SWISH: Sparta PAL basketball player Henry Coleman scores, making it a tie score of 34-34, Sparta vs Hoptacong in the final quarter on Monday night at Sparta Middle School, before the Sparta team lost by two points. (Photo provided).
Sparta - The Sparta Police Athletic League (PAL) 6th grade boys basketball team, tied the score Monday night against Hopatcong with a swoosh-shot by 6th-grader Henry Coleman in the third quarter. But just a couple of minutes later, the game was over, with Hopatcong winning, 36-34. Point guard Michael Clifford, a Pope John 6th-grader, was taken out of the game with an injury to his arm, after scoring 11 points. John Harris, coaches the team and noted that despite being 0 and 3, it's still early in the season and the team's improvement is clear. "Each game they keep getting closer," he said. "They'll get there." Harris's son, Aidan, 11, plays on the team and he said the improvement part's great, the almost-winning part, not so much. "It's hard not winning," Aidan said. "Especially after being that close."