Youth basketball: Milford Knights capture third title of season

The Milford Knights Blue 8th grade boys travel basketball team earned their third championship of the season by winning the Under Armour Winter Hoops Challenge this past weekend at the Newtown Youth Academy.

In the tournament final, Milford’s front court of  Nolan McKenna-Hansen (13 points), Zach Worzel (10 points) and John Neider (8 points) led the way as the Knights jumped out to a 27-8 halftime lead and held on for the convincing 50-24 win.

The path to the Knight’s title started with a match up against Westport. Westport came out hot in the first half knocking down five 3 pointers keeping the game close at the half 33-21.

In the second half, Milford’s Brendan Buchner (12 points) would have the hot hand knocking down two 3’s along with two long jumpers to extend Milford’s lead.

Matt Piechota (14 points) went 4 for 4 from the free throw line and Neider added nine of his team-high 17 points as the Knights advanced with a 65-43 victory.

Next they faced fellow Fairfield County Basketball League (FCBL) member Norwalk Youth.

The teams traded baskets for the first half, with Norwalk connecting on six 3 pointers to be within 35-27 at the half.

In the second half, Milford’s Luke Dana, Sam Rosa and Buchner all connected from long range.

Riley Jordan converted two steals into baskets and Ethan Long (10 points) made 4 of 6 free throws to close out the 61-51 win.

After sweeping through round robin play, the top-seeded Knights took on the All-American All Stars from New York in the semifinal.

Milford’s full court press did the damage early, allowing the Knights to jump out to a 35-14 lead at the half with Christian Andriolas being the main benefactor with six points.

The Knights did not slow down in the second half.

Riley Jordan and Ethan Long connecting on 3 pointers.

Dominic DiFederico chipped in 10 points to lead the Knights.

Luke Dana and Christian Andriolas each added fast break layups on the way to the Knights 61-25 win, setting up a rematch with Norwalk Youth in the finals.

The 28-4 Knights will now wait for the release of the FCBL Tournament brackets in their quest for their fourth consecutive Fairfield County Basketball League title.