By tuning themselves up with games against Division I opponents, the Railroaders were able to take care of business against one of their own Division I-A schools, beating Spring Creek 69-34 for their first league victory.
Sparks raced out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back as Keiffer Putman made three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 15 points.
"I came into the season and I caught a lot of flack. The kids were tentative, but I knew we could build on that level of play (against Division I)," Sparks coach Dan Schreiber. "(The schedule) showed (Friday) a little more tenacity."
For Spring Creek, the offense, which struggled all season long wasn't able to regain its footing. The Spartans only scored four points in the second quarter and failed to eclipse 40 points for the sixth time this season despite 12 points from Star OIta.
"We have to find a way to score more points, to put the basketball in the basket, that's for sure," Spring Creek coach Scott Carsrud said.
The long-range shooting for Spring Creek, which it found in its last tournament also didn¹t make an appearance. Spring Creek didn't make a single 3-pointer in the game, compared to four from
"We had the hot hand and they had a bad shooting night. If we see them in the playoffs, they¹ll be a much tougher team," Schreiber said. "By no means are we 30 points better than them."
Bobby Brown and Darius Devine also finished in double figures with 10 and 11 points respectively for the Railroaders.
The Spartans had their best showing of the night early in the second half when they scored 13 points in the third quarter.
"I didn¹t feel like we had the energy and the focus in the first half. In the second half we had more energy and focus,² Carsrud said.
With the loss, Spring Creek is now 1-2 against Northern Division I-A teams. It is 2-7 overall.
The Spartans and Railroaders will look to pick up their second league wins when the Spartans face Truckee and the Railroaders face Elko today. Tip-off is 3:30 p.m.
For the Railroaders, which already faced Lowry, Schreiber said playing Elko will be a good test for his team. Elko played against Lowry in the state championship last season.