Photo: Carly Christofori (left) and Sarah Stewart on defense for Belmont.
Friday night’s tussle with the one-win Reading High Rockets was just the type of game Belmont High will benefit from, said Marauders’ Head Coach Melissa Hart.
Sometimes your team just has to grind out a victory over an opponent that wouldn’t go away.
“That was a tough game that we had to play hard to stay in front,” said Hart of her team’s 53-41 victory over the Rockets, and upping the Marauders record to 5-2 in the Middlesex League Liberty Division.
What looked like a potential blowout after the first four minutes in which Belmont raced to a 9-0 lead on sophomore Jenny Calls’ three-point and some slashing inside drives by point guard Carly Christofori.
But Reading would scrape back behind the three from Julia Sullivan (6 points) to tie the game at nine before sophomore Greta Propp and junior forward Reagan Haight dropped in shots to up the Marauder lead to four (13-9) after one-quarter.
Belmont’s advantage would grow to seven (22-15) when Propp (8 points) scored two free throws with 1:11 left in the half although the Rockets would climb back to keep it close at the half, 22-18.
The third quarter was more a display of hope over skill as at point both teams had more fouls than points. Stepping up in the quarter were Call and Christofori as Call hit two from distance (part of her game-high 14 point night) and Christifori (13 points) went 4-6 from the line to go along with two baskets to keep Belmont out in front, 36-30, going into the final eight minutes.
Belmont put the game away with a 15-point fourth quarter as senior co-captain Irini Nikolaidis (11 points) scored nine going 5-7 from the charity stripe.
Next up for Belmont is a 3 p.m. exam week contest Tuesday vs. a strong Burlington team.