The Trojans kept trying to slow the frantic pace of this game. Sparta’s tight defense caused a lot of turnovers and frustration for Pleasant Hope, a fact that Sparta head coach Ryan Worley was proud of.
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“We take pride in our defense and trying to play with toughness. Sometimes you have to play hard to win figure out how to win the game”.
The Pirates kept the score tight. The first half ended with the Trojans up 27-17. Worley emphasized his team’s need to limit turnovers.
“It wasn’t a pretty basketball game. Both teams played hard,” Worley said. “We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I don’t like turnovers and they are figuring that out. Pleasant Hope made it tough by putting a zone on us with shifting and matchups. There were decisions for the guys to make and sometimes they weren’t the best. We are looking forward to finishing strong this year and heading onto districts. The future is bright.”
Sparta's Jacob Shipman scored a game-high 19. Aaron Jones led Pleasant Hope with 17 points.
Pleasant Hope continued to fight hard during the second half, but racked up over 10 team fouls with two players fouling out. The Pirates shots weren’t able to fall and the Trojans took advantage, extending their lead by 15. Pleasant Hope closed the gap to 12.
“I thought our kids played hard and good. We are trying to put things together and work as a team, which we did tonight,” said Pleasant Hope coach Rod Mullings. “We turned it over when we shouldn’t have turned it over. These guys never give up, they keep scratching and fighting. We are in a rebuilding year with no seniors and fighting this battle is going to make us that much better.”
Sparta plays Saturday at School of the Ozarks. Pleasant Hope takes on Fair Grove at home on Tuesday.
Pleasant Hope 2-15-13-16---46
Sparta-Jacob Shipman 19,Robert May 13,Dylan Hatch 10, Matt Hayes 5, Zach Pellham 4, Chris Lafferty 3,Dakota Johnson 2, Billy Iorg 2.
Pleasant Hope-Aaron Jones 17, Trevor Williams 17, Matt Mills 6, Jacob Gettle 4, Derek Stokes 2.