WEST MILFORD, NJ - The efficient offense of West Milford proved too quick for Roxbury to handle as the Highlanders were able to win on Saturday on their home court.
Backed by the scoring of Mike Otero, 18 points, West Milford picked apart the defense of Roxbury by scoring in many different ways.
Point guard Noah Basket was able to run up the court as West Milford transitioned to offense. From there he was able to find a variety of his teammates for open shots early in the game. Roxbury was caught flat footed on defense.
As a team, the Gaels let up 10 points in the first six minutes of the game. By the end of the first quarter, Roxbury had already found itself in a hole.
The second quarter is when Roxbury started to click on offense. Led by forward Doug Alexander, Roxbury scored inside with some easy buckets as the Gaels started to cut the lead of West Milford. Guard Dante Sworn added offense from the backcourt to help with the scoring effort with six points.
West Milford was able to respond to the Roxbury, scoring in a number of ways. One method was for Bucket and other guards to look into the post and lob the ball to the Highlanders’ forward Pat Burke. Burke was able to handle all passes that came his way. He also did well around the rim with grabbing rebounds and finishing his shots. He finished with 11 points.
At the half, the Gaels still found themselves behind after their attempts to cut the lead. The score was 27-22 in favor of West Milford.
Coming out of the half, West Milford came out red hot as the Gaels struggled to respond. West Milford had a great performance from their bench as well, and Shea Remschel proved a spark of the bench when he was needed.
However, Roxbury would not go out quietly. After being called out by their coaches in a timeout, the Gaels responded late in the third quarter by going on a run. Alexander was able to hit his mid-range jump shots and drive to the basket for some easy scores. He finished the game with 18 points.
When Alexander did not have a good look, guard Stephen Loreng did. Loreng was able to knock down three point shots and drive to the basket. In total, he made three three-pointers to try and keep the Gaels in the game. He finished with 13 points.
But West Milford put a stop to the Roxbury offensive spurt as it closed out the Gaels by hitting most of the shots it took. Otero was able to knock down some of the three pointers he took to help put away the Gaels.
When the final quarter ended, the scoreboard showed 62-48, a tough loss for the Gaels.
Roxbury’s ball players will have to put this bad loss behind them as the team will be visited by Delbarton on Feb. 3 at the Roxbury High School gym.