Sparta's Emily Dilger jumps up high toward the hoop during a shot. Dilger scored 12 points.
Jefferson Township High School (Oak Ridge, NJ) defeated Sparta High School in girls varsity basketball in a nail-biter game on Sunday at Sparta High School. The final score was 52-49. The game was part of the annual Girls Varsity Holiday Tournament that began on Friday, Dec. 28. The contest was a thriller from beginning to finish. Jefferson and Sparta kept the score tight through most of the first half. When the second quarter concluded the Sparta Spartans edged the Jefferson Falcons 29-28. But Jefferson controlled the court in the third quarter, widening the gap, and pushed ahead of Sparta 41-31 with a 1:08 left. In the fourth quarter Sparta came on strong and managed to tie the game 47-47 with a 1:18 left in regulation. Sparta outscored Jefferson 18-9 in the fourth quarter. As the final seconds wound down Jefferson was ahead 52-49. Sparta's Brianna Falco launched the ball from almost half court just before the final buzzer sounded in desperation. The ball banked off of the back board and bounced around on the rim several times and failed to enter the basket before dropping to the hardwood to the sound of an audible gasp from spectators. Sparta's rally came up short allowing Jefferson to eke out a win. Ivana Tisma scored a game-high 21 points for Jefferson. Mackenzie Rock scored 10 points and Leah Demko scored 9 points. Sparta's Ellen Villapando scored a team-high 14 points. Emily Dilger scored 12 points and eight rebounds. Alexa Acker scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Team records: Jefferson Falcons 2-5. Sparta Spartans 2-4.