SPRING CREEK — After opening the Northern I-A season with a loss at Fallon, the Spring Creek boys basketball team hosted the Greenwave Friday with a chance to right that wrong and boost its playoff hopes.
The Spartans made the most of that opportunity.
Spring Creek forward Jaysen Woodland piled up 10 fourth-quarter points and teammate Dustin Shafer added 10 more of his own to lead the Spartans past the visiting Greenwave 58-52.
The win was a pivotal one for Spring Creek, as it pulled the Spartans past Fallon into fourth place in the league and gives them a tiebreaker over the Greenwave for the balance of the season.
“It’s huge for this team, and for this program,” Spring Creek coach Scott Carsrud said. “Altogether, it was a really good night for us.”
Fallon coach Brad Barton said the game came down to execution.
“We didn’t execute our offense as we had planned throughout the week,” he said. “Hats off to Spring Creek, they played a great game.”
Shafer paced the Spartans with 17 points, Woodland added 15 and Caden Gunnell chipped in 14. Fallon’s Tyler Bagby led all scorers with 19 points in the defeat.
The game was tight from the start, as Fallon took a 14-9 lead in the opening frame despite seven first-quarter points from Shafer.
That lead did not last, as two Gunnell three-pointers helped the Spartans to pull ahead 25-24 entering the halftime break. That closely-contested play would continue after the halftime break.
The third frame saw the teams trade leads throughout, with six third-quarter points from Gunnell propelling the Spartans to a 38-34 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Woodland, who was scoreless in the first half, came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring Spring Creek’s first six points of the final frame to put the Spartans up 44-37 with five minutes to play. Fallon continued to answer back, keeping the difference between four and six points as the final minutes ticked down.
However, by the time the clock hit 3:00, two quick Shafer transition buckets and two Woodland free throws had put the Spartans ahead 52-40, by far the largest lead of the game to that point.
By the time there were 90 seconds on the clock, the Greenwave had to resort to intentional fouling, and despite some made three-pointers from Fallon, Shafer and Woodland were able to hit key late free throws to hold off the visitors and clinch the 58-52 win.
Spring Creek hosts Fernley tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. and Fallon heads to Elko to play at 3:30 p.m. Barton said he expects a tough game against the Indians.
“We’ve got to have 13 guys bring their A game in that one,” he said. “Elko’s a great team, but we didn’t come all this way to lose.”