“The kids are still a work in progress which we will be for several more months,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “We scored 12 against Elko the first time we played them and last night we scored 30 (65-30 loss)… Spring Creek is fast, they are one the best girls teams in the state right now.”
Spring Creek played its starters sparingly in the first quarter and took an 11-5 advantage into the second period. The starters then played the second quarter and outscored the Railroaders 25-3 and led 36-8 at the half.
“They put their first team in against us and we panicked a little bit, they’re good shooters,” Avilla said.
The hosts outscored Sparks 13-5 and 7-5 in the third and fourth quarters respectively.
Roxy Guadron led the way for Sparks scoring 10 points and Shawntel Anderson led Spring Creek with 16.
In the team’s first meeting, at Sparks Jan. 11, the Spartans walked away with a 46-6 win and Avilla said his group had undoubtedly improved since then.
Sparks fell to 1-18, 1-13 in league meetings while Spring Creek improved to 16-10, 12-2 in league contests.
The Railroaders play their last home game of the season Tuesday against South Tahoe. Tip is at 6 p.m.
If there was a game that symbolized the boys basketball season, Saturday’s 60-58 loss at Spring Creek would be it.
The Railroaders led 58-53 with less than a minute left before Caden Gunnell hit a 3 with 35 seconds left to close the gap to two. Sparks then missed a pair of fair of free throws and Dustin Shafer made a transition layup to tie the game with 12 seconds left.
With the ability to hold the ball for the last shot, Gunell jumped in front of Sparks' inbounds pass and the Spartans hauled in three offensive boards before Star ‘Ita hit a put back at the buzzer to hand Sparks the two-point loss.
The defeat was Sparks’ sixth of the season by four points or less.
Spring Creek topped Sparks 66-48 in the team’s first meeting. Sparks dropped to 2-19, 2-12 in league meetings this season while the Spartans moved to 11-10, 10-4.
The Railroaders took a 7-4 lead into the second quarter after a slow opening period before the Spartans took a 27-23 lead at the half. Sparks led 41-39 after three quarters leading into the fourth-quarter drama.
Like the girls, Sparks plays its final home game of the season Tuesday against South Tahoe. The Railroaders then put the 2013-14 season to bed Friday at Fallon.