Girls' takes second straight win at home
The match between Belmont High School Girls' Basketball vs their Winchester High School rivals wasn't expected to be an offensive barn burner; the Marauders' game starts with a strong defensive stance and Winchester came to Belmont's Wenner Field House Friday, Jan 17, missing two starters.
And it was Belmont's stellar defense that propelled the Marauders (3-5) to its second win in as many games with a 41-23 victory over the Sachems (1-9).
"Our guards have been fantastic with their pressure and pace. We really do some tough defense especially in the past few weeks," said Belmont's Head Coach Melissa Hart.
Despite scoring just eight points in each of the first two quarters – led by juniors Elena Bragg (6 points) and starting junior point guard Sophia Eschenbach-Smith (a season high 12 points) with four points – the Marauders limited the Sachems to just 10 points playing a tight, face-to-face defense keeping Winchester to the outside and causing turnovers.
The third quarter saw the Marauders – coming off a mid-week trip to Worcester where by beat North Worcester, 49-31, where 10 players scored – finally bust out offensively nearly doubling their total (14 points in the eight minute quarter) sparked by sophomores Irini Nikolaidis' (6 points) two buckets and three of four free throws by senior Ashleigh Chinn (7 points).
Defensively, Belmont upped the pressure that resulted in numerous turnovers and forced shots that held Winchester to 6 points in the quarter for a 30-16 lead. The fourth quarter followed the same script as the third with Eschenbach-Smith hitting two breakaway layups and a free throw and senior Talene Sagherian's (2 points) jumper.
"We're winning games that we should even if [Winchester] was down a couple of players," said Hart.
Belmont Boys' work for away win
It was a workman's like victory for the Belmont High School Boys' Basketball team: get out slow, a strong second quarter, survive a surge from host Winchester before settling for a going-away victory, 71-58, for their seventh victory (7-2) of the year, the sixth game where the Marauders scored 70 or more points.
The Marauders was cold throughout the first quarter, scoring just nine points, only to see turn up the heat, putting up 27 points in the second.
Sophomore guard Matt Kerans led the Marauders with 19 points, junior center Adam Kleckner had 18 points, senior captain guard Keith Burns continued his assault beyond the three point line with a trio of treys for 13 points while freshman sixth man Jalyn Hinton came off the bench with 9 points.