The Railroaders beat down the North Tahoe Lakers, 71-35, at the Brickhouse in a Mount Rose League matchup.
The first couple minutes of the game went back and forth between the two teams. The Sparks hoopsters held an 8-7 lead at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter and that was the closest the boys from North Tahoe would get.
The Railroaders settled down and put the game out of reach with a 22-6 run to end the first half. The last three points of the run came on a buzzer-beating rainbow 3-pointer by Martin Jordan with eight-tenths of a second left in the quarter.
“Martin was on his game, “ Sparks co-head coach Mike Jones said. “He was shooting well, finishing well, and he was hustling for loose balls. When he plays great defense, that tends to set up his offense.”
Martin led all scorers with 20 points, which came from shots beyond the arc, in the post, and off misses by teammates.
The Lakers’ scrappiness wasn’t enough to keep up with the Railroaders during the second half. The closest the Lakers got to Sparks in the second half was 16 points, early in the third quarter on a trey by Brendon Arnold.
The Sparks lead ballooned to 30 points in the middle of the fourth quarter following a pair of transition buckets that started after two straight inbound passes were stolen and taken ocean to ocean by Sparks.
Even though the Railroaders looked great against North Tahoe, Jones still believes his team has things to work on.
“We have some bad habits (like turning the ball over too much), “he said. “I tell our guys that it usually takes three weeks to break a habit. That means we have three weeks to fix those habits before the playoffs. And if we do, we will be in the playoffs.”
Doug Chinchilla scored eight points for Sparks following Martin’s 20.
Brett Roberts dropped 16 for the Lakers. Arnold and John Baker each chipped in with six points in the losing effort.
Sparks improved to 8-5 (2-1) and North Tahoe fell to 4-10 (1-2).
The Railroaders’ next game is Tuesday at home against Whittell. at 7:30 p.m.
•In the girls game, Sparks captured a 30-23 win. It was the Railroaders’ first win of the season.