SPARKS—Sizzling hot is an understatement when describing the play of the Spring Creek basketball squads lately as both teams came into their recent road trip riding big win streaks.
The Lady Spartans entered with three straight wins and victories in 10 of their last 11, while the Spring Creek boys squad entered with four straight wins and victories in six of its last seven.
Both teams did, however, faced some unexpected adversity when they visited Truckee and Sparks.
The squads kicked off their road trips in Truckee, California, finding themselves in closer games with the Wolverines than they may have expected.
The Lady Spartans started things off with a 41-39 win over the Lady Wolverines after junior Jasmine Yadeskie sank a few clutch free throws late to seal the victory.
The Lady Wolverines had a chance to tie or win at the end of regulation, but junior Ava Seelenfreund was unable to get a shot up as she was surrounded by a hoard of Lady Spartans to end the game.
Yadeskie collected12 points total with five of them coming in the fourth quarter, and she was also selected as the Pinion-Orthopedics player of the game for her free-throw shooting down the stretch.
Spring Creek’s Kylee Dimick, however, finished a step ahead of Yadeskie as the freshman led all scorers with 13 points. Dimick also collected her third double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.
The Spartans’ boys squad was also initially tested by Truckee on Friday night but adjusted accordingly and came out on top by a final score of 55-40.
A late bucket by Truckee’s Froi Gaitan gave the Wolverines a 15-11 lead after the first quarter, but the Spartans cranked up the tempo and found some mojo in the second quarter.
Spring Creek senior guard Ryan Miner paced his club with six points in the second quarter, and the Spartans found themselves up 27-21 at halftime.
The Spartans dominated quarters three and four, outscoring Truckee 28-19 en route to the seamless victory.
Senior forward Thomas Ledford led all scorers in the contest with his 15 points, eight coming in the first quarter. Ledford played as a good counter to Truckee’s Gabe Cruz, who also had a well-rounded first quarter himself with nine points.
Spring Creek’s Jake Oliphant also played well for the Spartans as the big man finished with 10 points, eight coming in the second half.
The Brickhouse at Sparks High School awaited the Spartans on Saturday afternoon as they took on the Railroaders on a beautiful Super Bowl Eve just outside of Reno.
The Lady Spartans came out of the gates slowly against a short-staffed Lady Railroaders squad and led by a mere one point after the opening eight minutes of play.
The Lady Railroaders only sent out six players in the contest and ended up having to play with five for the entirety of the second half as Laree Murillo fouled out with about a minute remaining in the first half.
The Lady Spartans, however, showed no mercy as they outscored Sparks 37-8 in quarters two and three, which proved to be more than enough to award the Spring Creek the 57-21 victory.
Junior Caitlyn Dimick led all scorers with 14 points, and she hauled in seven rebounds as well.
Fellow junior Alayna Grosz produced her first double-double effort of the year as she chalked up 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Senior Teagan Ashby rounded off a good afternoon with six points and team-highs in steals with a whopping seven and assists with four.
The boys game, however, did not go as smoothly for Spring Creek.
Although the Brickhouse has stood for many years at Sparks High School, that didn’t stop the winless Railroaders from bringing the place down with a staggering five 3s in the first half.
Four of the five 3s came from senior Vashisth Patel, who drilled two in the first quarter and two in the second.
In fact, Patel’s two 3s in quarter number two proved to be the only scoring for either squad as the teams entered the locker room with the score at 19-13, favoring Sparks.
The Spartans came out of the locker room strong to start the second half, cooling down the hot shooting of Patel and containing the big man to zero points in the third quarter.
Spring Creek did, however, still trail by one entering the fourth quarter of play.
Enter Caden Jangard.
The senior guard took over the final quarter with seven points and willed his club to a hard-fought, 43-32 win over the pesky Railroaders.
Jangard finished a career afternoon by leading all scorers with 15 points, nine coming in the second half.
Oliphant once again came up big late for the Spartans, pouring in 10 points with six coming in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Spartans sport an 11-3 conference record, which is good enough for second place in the 3A North standings, just one game ahead of third-seeded Lowry.
The boys, on the other hand, will take a 9-5 conference record into the final week of play as they find themselves in a deadlock for third with Fernley.
The Spartans will square off with the Elko Indians in the Battle of the Summit: Part II on Tuesday at Centennial Gymnasium.