Sparkman Reaches 1,000 Points as Spartans Snap Losing Skid

YORK, PA – The York College women’s basketball team snapped their five-game losing streak as the Spartans rolled past Hood College 84-72 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in York.

In the win, junior April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) reached a career milestone as she joined the 1,000-career point club with her three pointer from the left baseline with 9:24 remaining in the game. She is the 13th Spartan to achieve the milestone and is the fourth Spartan in the last four years to join the prestigious club.

The Spartans improve to 8-11 overall and 4-6 in the CAC while the Blazers fall to 4-14 overall and 1-10 in the league.

The opening ten minutes of the game went back and forth before the Spartans finally seized control, at least momentarily. After a Spartan timeout, the Green and White went on an 11-0 run keyed by five points from freshman Cinthia Ruiz (Hampstead, Md./North Caroll). The Blazers responded with a 10-1 run to cut the York lead to three with 4:36 left in the half. York pushed the advantage back to seven before settling for a four-point halftime lead.

The Blazers came out of the break and forged a two-point lead on a Jen Willison three point play less than five minutes into the half. Sophomore Dija Mitchell (Bel Air, Md./Mercy) canned a three pointer less than 30 seconds later as the Spartans would not trail again. York built the lead back to double figures on Sparkman’s historic shot with 9:24 left. Caitlin Byrne (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) hit a lay up with 5:03 remaining to increase the Spartan advantage to a game-high 13 at 75-62. Hood responded by scoring seven straight points to trim the Spartan lead to six with 2:41 left. The Spartans did not allow the Blazers to draw any closer as York canned six straight free throws over the final 47 seconds of the game to secure the win.

Sparkman led the Spartans with her seventh 20-plus performance of the year as she finished with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 32 minutes of action. Sparkman was 8-for-12 from the floor, 2-for-3 from three, and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. Ruiz added a career-high 16 points, as the freshman was 6-for-9 from the field, 2-for-5 from three and 2-for-3 from the free throw line. Senior Jamie Polan (York, Pa./West York) added 13 points, a game-high seven assists, and two steals. Byrne was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points while she also had four rebounds in 18 minutes of work.

Willison was a workhorse for the Blazers as she recorded a double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds. She was 9-for-16 from the floor and 7-for-10 from the free throw line. Dyanna Prater was the other Blazer in double figures with 13 points while she added eight rebounds.

The Spartans shot a season-best 52.5% from the floor as they converted 31-of-59 shots for the game. York canned seven of their 18 shots from three while they went 15-for-20 from the stripe. The 84 points are a season-high for the Green and White as it is the first time they have reached the 80-point mark in 2009-10.

Hood shot 49.1% from the field including just 3-of-11 from three. The Blazers went 15-for-25 from the free throw line.

Hood pounded York on the glass as they outrebounded York 42-24. That included 13 offensive rebounds, which led to 12 seconds chance points for the Blazers. The Spartans did finish with a 40-36 edge in points in the paint.

The Spartans did a fantastic job of taking care of the ball as they committed a season-low nine turnovers in the game. The Green and White forced 20 Hood miscues, which York converted into 22 points.

York continues their four game home stand on Wednesday night when they welcome nationally ranked Marymount University to Wolf Gymnasium. Tip time is set for 6:00 pm in York.

The shot that April Sparkman reaches her 1,000 career point on courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)