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There's wiggle room in the Spartans' calendar to get the job done, but the margin for error is shrinking fast.

Coach Matt Perachi's Shepaug Valley High School boys' basketball team still harbors hopes of qualifying for the CIAC state tournament.

"As far as goals go, while it is still a mathematical possibility," coach Perachi said recently, "our top goal remains qualifying for the state and Berkshire League tournament."

A defensive-minded, 43-36 victory over Thomaston on the Golden Bears' home court last Friday certainly bolsters the Region 12 quintet's chances.

That win elevated the Spartans to 2-8 at the regular season's halfway juncture. To qualify for the states, coach Perachi's crew would have to win six of its last 10 games.

"We are focusing on one game at a time," he reflected, "and right now we are concentrating our efforts on our next upcoming opponent."

"The team's spirits remain high,' " he added, "although there is a level of frustration with the lack of success we have had to date."

The veteran bench boss knows well what ails the team.

"We know what we need to do in order to win ballgames," coach Perachi explained, "and that is to limit turnovers, run our offense with composure and take high-percentage shots, and for all five players on the court to play team defense for entire possessions."

The Spartans had the chance Tuesday at Litchfield High to make those strides. They'll host Wamogo today (Friday) at 7 p.m. at Shepaug.

"We have been able to do all of those things in stretches," concluded coach Perachi, "but need to do so much more consistently if any of our goals are going to be met."

Norm Cummings

Photography by Norm Cummings