The visiting Hawks led 12-0 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 19-0 before Sarah Hanson put Sparks on the board with a 13-foot jumper with 3:50 remaining in the first half.
“We couldn’t buy a basket tonight,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “I honestly think our gym is haunted. Someone keeps slapping our balls away.”
Hug’s Rachelle Tau had a monster night, scoring a game-high, 26 points – almost all of which came in the paint or at the free-throw line. Niaya Lewis (13 points) was the only other Hawk to finish in double digits.
The Railroaders managed just six points through three quarters before sophomore Louwayne Trinidad went on a mini-shooting frenzy, drilling two 3-pointers and sinking a third shot with her toe on the three-point line. Trinidad finished with a team-high 10 points.
“We have good athletes but they are all trying to do everything on their own instead of putting it together as a team,” Avilla said. “Look, we cut, we didn’t look for our back cuts. When we did find them, we did get the shot up and we just couldn’t convert it. Man, that’s going to make me an old man real quick.”
Senior Roxie Guadron was the only other Railroader – other than Hanson and Triniday – to get on the stat sheet, scoring on an in-bounds play with a minute left in the third quarter.
Sparks (0-2) plays Hug, again, on the road next Thursday.
“We have to get better in all aspects of the game, defense, the things we work on, believe in themselves and believe in what we are working on instead of panicking when things aren’t going quite their way,” Avilla said. “Eventually that will all start happening and putting itself in place.”