MANCHESTER, N.H. – The fourth-ranked Blue Knights of Manchester West advanced past the first round of the NHIAA Division II boys’ basketball tournament on Tuesday night, easily defeating Milford, 77-54.
The Spartans quickly scored the first two baskets of the contest, leading to a sudden West timeout just over a minute into the game. Junior Bladimir Santos almost immediately responded out of the break with a three and the Blue Knights would hold that momentum for the rest of the contest, taking the lead midway through the first and continuing to grow the lead until it reached a zenith of 27 points a few minutes prior to the contest’s conclusion.
“We were just too methodical,” said West Head Coach John Langlois of the initial scare. “I didn’t think we were hungry enough just yet.”
Milford Head Coach Don Gutterson did not envy any club scheduled to face West later in the tournament, noting the sheer amount of weapons they have on offense once all cylinders start firing.
“I think they’re the team to beat,” he said.
Junior Max Shosa had 23 points for West, followed by 22 from senior Angel Castro. Sophomore Will O’Connell led the Spartans with 19 points on the night.
West will host Pelham on Friday in a rematch of a 60-49 road victory for the Blue Knights exactly two weeks earlier.
“Us and Pelham, right here….that’ll be a war,” said Langlois.