However, the next 27 minutes saw the Railroaders manage just 25 more on offense while allowing 70 as the Raiders rolled over the visitors, 75-43.
“We hit a couple big shots that we needed. Erik Martinez stepped up and hit a couple threes,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said. “Basically our defense finally woke up. That’s what triggered that outburst. We came out flat and that’s an issue we’re trying to address because we seem to come out flat in the first quarter. But once we hit a couple shots and made a couple defensive stops, our defense was able to pick up full-court. That’s how we triggered it.”
Sparks co-head coach Mike Jones shared similar sentiments about the downfall for his team.
“We let them get really good looks at the basket and they hit everything. They shot a tremendous percentage against us,” Jones said. “That’s not where we lost it though. We didn’t handle the pressure. We’ve been working on pressure real hard, and they didn’t show it. We didn’t do anything extremely well tonight. We didn’t put on a very good show.”
Sparks was taking it to Reed and looking to embarrass its cross-town rival on its home floor. The Railroaders owned a 14-2 edge after Erik Garcia picked off a pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
Sparks was still dominating with 3:19 on the first-quarter clock when Henry Banks scored down low to make it an 18-5 game.
The Maroon and Gold did not score again in the period.
Erik Martinez single-handedly kept the Raiders in the game. The senior hit back-to-back 3-pointers, igniting a 10-0 run to close out the quarter. He had three treys in the quarter.
Dylan McKenzie capped a game-tying 13-0 run, opening the second quarter by rattling home a 3-pointer from the quarter, leaving the score deadlocked at 18-18.
Martin Jordan put Sparks back ahead by two following a drive and bucket, but that was the last time the Railroaders led in the game.
McKenzie’s second trey of the quarter broke a 20-20 tie and pushed the hosts ahead 23-20 with 5:32 left in the half.
The Blue and Gold enjoyed a first-half high 32-26 advantage before settling for a 32-27 halftime lead.
The second half was all Reed though.
Martinez scored the first eight points of the second half for the Raiders, pushing them ahead 40-30.
Jordan got a shooter’s roll on a three-point attempt from the top of the key, cutting the deficit to 40-33 with 5:51 to play in the third, but that was as close as Sparks would get the rest of the way.
Reed bumped the gap up to 11 points on three occasions before McKenzie’s third 3-pointer of the game gave the Raiders a 51-37 edge with 1:55 on the third-quarter clock.
That’s how the score stayed until Gordon Depuy put in a baby hook just before time expired in the quarter. The string of seven straight points by the Raiders handed them a 53-37 cushion heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Little did anyone know that little rally would be part of a much larger 21-0 run that ended with three minutes to go in the game and left Sparks trailing by 30 points, 67-37. The Railroaders went over eight minutes without scoring and were outscored 22-6 in the fourth quarter.
Last winter, the two teams met in the first week of the season and Sparks came away with an epic 79-77 triumph at the Brickhouse. Reed made sure it didn’t suffer the same fate on its home floor this season.
“I told the kids all week that this used to be a big rivalry,” Hall said. “When I played and was growing up, it was a huge rivalry. It was bitter. As coaches this was our rivalry. The kids might not feel that way, but they need to come ready. That’s a good team. They’re defending state champions. They beat Carson and Wooster, so they’ve shown they can play with a lot of 4A schools. It was nice to come out with a win in front of our home crowd.”
Reed (3-3) continued its strong shooting from behind the arc, knocking down 10 3-pointers on the night.
Martinez led all scorers with 19 points, while AJ Silva added 13.
For Sparks (3-2), Jordan finished with 16 points and Banks had 12.
The Raiders are back at home Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. when they welcome their other Rail City rival Spanish Springs for the first High Desert League contest for either team.
The Railroaders return home today to face North Valleys at 1:30 p.m.
Spanish Springs 67,
Lowry 62, OT
At Douglas, the Cougars had to erase a 13-point deficit with about four minutes left in regulation to force overtime in their second game of the Carson Valley Classic.
Spanish Springs knocked down a trey to open the overtime and never relinquished that momentum, outscoring the Buckaroos 12-7 in the extra session. Lowry was forced to play the foul game, but the Purple and White sank enough shots from the charity stripe to keep the 3A school at bay.
“It’s awesome for us. We struggled all game,” SSHS boys basketball coach Kyle Penney said. “We’ve been fighting each other and fighting the system. It’s kind of our M.O. We do a lot of good things, but we haven’t been able to reward ourselves because we can’t catch or we turn it over. It’s just discouraging and there were several points tonight where you could see that discouragement. We had to start pressuring and good things started happening. We turned the turnovers into conversions and the game just switched.”
Brandon DeLong paced the Cougars’ offense with 22 points. Ryan Swanson chipped in with 18, while Phil Smith added 11 to account for over three quarters of the team’s offensive output.
Spanish Springs (3-3), which ended a three-game losing streak, is back in tournament action today at 2:30 p.m. when it challenges Faith Lutheran.