"I feel we had to play really, really well to beat that team," Sparks coach Dick Lee said. "We played really pretty well the first half."
Sparks was given a nearly automatic two points to start the game as Casa Roble was given a technical foul during warmups. Angel Guillen made good on both technical free throws. Guillen scored the first eight points of the game for Sparks posting an 8-3 lead over Casa Roble.
The visitors scored six straight to go ahead 9-8. The squads battled back and forth fighting for the lead. Sparks led 18-14 but CRHS closed out the opening quarter with a 7-2 run for a 21-20 lead.
Sparks scored the first four points of the second quarter to regain the lead, 24-21. But the Rams came right back, going ahead 27-24. The battled ended in a tie, both teams posting 30 points headed into halftime. With Casa Roble leading 30-26 Guillen made back to back points, the final a jumper shot tying the game with 34 seconds left in the half.
The Rams came out with the upper hand in the third quarter, outscoring Sparks 23-10 and never looking back.
Sparks' Andrew Garcia started off the second half by sinking a three-point basket for Sparks. A jumper in the lane by Guillen gave Sparks a 35-32 lead with 6:44 to play in the third. After that the Rams got on a roll on a 9-0 run that all but finished the Railroaders with a 41-35 lead. Sparks never recovered.
Bryan Orellana made the second of two shots to trim the deficit to 41-36 for Sparks. The Rams went on an 8-0 run for a 49-39 lead.
Turnovers and an unsteady offense led to the Railroaders' second half collapse.
"We haven't put a second half together in probably four games," Lee said. "They finally got to the offensive boards, we turned the ball over. They did a good job covering the people who were scoring."
Both teams scored just 10 points each in the fourth quarter, composed of mostly substitutes en route to Casa Robles' 63-50 victory.
Guillen had a game-high 19 points. Sparks' Andrew Garcia added 17 of his own, making good on five three-point baskets.
Casa Roble's Jacob Wilkey had 15 for the Rams.
Sparks plays today at 1 p.m. against North Valleys in the third-place game.