lopez drilled two triples in 19 seconds the stretched the lead to eight points and started the game-deciding 16-4 run. One of three Railroaders to finish in double figures, Lopez had 12.
Matt Longland went for a game-high 17 and Ricky Guadron had 14.
“That (Lopez threes) allowed them to relax a little bit and the defensive pressure came in,” Schreiber said.
By the time the run was over, Sparks led 46-32 early in the fourth. The Railroaders methodically built the lead to 18 before winning by 13.
Airon Yarbrough and Gabe Cruz both had 12 for Truckee.
While Sparks controlled the majority of the second half, the first half was much more competitive.
Guadron hit a pair of free throws with 13.9 seconds left in the first half to give the Railroaders a 23-22 lead at the half. It was their first lead of the night.
Guardron’s free throws put the finishing touches on a 6-2 run after Sparks trailed by as much as eight midway through the second quarter.
Cruz was fouled on a triple and hit two of the three freebies to swell the Wolverines’ early lead to 18-10. Sparks responded with a 7-0 run to get back into it.
Sparks goes to Spring Creek next Friday. The Railroaders edged the Spartans on Dec. 29, 59-58, at home.
Cougs keep pace with Huskies
The Spanish Springs boys scored 30 second-quarter points and rolled to a comfortable 85-46 win at North Valleys on Friday night.
The Cougars improved to 11-7, 7-3 and remained two games back of league-leading Reno. The Panthers dropped to 7-9, 2-7.
On the strength of the monstrous second quarter, Spanish Springs led 50-18 at the break.
Four different Cougs finished in double figures but no one had a better night than big man Ryan Anderson. The senior scored a team-high 17 points (on 7-of-11 shooting) and hauled in 11 rebounds.
Marcus Loadholt also had 14. Bryce DeLong and Marlin Brucato both finished with 10.
The Cougars host Reed on Tuesday night.
Reed’s upset bid falls short
Jeremy Ramos, Lincoln Turner and the Reed boys basketball team gave first-place Reno a scare at home on Friday night but couldn’t complete the upset, falling 68-62.
Ramos scored a game-high 26 points and Turner scored 14 of his 22 in the fourth quarter as the Raiders fell to 6-12, 3-7—still a half-game ahead of North Valleys for the fourth and final playoff spot in the High Desert League.
Reno, which owns a two-game lead for first place over both Spanish Springs and McQueen, improved to 13-5, 9-1.
Mike Heydon (17 points), Logan Shaw (14 points) and Karn Goraya (13 points) all finished in double figures for the Huskies.
Reed goes to Spanish Springs on Tuesday.