HUNTERDON WARREN SUSSEX FINALS PREVIEW
HUNTERDON/WARREN/SUSSEX TOURNAMENT FINAL
Friday, Feb. 22 at Centenary College, 5 1-Sparta (21-2) vs. 3-Phillipsburg (17-7)
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Sparta Quarterfinals: 1-Sparta 56, 9-North Hunterdon 39 | Game recap Semifinals: 1-Sparta 61, 4-Delaware Valley 52 | Game recap
Phillipsburg Second round: 3-Phillipsburg 44, 14-Newton 37 | Game recap Quarterfinals: 3-Phillipsburg 51, 6-Wallkill Valley 40 | Game recap Semifinals: 3-Phillipsburg 42, 2-Hunterdon Central 41 | Game recap
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sparta Jack Cavanaugh, Sr., Guard, 12.8 ppg Lucas Fredrickson, Sr., Guard, 5 ppg Dante Joefield, Sr., Guard, 10.4 ppg Aidan Mastandrea, Jr., Guard, 10.9 ppg Alex Podolski, Sr., Forward, 12.7 ppg Cam Riley, Sr., Center, 9.5 ppg
Phillipsburg Bryce Feddeman, Sr., Guard, 5.8 ppg Alain Gonda, Sr., Guard, 11.2 ppg Alex Kollias, Sr., Forward, 4.7 ppg Richard Manigault, Sr., Guard, 20.8 ppg Cam'Ron Strachan, Sr., Guard, 4.1 ppg Brandon Yale, Jr., Guard/Forward, 3.1 ppg
Phillipsburg: 5 (1989, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2007)
SPARTA WINS IF: It’s depth continues showing up.
Sparta may have been the deepest team in this tournament and that has shown throughout not only the H/W/S Tourney, but the entire season as well. Sparta isn’t going to rely on just one player to take down Phillipsburg, it is going to expect of all of its players to play within their abilities and step up at different times in the game. That depth will also allow Sparta to exploit mismatches.
PHILLIPSBURG WINS IF: Alain Gonda and Alex Kollias replicate semifinal success.
Richard Manigault is an absolute beast and a gamer, but the smart money says that Sparta is going to try and take him out of the equation and force Phillipsburg to beat them with somebody else. That is exactly what Hunterdon Central did and, while Central held Manigault to 11 points - his second lowest total this season - Gonda and Kollias stepped up with 12 and 11 points respectively. The 11 points was a season-high for Kollias and just the second time he scored in double-digits this season. These two players will likely be the difference-makers for P-burg in this one.
PREDICTION: Sparta 67, Phillipsburg 59
Richard Greco covers boys basketball for NJ.com and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.