Photo: Belmont’s sophomore center Emma McDevitt driving to the basket against Wilmington.
Belmont High Girls’ Basketball’s trademark smothering team defense was on display as the Marauders held Wilmington to 11 first half point to win going away, 62-35, in the season opener held at the Wenner Field House on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
We’re still trying to find the best lineups to do certain things,” said Belmont Head Coach Melissa Hart. “But the lineup in the second quarter was very good defensively which was important because our offense is still pretty rough around the edges.”
That lineup had one common denominator, height. With senior captain Jess Giorgio (7 pts while leading the team in rebounds and blocks), seniors Jane Mahon (4 pts), Ella Gagnon and Megan Tan (5 pts) and sophomore Maiya Bergdorf, the Marauders forced Wilmington into a lot of weak outside shots or being swallowed up inside in a forest of arms and bodies that resulted in block shots, steals and defensive rebounds. The end product saw the Wildcats go nearly the entire eight minutes scoreless as the Marauders went on a 14-0 run to end the half up 26-11.
“They were good out there. They are large and they are quick. They’re tough,” said Hart.
Leading the way offensively was Bergdorf who was a threat on the drive and especially from the arc as she hit four 3s to end the game with 20 points, an encouraging sign after ending last season on the bench after an injury sidelined an impressive freshman campaign.
It was an opening night in which several underclassmen shined including freshman point guard Nina Minicozzi who started the game and hit the season’s first three (ending with 8 points) while leading the offense. Sophomore Emma McDevitt came off the bench to register her first varsity double-digit effort with 10 points playing center and her fellow second-year classmate Kiki Christofori was a lively presence off the bench playing the point.
“We still have a ways to go with the offense being rusty,” said Hart who was able to empty her bench in the opener.
“And frankly, we wouldn’t want to play our best game tonight. So the good news is that we have a lot of room to get better,” she said.
Next game for the Marauders is the early match in the season’s first Friday-night doubleheader with the boy’s team at Lexington on Friday, Dec. 14.