Spartan defense knocks Pack from tourney
By Ken DeLaat
Photos By Catalpa Photography
Sparta 36 Fremont 14
The Fremont defense opened their semi final matchup with Sparta by holding the Spartans to 11 first quarter points.
Unfortunately , the period ended with the Packers staring up at an 11 point deficit.
An offensive meltdown that rained turnovers and featured an inability to get off a decent shot buried the Packers early. The loss put a cap on a season that has delivered its share of adversity with transfer issues, key injuries, a bite from the flu bug and the challenge of having younger players pressed into duty to compensate the injuries.
The Packers were 10-1 when they scored more than 40 points a game and after tonight they would have been 11-1.
Except they could not score.
The game was 10 minutes old and well into the second quarter when Anna Patenge split a pair of free throws to put the Pack on the board after 16 straight Spartan points. It took another 2 minutes before Calla Miller broke away off a steal and put in the first field goal to cut the lead to 15, the closest Fremont would be the rest of the night.
Sparta held a 22-3 lead by intermission and it was 5 minutes into the third before a Paige VandenBerg basket ended the second half drought.
To their credit the Packers never stopped battling. The defense continued to try to contain Mia Vandenberg who canned shots from distance with the accuracy of a layup and Delany Armock who made 19 trips to the charity stripe and hit on 10.
This night however belonged to the Spartans. The team that had been bested by the Packers on their home court early in the season by nearly 20 points and stumbled to the finish line losing 8 of their last 9 came to play Wednesday night and secured a place in the finals.