Boys lacrosse team wins H/W/S title

SPARTA. Spartans defeat Pope John, 9-4, in championship game.

Sparta /
| 12 May 2024 | 04:34

Eddie Brown connected for four goals; Matt Ciarelli added three goals and two assists; Greg Peters totaled an assist, 10 ground balls and won four faceoffs; and Parker Hein halted 15 shots to lift the top-seeded Sparta High School boys lacrosse team to a 9-4 victory over second-seeded Pope John in the championship game of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament on Saturday afternoon, May 11 in Newton.

The title is the first for Sparta since it won its only title in 2016. Pope John was seeking its third straight tri-county crown.

The final was knotted, 4-4, at the half, and Sparta held a slim 5-4 lead after three periods. The Spartans then closed with a four-goal fourth period to seal the decision.

Marco Aquino and Michael Pandiscia also scored for Sparta.

Sam Conetta scored twice for Pope John (6-7), which also received a goal and an assist from Peyton Fox and 11 ground balls and 13 faceoffs from Mikey Ramirez.

Sparta (13-2) advanced to the finals with a 10-2 decision over fifth-seeded Hunterdon Central on May 7 at home. Pandiscia, Hunter Takacs, Eddie Brown and Ciarelli each scored twice, with Aquino and Peters each adding a goal. Adam Teixeira won seven faceoffs, with Hein (five saves) and Jake Alliegro (one save) anchoring the defense.

Here’s how other Sparta sports teams fared last week:


Gabrielle Heim doubled in the game’s only run in the bottom of the sixth inning and also hurled a five-hitter with 16 strikeouts and one walk to lift the third-seeded Spartans to a 1-0 victory over sixth-seeded Warren Hills in the quarterfinal round of the H/W/S Tournament at home May 7.

Sparta (9-7) is scheduled to play at second-seeded High Point in the semifinal round Monday, May 13. The winner will play eighth-seeded Hunterdon Central in the championship game Wednesday, May 15 at the Phillipsburg Athletic Complex.

Maya Laliker singled, walked and scored, and Grace Conrad also singled for Sparta.


The second-seeded Spartans suffered a 10-9 loss to sixth-seeded Phillipsburg in the semifinal round of the H/W/S Tournament at home May 11.

Sparta (10-7) trailed, 6-1, before striking for seven runs in the bottom of the third inning and one in the fourth. Phillipsburg (15-5) then rallied to score three times in the fifth and once in the sixth.

Sparta had defeated Warren Hills, 13-12, in nine innings in the quarterfinal round May 7.

Shane Hoover went 2-for-6 with three RBI and a run; Josh Brancy was 1-for-2 with two walks, two RBI and three runs; and Jacob Diaz was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs to pace the Spartans.

Girls lacrosse

Uma Kowalski had a game-high five goals, but second-seeded Sparta dropped an 8-6 decision to third-seeded North Hunterdon in the semifinal round of the H/W/S Tournament at home May 7.

Moira Sweeney also scored for Sparta, which surrendered five goals in the second half.

Sparta (10-3), which had its six-game winning streak snapped, will play at West Morris at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 17.

Boys golf

Calvin Kirchner shot a 76 to end in a tie for third and Ian Bellush carded an 80 good for an 11th-place finish to pace Sparta to a fourth-place team finish at the H/W/S Tournament on May 8 at Architects Golf Club in Phillipsburg.

Gian Parker (84) and Ryan Grycuk (85) rounded out the Sparta contingent.

On May 6, Bellush shot an 81, followed by Kirchner (96), Parker (86), Grycuk (91) and Jason Bischoff (91) in leading Sparta to a fourth-place finish at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament at the Berkshire Valley Golf Course in Jefferson.

Girls golf

Erin Duthaler shot a 109 and was followed by Catelyn Sehnert (112), Claire Sehnert (114) and Sayler Salvigsen (126) as the Spartans finished fourth as a team in the H/W/S Tournament on May 9 at the Farmstead Golf & Country Club in Lafayette.