The Shepaug Valley High boys' basketball program has turned out its share of quality hardcourt quintets.

Just a few years ago, the Spartans produced back-to-back 20-win campaigns.

However, as coach Matt Perachi and company reflect on the 2012-13 season, "our final record -- 4-16 -- was not what we thought or hoped it would be."

After a 2-2 start, the Region 12 crew had to deal with the loss for five games due to disciplinary reasons of five key players.

"A season that began with a lot of promise and potential hit an unexpected mid-year bump in the road, causing us to play several games with an unanticipated lineup," said coach Perachi.

During that stretch, the Spartans weren't competitive on the scoreboard but several young players received considerably more court time than they would have otherwise.

"While the middle part of our season offered many challenges, it also offered many opportunities for some of our younger players to gain valuable experience," said the veteran Spartan bench boss.

Impressive wins over Housatonic Valley, 62-40, and Litchfield, 72-60, helped brighten the Shepaug scene during the season's second half.

The Spartans also used those younger players more extensively down the homestretch than during the early season.

Although Shepaug was winless during its final five games, three times the locals tested their foes right to the final moments.

"In the end, significant growth occurred during this season," said coach Perachi.

"Seniors Spencer Ylagan, Lucas Guliano, Dylan McAward, Peyton Kay, Kellen Rikhoff, Chris Lowe and Fred Cheney are thanked for their commitment to our program and will be greatly missed," said the Shepaug coach.

Looking to the future, coach Perachi expects junior Josh Reutzel, sophomores Griffin Ylagan, Sam Krebs, Robert McCarthy and Ben Levine, and freshman Stephen Williams to build on what they learned this winter.

"(They) have established themselves as players who have the potential to make the next few seasons of Shepaug basketball very bright," said Perachi. "And we all look forward to the future."

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