Photo: Front Row l-r: Samantha Ryan, Molly Halloran, Sophie Tournet, Natalia Agular, Erin Estrada, Sophia Pang, Maya Bernbeck, Amy Saukkonen. Second Row l-r: Bernie Ryan, Maggie Keyes, Sophia McClendon, Jason Tournet
The Belmont 5th Grade Girls Maroon travel basketball team won the Metrowest League Division 2A Tournament defeating Mansfield in the championship game 40-28. The team completed a successful regular season in early March and earned the 3rd seed in the Division 2A North sectional. Belmont won four consecutive games in a span of eight days to capture the title.
Belmont dispatched Newton 40-28 in the first round to advance to the second round against archrival Arlington, with whom Belmont split two regular season games. Belmont defeated Arlington 26-16 with a fantastic defensive effort and all 10 girls made significant contributions. The victory over Arlington advanced Belmont to the Division 2A Championship Final Four.
The Belmont girls won an overtime thriller in the semi-finals besting North Attleboro 38-35. North Attleboro tied the game in regulation by converting a corner three-point shot with only seconds remaining. The Belmont offense was led by Sophia McClendon 18 points (including a trio of shots from beyond the 3-point arc all in the opening half), Sophie Tournet 9 points, Samantha Ryan 5 points, Sophia Pang 4 points and Maggie Keyes 2 points. Molly Halloran, Maya Bernbeck and Amy Saukkonen were defensive stalwarts throughout the game. Natalia Agular had some key assists and Erin Estrada won the fight for several loose balls in the critical 4th quarter. Belmont hit 11 of 14 free throws with Tournet and Ryan sinking clutch free throws in overtime.
In the Championship game, Belmont struggled a bit in the first quarter but was able to take a 19-17 lead at halftime with a strong second quarter. McClendon led the scoring with 16 points and Keyes netted 11 points including a 3 pointer at the halftime buzzer. Tournet contributed 7 points, again hitting key free throws down the stretch. Agular, Ryan and Pang each scored critical baskets. Belmont limited Mansfield to 11 points in the second half with a stifling defense that forced many turnovers. Estrada, Bernbeck and Halloran made key steals. Saukkonen utilized her speed at both ends of the floor forcing Mansfield to make offensive and defensive adjustments.
The team is led by Head Coach Jason Tournet and Assistant Coach Bernie Ryan.