SPARTA, NJ - In a tight battle between a veteran team and an inexperienced team, excellent defense could be the difference.
The Spartans employ a 1-3-1 three-quarter court press that is meant to condense the court right at the mid-court stripe. Paige Smith is a perfect piece in this type of zone defense, acting as the first line and forcing their opponents to switch the court quickly with high passes, leading to turnovers. Smith had four steals and many other disturbances.
The Spartans also faced a zone defense, a 2-3 zone which causes passes side to side. When you pass side to side across the court, it opens up the middle as the defense shuffles. Emily Dilger had herself a strong day. Her physicality on every possession allowed her to collect 11 rebounds along with her 10 points. It set the tone, along with Smith's defense, to help guide their team to the next round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex tri-county tournament.
Erin Walsh led the Lady Spartans with 12 points while adding 6 rebounds. The Lady Spartans only played four players off the bench, relying on their starting five. Smith added offense to her defense with nine points.
North Hunterdon were led by Kristina Harrel, who had 12 points and three rebounds, and Aniya Tranquilli, who had five points and six rebounds.
The Lady Spartans are back in action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Morris Hills.