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Dayton rallies to beat Sparks for title

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Dayton rallies past Sparks for Sutro Classic title

Dave Price

DAYTON – Once the shots finally started falling, the Dayton High boys basketball team seized control of the momentum Saturday afternoon.

And the Dust Devils never looked back, as they scored 19 unanswered points over the final 5 minutes, 45 seconds and rolled to a 50-40 victory against Sparks in the championship game of the 21st annual Sutro Classic.

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, Dayton came back improve its season record to 3-0 and avenge its overtime loss to Sparks in last year’s Sutro Classic title game.

“We just kept sticking with it and sticking with it,” Dayton coach Rob Streeter said. “That’s the way we’re going to be all year. We’ll battle you and battle you and try to wear you down, and I think that’s what happened here today.”

The difference? Dayton shot 39 percent from the floor and scored 31 points through three quarters, then warmed up to 19 points on 50 percent (6-for-12) shooting in the final period. The Dust Devils also shot 6-for-9 from the free throw line in the final five minutes.

Not bad considering they trailed 36-24 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.

“I’m real proud of the kids. There was a time in the third quarter when they could have just packed it in,” Streeter said. “There’s just no die in these kids.”

The Dust Devils still trailed 40-31 after Nic Traversie scored on a putback for Sparks with 7:46 left to play. Traversie finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds.

But the Railroaders never scored again.

Danny Hopper scored on a layup, assisted by Adam Diament, to cut the gap to 40-33 with 5:45 left to play. Trent Wood was fouled as he scored on a putback, and even though he missed the free throw, followed to grab the rebound and put back a jumper to make it 40-38.

Then Diament took a pass from freshman Travis Wood in the right corner and buried a 3-pointer to give Dayton its first lead of the game – 41-40 with 4:06 showing on the clock. Travis Wood knocked down a baseline jumper, assisted by Diament, to extend the lead to 43-40 and the Dust Devils never looked back.

Diament, who was named tournament MVP, finished with 18 points. He scored 11 in the second half, including three 3-pointers.

Trent Wood, a junior forward, also contributed seven points and pulled down 13 rebounds, seven on the offensive end.

Green, who filled in at point guard after senior veteran Matt Bowman sustained a dislocated finger on Thursday, contributed six points and two assists, while Hopper contributed five points and seven rebounds. Both were named to the all-tournament team.

Eric Lewis, who scored 12 points, and Traversie were named to the all-tournament team for Sparks.