Milford sweeps Souhegan

AMHERST – Drew Jepson and Jack Briggs each scored 17 points Tuesday night and the Milford High School boys basketball held off Souhegan to win 73-66 as the Spartans swept a boys-girls doubleheader from the Sabers for just the second time.

In the girls game, Milford got out to a 19-3 lead after one quarter and cruised to a 50-19 win over Souhegan – just the fourth time ever the Spartans have beaten the Sabers in girls basketball.

The games were part of the second Tony’s Games, an event put on by Souhegan to honor the memory of Tony Barksdale, a Souhegan graduate and former basketball player who died in 2013. Money from T-shirt sales and the concession stand will be part of the Tony Barksdale Memorial Scholarship.

After a close first quarter, the Milford boys went on a 12-7 run to take a 10-point lead midway through the second. Souhegan was able to get the lead down to eight points before the half, and got it down to six on several occasions, but couldn’t get any closer.

Briggs was 11 of 15 from the free throw line and Jepson hit 6 of 10, as Milford was 24 of 38 at the line.

“They’re setting things up,” Milford coach Dan Murray said. “When the ball moves, we’re a nice team. Kirk (Palladino) is setting up Drew on a lot of those shots, and he works well with Jack also. They’re starting to get a nice little rhythm.”

Ryan Banuskevich also had 11 points for the Spartans (2-0) and Dan Murray chipped in with 10.

Souhegan (0-2) got 12 points from Tom Stover and Jerrell Webster had 11 points.

Becca Cleary led the Milford girls to their big first quarter lead, scoring 10 of her game-high 21 points in the game’s first seven minutes. Adelle Pitsas added 10 points for the Spartans (4-0) and Erin McGuire chipped in with seven.

“Becca Cleary killed us,” Souhegan coach Mike Heaney said. “We knew Jess (Ryan) and Adelle (Pitsas) had been leading them, but I thought we contained them as best we could. We talked about Becca being the third option, you want her to shoot more than those two, but she shot lights out.”

The Sabers (2-2) got four points from Caitlin Watson while Hannah Chick, Emma White and Juliane Donohue had three points apiece. Souhegan went more than four minutes without a point to open the game, and went another five minutes to open the second half without scoring.

“We’ve been working on our man (defense), so we played it almost the whole game, and I was really impressed by it,” Milford coach Rich Parent said. “I’ve been afraid to let them play man until (Tuesday). In practice, they’ve been getting better and better, and (Tuesday) we let them go at it.