SPARTA, NJ - The Spartans cannot seem to leave the game with the same number of players they start with, but that was just one of their many problems in Tuesday's night game. The Spartans lost to Morris Hills, 52-24, in a game that never was close.
Sophomore Dante Joefield's knee injury occurred in the first quarter began the night of troubles for the Spartans. Joefield joins Nick Lucas on the injury list, meaning two of the five starters are now spending their games on the sidelines.
The Spartans could not grab a rebound on the offensive and defensive ends. They gave up 11 offensive rebounds that led to second and third chance points for Morris Hills.
The Spartans could not score. They shot 17 percent from the floor. The leading scorer, Jack Simon, was 0 for 14. They looked for him early and often and his only two points came from the free throw stripe. Their other top scorer was Lucas, who is not expected to return until next week from an ankle injury.
Assistant coach Brandon Melford said, "With Nick and Jack out, we needed other players to step up. That didn't happen."
To make matters worse, no one would take a shot for Sparta. The ball was moving side to side with seemingly no intention to score. Their leading scorer on the night, Terrell Smith, who had eight points, was in foul trouble for most of the night, leading to him spending most of the second half on the bench.
The 1-2-2 full court press that Sparta has implemented in recent game caused disturbances for Morris Hills but stretched the Spartans out leading to them being outnumbered down low.
Morris Hills had a balanced attack, with 10 players scoring points. Andrew Behrendt had nine points including a couple threes. Nick Zullo had six points and five rebounds.
Thomas Ferrara had four points and two rebounds. Jake Vreeland added three points while Devon McIntyre had two points and four rebounds.
The Spartans fall to 13-5. They are back in action on Saturday against Vernon at 2 p.m. at home.