Trailing 48-46, nothing would go in for Wooster, not even a barrage of frantic layups. But an unlikely hero stepped up for the Colts in the non-league boys basketball battle at the Brickhouse.
Trevor Johns tipped in a miss to tie the game with 33 seconds and then converted the game-winning three-point play with 4 seconds to go to secure a 51-48 win for the visitors.
Sparks should have had control of the game after Johns' game-tying tip-in, but Colton Sims swiped a steal and was tied up by a Sparks player after diving on the floor for the ball. The possession arrow was pointing to the Colts, swinging momentum back to Wooster with 9.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
Johns found himself wide open on the baseline and sank a tear drop floater while being fouled with 4 seconds to play.
The Railroaders were forced to take a desperation 3-pointer, but never got a shot off when Guillen passed the ball to a teammate underneath the basket instead of taking a shot.
Sparks led most of the game, starting in the second quarter. The Colts were held to only a pair of field goals in the period, allowing the Maroon and Gold to take a 28-18 lead into halftime.
An 11-5 run to start the second half enabled Wooster to climb back into contention. The Colts came out running in the second half and it all started to unravel for Sparks.
"We gave up way too many easy baskets," Sparks boys basketball coach Dick Lee said. "I thought we did a good job in the first half stopping their dribble penetration and playing team defense. We definitely fell apart in the second half."
By outscoring the hosts 18-10 in the third quarter, the 4A foe was able to cut the gap down to 38-36, heading into the final eight minutes.
Cody Griffith scored down low for Wooster after a Sparks player saved the ball right to a Colt. The easy bucket off a turnover gave Wooster its first lead, 40-38, since the end of the first quarter. Griffith led all scorers with 18 points.
While the Colts were able to push their lead to a high of four points, 44-40, Sparks did not give up.
With 3:37 left in the game, Bryan Orellana scored a fast break layup, forging Sparks back ahead 45-44.
But the offense let the Railroaders down. Wooster outscored Sparks in the second half, 33-20.
"I thought the story was our offense. We stopped running our offense," Lee said. "We had a couple guys who were over-dribbling."
Johns and Bobby Roberson both finished in double figures for the Colts, pouring in 13 and 11 points respectively.
Sparks (0-2) also had three players reach double digits. Guillen led the way with 17, while Orellana and Martin Jordan had 14 and 13 in the losing cause.
The Railroaders have a quick turnaround when they host cross-town rival Reed today at 1 p.m.
"We'll battle back. That's the thing about Sparks High kids. They're resilient," Lee said. "They don't get too high after a win or too down after a loss. Reed is in town with us, so a lot of these kids went to school with the Reed kids, so they'll step up to the challenge. Whether we'll be successful or not, I don't know."