Hoops preview for Sparta HS girls, boys

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • Last year's SHS girls basketball team with Coach Catherine Wille. Last year the team was 17-9. Many varsity veterans are returning for this season.

By Josh Lashley

— The same intensity and focus that they displayed in pre-season practices and scrimmages is very likely to continue now that the regular season has gotten underway and that’s good news for the Sparta High School basketball programs, both girls and boys teams.

After finishing with a solid overall record of 17-9 and advancing to quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North 1 Group 3 Sectional Tournament last year, Sparta girl’s head basketball coach Catherine Wille welcomes back a group of varsity tested student-athletes including Erin Walsh (senior), Paige Smith (senior), Tatiana Esteva-Ingram (senior), Erin Scott (senior), Brianna Falco (junior) and Emily Dilger (junior).

Newcomers looking to make their presence known on the varsity roster include Ireland Cofrancesco (junior), Alisa Williamson (sophomore), Ellen Villapando (sophomore), Delaney Forziati (sophomore) and Liz Bouma-Hannam (sophomore).

“Paige Smith, Erin Walsh, Erin Scott and Tatiana Esteva-Ingram [will be looked upon as leaders],’’ Wille said. “These are my four senior captains and they lead by example on and off the floor. They are skilled, experienced and verbal.’’

The Spartans compete in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) American Division with Pope John, Jefferson, Morris Hills and Mount Olive.

“We will be contenders, but our Division is tough,’’ Wille said. “The teams to beat are Jefferson and Pope John.’’

Sparta has a home game versus Roxbury scheduled for January 8.

“[We want to] win our Conference, win 20 games and get to the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex finals,’’ Wille said.


With veteran head coach Brian Brennan leading the way, the Spartans posted a fine record of 15-10 during the 2016-2017 season. This winter they welcome back two key players from last year’s team in Tom Ferrara (senior) and Dante Joefield (junior).

Other student-athletes who may very contribute in a big way in the varsity lineup include Jake Vreeland (senior), Zach Amirati (senior), Jack Cavanaugh (junior), Alex Podolski (junior), Cam Reily and Aidan Mastandrea (sophomore).

The Sparta boys squad also plays in the NJAC American Division along with Pope John, Mount Olive, Morris Hills and Jefferson.

They have a home game slated for January 5 versus Morris Hills.

“We will look to push the tempo and use our athleticism and length,’’ Brennan said. “Tough schedule out of the gate with games at Randolph and Morristown and then Roxbury Holiday Tourney, but will be able to compete every night.’’

NOTES: Cavanaugh led the way with 17 points as the Sparta boys team began the regular season with a 57-51 win at Randolph. Dilger posted 11 points as the Sparta girls team downed Randolph 31-21 in their season opener.

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Police officers preparing to cycle for the fallen
By Joseph Picard
— In 1997, Officer Patrick Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department organized a bicycle ride from his New...

Read more »

Sparta woman inspires through acting
By Laurie Gordon
SPARTA — Erika Lupo has a gift. She can go into a room of students, ask them to brainstorm about a certain topic and within a few minutes, she can...

Read more »

Sparta 6th grader advances in geography bee
By Rose Sgarlato
Ian Bellush, a sixth grade student at Sparta Middle School, won the school...

Read more »

Business courses offered at SCCC
— Professional training courses being offered at Sussex County Community College will give business entrepreneurs an opportunity to...
Read more »


* indicates required
Community Newspapers


Local News
Sparta woman inspires through acting
  • Jan 17, 2018
Local News
Group holds annual MLK Day of Service
  • Jan 16, 2018
Local News
Bayer provides STEM Day at Rev. Brown
  • Jan 15, 2018


Find more about Weather in Sparta, NJ