SPARTA, NJ - After an 8-0 start by West Milford, Coach Catherine Wille called timeout to talk to her team. They entered Emily Lake into the game. Those two together changed the game, sparking a victory, 40-29 over West Milford.
"Coach said the team started slow. Emily Lake sparked us. We're a family. So when one person sparks us, we're all ready to go." star sophomore Emily Dilger said.
Lake had eight points and seven rebounds. She was influential in a defensive set that held West Milford to 29 points.
Dilger started slow while getting in foul trouble that kept her out for most of the first half. She made herself a factor in the second half; scoring six points and getting 10 important rebounds,
This was the first time in 12 years that the Lady Spartans have hosted a state tournament game. This is just the beginning according to Dilger. "We worked really hard for this. We're getting everything we've deserved."
It was the end of the season for the West Milford Lady Highlanders. Coach Ray LaCroix took seniors Mikayla Gruel and Michaela McLeod out towards the end of the game to get the ovation from their teammates and family that they deserved. Gruel had two points while McLeod finished with five points and five rebounds.
Senior Beth Laing had 10 points while Page Smith had nine points. It was a spread-out scoring night for the Lady Sparta. Families share.
The fifth-seeded girls are back in action Thursday night against fourth-seeded Ramapo for the quaterfinal round.