Sports: Belmont Boys’ Hoops Left Out In The Rain By SpyPonders

Photo: Sophomore guard Daniel Yardemian vs. Arlington.

Why when the Belmont High School Boys’ Basketball team crosses Route 2 to visit its neighbors Arlington High, it’s always raining? Tuesday’s game, Jan. 3, marked the fourth time in five years that the Marauders have been met with a downpour entering the Arlington High gym.

And for the third time in four years, the outcome of the match was a dreary as the weather.

Playing catch-up throughout the game that saw Arlington make the last shot in the first three-quarters – including a 3-point prayer by junior Adrian Black at the end of the critical third quarter – the Marauders could not put together a consistent offense against the SpyPonders, falling 64-57.

It was not the game Belmont (4-3, 2-2 in the Middlesex League) was expecting to play after defeating a top-ranked Division 1 New Bedford team during the holiday break. Arlington remains undefeated at 5-0. 

Belmont’s only lead came with the game’s opening basket from game-high scorer senior captain Paul Ramsey (25 points) before two consecutive three-point bombs from Nick Karalis (8 points) and all-star senior Colin McNamara (with an all-around great game with 22 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds) had Belmont Head Coach Adam Pritchard calling a timeout just a minute into the match.

While Ramsay kept Belmont in the game, the team just wasn’t clicking on any of their shots, ending the first quarter with an anemic 5 points and down by 10.

The second eight minutes saw a more familiar Marauder team – up tempo sparked by senior forward Cal Christofori (8 points, all in the second quarter) who used his athleticism to start the comeback.

Sophomore guard Daniel Yardemian (2 points) was quite effective driving to the basket then dishing the ball to Ramsey and Christofori. A Christofori putback of a Yardemian miss ended a 12-2 run to tie the score at 17 with 4:30 to play.

But the Marauder momentum was short-circuited by consecutive traveling calls, one not called on the SpyPonders and the other a phantom infraction on Belmont. The subsequent 3 by Karalis and a jumper by Dominic Black upped the lead to seven at 26-19.

For the second time in the quarter, Belmont race back behind a 360 spinning layup by Christofori, Yardemain’s drive in the lane and a Ben Jones 3 pointer to tie it up at 27 with Belmont in possession with 20 seconds left in the quarter. But an unforced error on the inbounds gave the ball right back to the hosts which McNamara scored as the buzzer went off.

After tying the game for the third (and final time) at 29, it was Arlington which forced the issue. While Belmont missed several chances in close, the SpyPonder went inside to sophomore big man James Gascoigne (8 of his 14 points in the third) and outside to the Black brothers (juniors Dominic and Adrian) who scored a couple of long range 3s as Arlington raced to a double-digit advantage at 42-31 with 3:10 left.

Despite senior Bryan Goodwin (11 points with three 3s) hitting a three in transition and a hoop on the drive inside, Belmont could not mount a run they had in the second quarter. Down 9 with a second left, Dominic Black’s buzzer beater sent Arlington into the fourth up by a dozen.

Arlington kept up the pressure and extended the lead to 16 after two minutes and cruised to the victory.

Belmont will be on the road in Woburn on Friday.

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