Earlier this week, Lewis Mills celebrated its first Berkshire League boys basketball championship in twenty years. First year coach Jim Barone wanted his Spartans to up the intensity versus Northwestern on Friday night so that they could use their remaining games to prepare for the state tournament. Lewis Mills controlled the game the whole way cruising past the Highlanders, 71-56.

“I asked them to pretend that today was a state tournament game and that if we do lose tonight, the season’s over,” Barone said. “I thought Northwestern brought a fantastic full-court press. Moving forward, we are going to work on our press break.”

The Spartans (18-1) jumped out to a 24-13 lead after one and never looked back. The Highlanders (14-5) kept the score  within 15 points by pressing the Spartans heavily in the front-court. Nevertheless, sophomore Josh Schibi was a force inside for Lewis Mills. He led the way with 18.

“If we can keep competing and keep handling the pressure, then we will be good,” Schibi said. “We just keep playing for state rankings and keep playing for ourselves. We’re trying to be the best we can be.”

Trevor Baker and Kyle Alvarez contributed for Lewis Mills with 17 points each.

The Spartans are currently the top seed in CIAC Class M seeding with one game remaining (at Shepaug Tuesday), while Northwestern is presently ninth in the same state race. The Highlanders finish the regular season hosting Thomaston, Tuesday.

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