Windham advances with win over Noble

By Nathaniel Ford

FARMINGTON – The Windham Jaguars battled to a 68-54 victory over the Noble Knights in the first round of bracket play at The Bash.

These two schools are the biggest at the Bash this year, both with over 1,000 students enrolled. This was also a battle between Maine and New Hampshire. 

“They average about 73 points a game, so we knew they could really score the ball,” Windham head coach Carson Desrosiers said. Scouting a team from another state is tough, but Desrosiers knew that the Knights could score the ball.

It looked like it would be all Noble early. “They got up 8-2 to start the game. No timeout by our coaching staff, trying to let our guys play through a bit of adversity, and they responded well,” said Desrosiers. The Knights hit two early three-pointers, but Windham stayed composed and did not panic.

Desrosiers’ squad answered quickly with a 9-0 run of their own, which brought them into the lead, and the quarter concluded with the Jaguars leading 19-16. Noble’s Jamier Rose had a game-high 10 points in the first quarter.

The Jaguars started the second quarter with an 8-0 run in the first 1:30, forcing a Noble timeout. Windham’s defense was on full display, holding the Knights to just two points through nearly five minutes of play, and only 7 points in the quarter, giving them a 33-23 lead into the break.

“They’re not used to the type of defense that we like to play. We knew we could overwhelm them with our physicality and quickness,” said Desrosiers. Shutting down Noble’s explosive offense was the key to winning this game, and Windham did just that.

The Jaguars hit big shot after big shot in the second half. Noble strung together a 7-0 run in the third quarter, and Windham’s Caden Bouchard responded with a massive three-pointer. The Knights started to build momentum to end the quarter, and it looked like they could carry it to the fourth and mount a comeback. Instead, Jack Koutrobis hit a buzzer-beater floater for the Jaguars, which extended their lead to 55-38 entering the fourth. 

This lead proved to be too large to overcome. Windham carried momentum in the quarter behind a huge dunk from Jack Murphy. Despite four Noble three-pointers late, the Jaguars stayed composed and finished with a 14 point victory. 

“They were ranked 5th in Division II in Maine last year, and that was a great test for us,” said Desrosiers. After two big wins to open their Bash debut, Windham looks to carry this momentum into the rest of the tournament.

Leading the way for Windham was Caden Bouchard, who finished with 16 points and four three-pointers. Jack Koutrobis (12) and Jack Begley (10) also added double figures. Noble was paced by a game-high 21 points by Jamier Rose and 15 from Bryce Guitard. 

The Jaguars advance to the quarterfinals and face the winner of Portsmouth Christian and Franklin tomorrow at 12:45. Noble is eliminated from contention and faces Nute tomorrow morning at 9:00.

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by KJ Cardinal…