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Sparks boys basketball buries Incline
by Michael Lingberg
Feb 01, 2011 | 637 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fortunately for the Sparks Railroaders, their performance didn't suffer after losing athletic forward Darrius Devine to a knee injury early in the first quarter.

Sparks forward Henry Banks was ready to step in and help his team beat the league-leading Incline Highlanders 69-42 Tuesday night in the Brickhouse in a Mount Rose League matchup.

Devine lasted one possession before he fell to the floor, grimacing in pain while clutching his knee. SHS coach Mike Jones believes Devine dislocated his kneecap.

"The trainer believes he will be OK, "Jones said. "We'll rest him and keep him off his knee for a couple of days and see how he's doing then. As for Henry, we all knew he could play at any level. He just has a tendency to take plays off sometimes. Tonight, he came to play the whole game."

Other than the injury, the first quarter was uneventful. Sparks used a 6-0 run to pull ahead 8-4 at the 1:46 mark of the opening period after Incline had its only lead of the game at 4-2. Sparks ended the initial period with an 8-6 lead.

The second quarter began with back-to-back buckets by forward Erik Garcia and guard Xavier Rodriguez, who grabbed a rebound off his own miss to make the score 12-6 with 5:16 to play.

The visiting Highlanders closed the gap to 14-12 after senior forward Matt Corneil made one of his two free throws. That was the closest they would get for the rest of the game.

Sparks forward Martin Jordan then found his stroke to score seven of his team's next 12 points. The Railroaders used a 12-1 run to end the half with a 26-13 advantage.

Jordan caught fire in the third quarter. He began by completing a 3-point play and then knocked down a 3-point shot on the next possession. Incline, meanwhile, had fallen behind 32-15 with 6:40 to play in the third period.

The Highlanders ran off a 6-2 run in the next couple of minutes to make the score 34-21 with 4:25 to go. Momentum was swinging the other way so Jones called a timeout.

The boys in red and gold snatched the momentum back with a 13-0 run and nixed any Incline chances of mounting a comeback.

Jordan was the star of the period as he scored 15 of the 22 Railroader points. The quarter ended with Sparks on top, 48-25.

Jordan then added five more points in the fourth to bring his total to 30 points for the game.

"Jordan got off to a slow start by missing a couple of gimmies, "Jones said. "I challenged him to guard number 44 (Incline senior forward Patrick Howe, the Highlanders' leading scorer at 15.2 points per game. Howe scored a quiet 13 Tuesday night.) He stepped up to the challenge both offensively and defensively."

Behind Martin's 30 points, both Rodriguez and Brian Morgan contributed eight points apiece.

Howe led Incline with his 13 and Max Osbourne followed with seven.

With the win, Sparks improved to 11-5 overall and 5-1 in league play. The Railroaders will play South Tahoe on Friday for Sparks' Senior Night game.
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