The road to the state tournament could be a challenging trip for the Shepaug Valley High School boys' basketball quintet.

Yet, thanks to Housatonic Valley's Mountaineers, the Spartans still have a clear path to the class `S' post-season party.

Coach Matt LeFevre's Region 12 hardcourt crew opened its season back in December with a convincing 78-53 rout of Housy in Falls Village.

Then last Friday, Jan. 23, having absorbed five losses in their previous six games, the Spartans managed to outlast the improved Mountaineers, 63-60, on the Shepaug hardcourt in Washington.

That season sweep of Housy improved Shepaug to 4-7 as the season passed its mid-point.

With nine games to play, the Spartans need to go 4-5 the rest of the way to achieve the requisite eight victories for tournament qualification.

Of course, a solid 6-3 finish would give the local boys a .500 record at 10-10 and enhance their `S' seeding.

The Spartans were set Tuesday, Jan. 27 to visit Terryville, but the early-week snowstorm forced postponement.

Next up for the Spartans will be a trip to Ansonia Friday, Jan. 30 to take on non-Berkshire League foe O'Brien Tech.

For more photos, visit www.newmilfordspectrum.com.

Norm Cummings