Photo: Belmont High School’s senior center Adam Kleckner grabs an offensive rebound vs. Melrose in the Marauder’s 66-50 win on Dec. 19, 2014.
The number 66 is a spheric, triangular, hexagonal and a semi-meandric number. And being a multiple of a perfect number, 66 is itself a semiperfect number.
It is also been the number of points the Belmont High School Boys’ Basketball have averaged in their first two victories of the 2014-15 season. That calculation is a simple one as the Marauders have scored 66 points in those consecutive games.
On Friday afternoon, Dec. 19, at Belmont’s home opener against a scrappy Melrose High team, the Marauders led from start to finish, going ahead 11-1 before exploding for 27 points in the third quarter to win easily, 66-50, at the friendly, linoleum court confines of Wenner Field House.
“Don’t take anything away from Melrose. They are a good team with a great shooter [Cody Andrews, who topped all scorers with 23 points),” said Belmont Head Coach Adam Pritchard.
“We got our break going and grabbed the rebounds we needed to play our game plan,” said Pritchard.
And that game over the first two matches this season is speed and muscle as junior guard Matt Kerans came off a sub-par game (for him) at Watertown to match senior All-Star center Adam Kleckner in scoring both from the outside and close to the basket. While Kerans connected for a trio of treys for 9 of his 17 points, the big man (6-foot, 5-inches) Kleckner buried a pair from beyond the arc to round out a workman-like 13 points and a gaggle of rebounds.
After jumping out to a 10 point lead midway through the opening frame, Belmont kept the 10 point margin through the first half with starting third guard Jaemar Paul (12 points) sinking two treys and senior sub Peter Durkin going four-for-four from the line.
After Andrews’ five baskets in the second quarter cut the lead to eight at the half, 30-22, the Marauders displayed an ability to step on the gas and put the breaks on the opponent’s offense in the third quarter as Belmont outscored the Red Raiders, 27-11, as the team hit six threes, lead by the two-way play of senior guard Ben Lazenby (13 points) who scored 10 points (including two threes), dished out assists and created two steals.
By the end of the quarter, the benches started emptying for both teams.
“I wish I could say that it was all coaching that gives us the edge in second halfs but I would be lying,” said Pritchard.
“[The players] know what needs to be done and they push themselves. There’s no big secret,” he said.