Highlanders boys basketball start playoffs strong

| 27 Feb 2019 | 01:45

    By Garrett Hemmerich
    WEST MILFORD – The Highlanders boys basketball team came away with a dominant win in the first round of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 tournament on Tuesday night.
    Led by another outstanding performance from senior Josiah Basket, the sixth-seeded West Milford beat the 11th-seeded West Essex by a final score of 75-47.
    Basket finished the contest with a game-high 35 points, including eight three-pointers, while junior Kevin DeRaffele had 17 points and nine rebounds.
    The Highlanders dominated the Knights on both ends of the floor in the opening quarter, causing turnover after turnover and capitalizing on seemingly every one.
    West Milford went on a 19-0 run to start things off, with West Essex not getting its first points of the game until there were just over three minutes left in the first period.
    It was more of the same in the second, with the Highlanders building on their lead and finally taking a 45-21 lead with them to the locker room.
    Basket continued his dominant play in the third and the team ended the quarter with a 34-point lead.
    West Milford head coach John Finke pulled his starters with about five minutes to go in the fourth and the Highlanders way ahead.
    West Milford (19-7) were scheduled to play the third-seeded Ramapo next in the quarterfinals on Feb. 28.