Photo: Jenny Call after breaking the 3 point record in a playoff game with Triton.
The Belmont Fire Department should have been called to the high school’s Wenner Field House on Friday night as Jenny Call set the place on fire.
The junior co-captain shot the area-code J for seven 3s, breaking the school’s game record for the trifecta on her way to a season and game high 27 points leading the top-seed Marauders as it took apart the visiting Triton Regional Vikings, 62-32, in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North sectionals March 3.
“It was like all the energy in the building really helped,” said Call about the large home crowd and loud student section.
“My teammates wee able to get me the open shots, so it was all about finishing,” said the three-year varsity player, who was named last week to the Middlesex League Liberty all-star team.
Somewhat lost in Belmont’s scoring outburst was the Marauders’ trademark stellar lock-down defense which limited Triton to a scant 13 second half points while placing the clamps on the Viking’s all-star senior center Tessa LaFrance who was held to 14 points with just a pair of baskets in the final three-quarters.
“We clearly wanted to limit [LaFrance’s] touches on the ball,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Melissa Hart. “That was the most plan-like thing we did besides just working really hard defensively and not giving up a lot of shots,” she said.
It was a tight start for Belmont, having to wait nine days since its last game, falling behind 5-4 midway through the first as LaFrance was Triton’s offense.
But then Belmont went on a 8-0 run over a minute with junior forward Greta Propp scoring a two plus one, junior point guard Carly Christfori drain the first of Belmont’s nine 3s and Call hitting a jumper while being fouled (Despite her record night, Call would go 0-5 from the charity stripe) for a 12-5 lead.
But a pair of 3s by senior Melanie Primpas and LaFrance cut the Vikings’ deficit to one, 12-11 before Call made the first 3 of her night to spur on a 7-2 run to end the first quarter with a 19-13 lead.
Belmont started the second with a Call baseline runner, and a Propp (6 points) layup off the inbounds put Belmont up by double digits, 23-13. LaFrance’s defense – with six blocks on the night – got the Vikings as close as 25-19 before Call ended the quarter with a bomb from outside to allow the Marauders to leave the court at the half up by nine, 28-19.
There were only two things to know about the third quarter, Belmont defense and”the run” sparked by Call. After she opened the half with a quick trey from the corner, sophomore guard Meghan Tan (and with Christofori, joined Call as a league all-star) who had been given the job of defending LaFrance, stole the ball and hit a pair from the line. Then Call’s rained in a pair of consecutive 3s that sent the student section into hysterics and the lead to 41-23 midway through the quarter.
For the remaining quarter and a half, Belmont increased the lead while frustrating Triton by out rebounding and hustling them up and down the court. The only suspense was if/when Call would break the 3 game record. And when she did, the stands erupted.
For Hart, the win was due to the team’s focused approach to the game which has been a hallmark of this season’s squad.
“I’m really proud of their effort [tonight]. It’s the same thing they’ve been doing every day at practice,” she said.
The win propels Belmont into the sectional semifinals against Arlington Catholic, the same team they met in last year’s semifinals which Belmont won.