Coach Sparks looking for successful run into March

Senior Noah Agostinelli handles the ball during a contest last year. Agostinelli is one of a group of three senior guards who bring a lot of experience to the Fergus boys’ basketball program this year.
File photos by Doreen Heintz

Junior Tanner Trafton lays the ball softly against the backboard for two points last
season. Trafton, an all-conference player, looks to help bring the Golden Eagles a successful
season this year. 

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

The year 2018 could be the year for the Golden Eagle boys’ basketball team. After completing a winning season in 2017, Coach Scott Sparks is very optimistic about this year’s 2018 team.
Sparks, who is in his 16th year as a head basketball coach,  has four seniors on a team that came within two points of making it to the Class A State Tournament last season. The four seniors are Andrew Lalum, Noah Agostinelli, Landon Henderson and Cody Henderson. Add to the team four juniors who saw extensive playing time on the varsity last year and the recipe could be a very strong Golden Eagle team. The four juniors include all-conference performers Jaden Graham and Tanner Trafton, along with Wes Jameson and Jake Clinton.
“We have good size on the wings and three strong senior guards to run the offense,” said Sparks. “If we can stay healthy, I think this team has a chance to be really good and make a deep run in March.
“With the Central A conference down to only four teams, it feels like I’m back in the last year of the old 7C,” added Sparks. “We will only play six conference games all season long, so each one is extremely important.”
According to Sparks, Park (Livingston) returns a pile of talent and should be strong. Sparks said Belgrade’s Dawson Fowler is one of the best players in the league, but the Panthers did graduate a ton of talent. Sparks looks for Havre to be down this year, but they will continue to be competitive, even so. 
Because the Golden Eagles have only six conference games, they will be playing a number of teams from the Eastern A Conference, including Dawson County (Glendive), Sidney, Billings Central and Custer County. Fergus will again be competing in what is now known as the Eastern A Division come tournament time. The four teams in the Central Conference, along with the six teams from the East, will compete at the Eastern A Divisional Tournament in Billings in February. The top four boys’ teams from the divisional tournament will advance to the Class A State Tournament in Bozeman.
The Fergus boys’ team opens its season on the road this year. On Friday, Dec. 8, the Eagles will play Dawson County in Glendive. On the following day, Saturday, Dec. 9, the team will play in Sidney.
The boys’ home opener is Saturday, Dec. 16, against Huntley Project.
Sparks’ assistant coaches are Derek Lear, Orin Johnson, Jimmy Graham and Kyle Trafton. 
 

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