Sparks fell behind 12-10 at the conclusion of the first quarter, but that was pretty much the highlight for a visiting South Tahoe team. The host Railroaders won the second period 15-8 and captured a 25-20 edge by the intermission.
The league meeting was still tight after three periods as Sparks was clinging to a 32-28 advantage. The Railroaders blew the game open from there, outscoring South Tahoe (9-14, 7-8) 18-2 in the final eight minutes to account for the final lopsided margin.
"Up there at the Lake, we really struggled with their full-court pressure and transition game," Sparks coach Dan Schreiber said. "Before tonight's game, we talked a lot about that. We wanted to take it to them and attack them. We reversed it on them. We attacked their press and worked some back doors. It worked well. We out-ran them, and the by the fourth quarter, they were pretty much out of gas and grabbing their knees."
Isaiah Campbell was the offensive catalyst for Sparks. He poured in a game-high 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field.
Sparks turned the ball over 27 times in the first meeting between the two schools, Jan.14. In Tuesday's second go-round, the Railroaders finished with just 10 giveaways.
After losing 17 of its first 18 games this winter, Sparks has earned two wins in last four outings. Additionally, one of the recent two defeats was a dramatic two-point road loss, following a buzzer-beating game-winner by Spring Creek last Saturday.
"We're really starting to get it," Schreiber said. "Unfortunately, we're about threes weeks behind. Competing is something we've talked about every day. We just don't quit. It's too easy to quit when you're down. These kids have found themselves time and again in positions where they're down 16-to-18 points and then all of a sudden it's a one possession game. It's helped our confidence and we're really starting to play well."
Sparks (3-19, 3-12) finishes its season Friday at Fallon. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Sparks girls basketball coach Frank Avilla has preached all season his group is still learning the game.
He continued that dialogue Tuesday night after his Railroaders fell to South Tahoe, 44-19, in their final home game of the season.
“Again, we are a work in progress and we look forward to the upcoming season,” Avilla said.
Sparks fell to 1-19 overall, 1-14 in league contests with the loss while South Tahoe improved to 8-14, 7-8.
The visiting Vikings jumped out to a 12-3 lead after one quarter and outscored the Railroaders 7-0 in the second. After getting outscored 16-5 in the third period, trailing 39-8, Sparks outscored South Tahoe 11-9 over the final eight minutes.
Sparks’ Roxy Guadron led all scorers with 14 points while Hannah Neiger led the Vikings with 13.
The Railroaders put the 2013-14 season to bed Friday at Fallon. Their final game of the season tips at 6 p.m.