Sweet 6! Belmont Girls’ Rugby Romps To Sixth Consecutive State Title Over Weymouth

Photo: Co-Capt. Mia Taylor lifts the state championship trophy after Belmont won its sixth consecutive title, defeating Weymouth, 80-0, on Saturday, June 15, at Curry College.

In a near flawless performance of top-flight rugby, Belmont High School Girls Rugby secured its sixth consecutive MIAA Division 1 state title, romping past a young, scrappy Weymouth squad, 80-0, at Curry College on Saturday, June 15.

The victory continues Belmont’s dominance in the tournament. The Marauders have won every championship game since 2017, when Belmont scored 17 unanswered points to defeat Algonquin Regional High School 17-14 in a true nailbiter.

Belmont HIgh School, the 2024 Div. 1 Girls’ Rugby State Champions

According to Kate McCabe, who started the varsity team a decade ago and has led the squad to each of its half dozen championship victories, it has been “a privilege” to coach what she and her players have created both this season and as a program.

“No one’s showing up because I’m so much fun to hang out with,” said McCabe. “It’s the players that made a family and a system that people feel empowered to be a part of even when they come in knowing nothing about rugby,” she said.

For senior outside center and co-captain Mia Taylor, the victory culminates in a personal three-peat of state championships.

”This team is just incredible. Every day, I’m excited to go to practice. I love these girls so much,” said Taylor, who will soon be off to UC San Diego, where she will continue playing rugby.

Belmont senior Mia Taylor on her way to a hat trick.

While Belmont came into the game unbeaten in 2024, having defeated Weymouth 26-12 in the first match of the season, the Marauders have had its handful with the Wildcats. In its past two encounters, Weymouth kept the matches close until late, including holding the lead early in the 2023 state semi-finals.

Belmont was anything but dominant in the first five minutes, losing its first four possessions on a series of miscues and nerves. But McCabe allowed the team seniors to take care of adjustments on the pitch.

“The coaches didn’t talk to you,” McCabe told her team after the game. “Nobody stepped onto the field. We let you lead, and you played off each other that whole time. Your voices were heard, and they were repeated together, supporting one another. We could not be more proud.”

Belmont’s stellar backline defending shut out Weymouth

Belmont dominated the defensive side of the ball. The front eight prevented Weymouth from putting in a positive phase, with the Wildcats inside Belmont’s 22 meters just once in the first 35 minutes. Belmont’s backs – led by senior wing Ally Caputo and junior Robyn Tonomura-MacDonald – never allowed Weymouth’s swift wings and full-back to break free turning the corners.

Senior lock Sally Amer secured her brace, scoring in the 15th and 23rd minutes, with the first a 10-meter run when she ran over two defenders before lunging into a try. Her second was more impressive: stealing a Weymouth scrum and moments later taking a straight line to try for the five points.

It didn’t take long for Belmont to right the ship, with Taylor grabbing her first try on a run around the right side after nine minutes. It was left up for Belmont’s senior fly half and kicking specialist Lucy “Buzz” Kabrhel to nail the two-point conversion from the most acute angle for the 7-0 lead.

Belmont senior wing Ally Caputo on her way for the team’s fourth try against Weymouth

Moments after receiving the kick, Caputo discovered a crease in Weymouth’s front line and streaked 60 meters for Belmont’s fourth try of the half. Three minutes later, Kabrhel found herself with a meadow of space and slalomed into try. With her conversion, Belmont would enter halftime with a 33-0 lead.

Despite being up by five tries, a rugby advantage is never secure as the scoring team receives the ball after a try and can dictate the game. But Belmont would allow the Wildcats just a single drive close to its try line before senior prop Olivia “Liv” Mann propelled herself to try after Belmont ran a master class in bringing the ball down the pitch. Taylor would throw down a brace within six minutes to complete her hat trick, and the rout was on. Mann, senior lock Abby Hill, junior “Number 8” Sadie Taylor, and Becca Michaud finished the scoring.

With Kabrhel’s 11th of 13 conversion kicks sailing through the uprights, the referee blew his whistle, and Belmont would celebrate its most dominating performance of the five previous state finals.

“It’s a long game, and over the course of the playoff run, we tell them, ‘You play the very best that you have. Give it your all, put it all on the field.’ And today, you can see people were just running as hard as they possibly could, and it was really beautiful to see,” said McCabe.

When Taylor was presented with the state championship trophy, she immediately started jumping up and down, her smile as bright as the sparkling late spring sunshine, expressing everything she and the team were feeling.

“My senior year meant so much to finish it here with every one of my teammates. I’m going to miss this so much,” Taylor said as she carried the trophy off the pitch.

Belmont High Girls’ Rugby Back For Sixth State Title Game Vs Tough Weymouth Squad

Photo: Belmont Girls’ Rugby in the title game again

Belmont High Girls’ Rugby will seek its six consecutive MIAA Division 1 state championship this Saturday after the Marauders made quick work of Lincoln Sudbury Regional, 71-5, in the state semi-finals match held at Harris Field, June 5.

The undefeated and top-ranked Marauders (7-0) will meet a scrappy third-seed Weymouth squad (5-2) in the title game taking place at 2 p.m., on Saturday, June 15 at Curry College in Milton. The Wildcats sprinted away late from Algonquin Regional in its 60-29 semifinal victory.

Tickets can be purchased at GoFan.com

After an early scare in which Belmont thwarted a Lincoln-Sudbury push deep inside Marauder territory, it was all Belmont as the team pilled up 35 points in the first 20 minutes as it shut out the Warriors in the first half. Junior Robyn Tonomura-MacDonald totaled four of Belmont’s 11 tries while playing stellar defense.

Saturday’s game will be a rematch of the first match of the season which Belmont waited late before pulling away. After scoring two tries quickly, Weymouth came within two – 14-12 – at the half. Weymouth held the advantage for most of the second half before two outstanding long run tries by Mia Taylor gave the Marauders the 27-12 victory.

Belmont Girls’ Lacrosse ‘Bright’ Star Reaches Century Mark

Photo: Belmont High Girls Lacrosse’s Niamh Lesnik with her teammates celebrating the sophomore reaching 100 goals.

The game played Monday afternoon didn’t go Belmont’s way, a 9-8 overtime loss to Wayland. But in the fading twilight of Harris Field the team had something to celebrate: midfield Niamh Lesnik reached 100 career goals in the first half.

Niamh accomplished the milestone as a sophomore, a feat realized against top-rated Middlesex League competition while performing in the dual role of a two-way midfielder.

JLesnik joins her team mates from last year, Belmont’s “Nickel and Dime” attack pair of senior Mary Mullan and junior Tess Desantis, who reached the century mark in 2023.

(Just so you know, this is how to pronounce Niamh – which is Old Irish for “bright” – from America’s favorite Irish actress.)

Opinion: To Save Belmont High School Sports, Vote Yes on April 2

The BHS Performing Arts Company Will Be Staging ‘Something Rotten’ This Week

Photo: The poster of this year’s musical “Something Rotten”

The tale of how the world’s very first musical was staged, the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents its Spring Musical “Something Rotten” this week in the Belmont Middle and High School Main Theater.

Showtimes are:

  • Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. (matinee) and 7 p.m. 

Ticketing for the shows is online, and advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged, as the Main Theater has limited seating capacity. Tickets can be purchased at bhs-pac.org

It’s 1595, and brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but find themselves stuck in the shadow of William Shakespeare, the Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting – all at the same time – Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. Amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to their own self.

The book is by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell. Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, who also conceived the work.

ADULTS: $15 in advance / $18 at the door
BHS STUDENTS: $5 Thursday and Saturday Matinee, $10 Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.

Sweet 16 Shocker: Belmont Girls’ Hockey Upset Three-Seed Lincoln/Sudbury In Quarters, 4-1, As Costa Stops 44 Shots

Photo: Belmont/Watertown goalie Jil Costa readies to pounce on a loose puck during her team’s game vs. Lincoln/Sudbury

It was a nightmare start for Belmont/Watertown Girls’ hockey goalie Jil Costa against heavy favorites Lincoln/Sudbury Regional High in the MIAA Division 1 state championship quarterfinals.

In its first rush up the ice, Lincoln/Sudbury’s junior Ally Quinn split the defenders and sent a wrist shot to Costa’s glove side, handcuffing the sophomore netminder. The puck sneaked by and rolled on its side into the back of the net.

1-0, Warriors, after 50 seconds.

After this goal, Belmont’s Jil Costa stopped the next 44 in the 4-1 upset of Lincoln/Sudbury

“Once it went in I was a little confused, to be honest,” said Costa, one of the standout goaltenders in the state allowing less than a goal a game – 16 goals in 20 games – this season.

But rather than replay the goal in her mind, “I immediately just got it out of my head. I ignored it as if it didn’t happen and I just had to focus on the next shot,” she said.

And from that point onward, it was lights out as Costa would stop all 44 shots she faced while her teammates scored three goals in the final four minutes of the first period propelling 14th-ranked Belmont to a thrilling upset over third-seed Lincoln/Sudbury, 4-1, in the Sweet 16 contest on a rainy Saturday night, March 2, in West Concord.

Belmont Senior Mia Taylor scored the game winning goal in the first period

“We played our game, relying on [Costa] to keep it close and help her out by scoring just enough to win,” said first-year head coach Brendan Kelleher.

Belmont (15-2-3) will next meet fellow upstarts Archbishop Williams (11-10-2) from Braintree in an Elite Eight matchup on Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m., 53 miles from Belmont in far-flung Kingston (which is basically west Duxbury). The 11th-seed “Archies” sent sixth-ranked Methuen packing, 2-1, on a late goal Saturday.

Saturday’s game was decided in the initial 15 minutes as Belmont withstood a continuous onslaught from the quick Warrior forwards. But it was Belmont’s approach to Lincoln/Sudbury’s overtly-aggressive game plan that proved to be the Warriors’ undoing.

Belmont’s first goal came courtesy of senior co-Capt. Lola Rocci on the power play as she slotted a Gigi Mastrangelo pass by L/S eighth grade goalie Lauren Kennedy to level the score at one.

Belmont’s Lola Rocci circling the L/S net during the team’s 4-1 upset victory

With less than 90 seconds remaining in the period, Belmont struck for a pair. Despite defending a Belmont power play, the Warriors kept pushing players into the Belmont end. But when the Warriors lost the puck in the neutral zone, second line seniors Mia Taylor and Ruby Jones jumped to create a two-on-one counter with Taylor capping the break with the game winner.

“it was just keeping that intensity up no matter who’s on the ice … and always go for it and that created the goal” said Taylor.

And it wouldn’t be a Belmont game without an outstanding solo rush and goal by Marauders’ leading scorer, senior center Maddie Driscoll, who hit the back of the net while shorthanded in the dying seconds of the opening frame to leave the ice leading 3-1.

Up by two with a half hour to play, Lincoln/Sudbury kept the pressured on Belmont’s back line and Costa yet the Marauder defensive pairs – with a great deal of assistance from the forwards – withstood each Warrior rush without surrendering ice in front of the Belmont goal and pushing Warrior forwards outside the slot so shots were taken from a safe distance.

“We were told ahead of time they had an aggressive forecheck,” said senior co-Capt. Aislin Devaney. “Our defense did a really good job blocking shots, getting the puck out, and keeping bodies on them which made it easy for [Costa] to make saves.”

Through it all, Costa was as cold as the ice surface making save after save, leaving Lincoln Sudbury players slamming their sticks onto the ice in frustration or looking to the heavens for Divine Intervention that never came.

“A lot of practice just [having a] laser focus on the puck and … just make the save,” said Costa.

Belmont’s Evie Long (second from right) scoring the fourth goal of the game late in the third

It was left up to sophomore Evie Long to put a ribbon on the upset. After receiving a pinpoint drop pass from Driscoll, the winger scooped up her own rebound and backhanded Belmont’s fourth tally high into the net with four minutes left in the game.

“We’re keeping the rink open,” said assistant coach Josh Gilonna, borrowing a phrase used by Belmont Boys’ Hockey during a recent deep run in the tournament. “We’re going to play again.”

Driscoll’s Winner In 2OT The Difference In Belmont/Watertown’s 1-0 Victory Over Billerica In Div. 1 Playoff Opener

Photo: Belmont/Watertown’s Molly Driscoll in action against Billerica/Chelmsford

A wrist shot from Watertown High Senior center Molly Driscoll that sent the puck slowly dribbling into the net 30 seconds into a second overtime period gave Belmont/Watertown a 1-0 shutout victory over Billerica/Chelmsford in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 Girls’ Hockey tournament held on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Playing on her home ice at the John A Ryan Rink in Watertown, Driscoll received a pass from her fellow co-captain, winger Lola Rocci, as both teams were playing three-a-side. The Boston University-commit in field hockey redirected the puck through Billerica/Chelmsford goalie Giovanna Gulinello’s pads which then took its time to cross the goal line for the only score of the night.

Belmont’s Jil Costa in net vs Billerica

“It was Molly Driscoll doing what Molly Driscoll does,” said Belmont Head Coach Brendan Kelleher about the senior center’s heroics. He praised Rocci on Belmont’s rush up the rink “carrying the puck up ice with a [player] draped all over. She has nothing in the tank but she kept her feet moving the whole time. She got free and fed it to Molly.”

“It was a great high school hockey game,” said Kelleher in his inaugural season leading the team. “Give Billerica a lot of credit. When you get to those sudden victory games, someone’s got to win, and someone’s got to lose. The paying spectators got their money’s worth.”

Fourteenth-ranked Belmont/Watertown (14-2-3) now advances to the Division 1 “Sweet 16” where it takes on 3rd-seed Lincoln/Sudbury Regional (17-2-1) in an afternoon matinee on Saturday, March 2. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. at the Valley Rink in West Concord.

No place for the faint hearted in the crease

On the other end of the ice sophomore goalie Jil Costa earned her 10th shutout of the season, keeping a clean sheet for 51 minutes and 30 seconds as she spearheaded another defensive masterclass from a team that has given up a measly 15 goals in 19 games. The best of her clutch saves was with five seconds remaining in the first overtime when Costa swatted away with her stick blade a high puck heading towards goal, a reaction “that’s got to be on [ESPN’s] SportsCenter Top 10 plays,” said Kelleher.

Fronting Costa was Belmont’s defensive pairings – its core made up of Thea Monovich, Aislin Delaney, Martha Dimas and Elsie Larkin-Schultz – which continued their solid coverage they have provided the entire season, preventing clean breaks and keeping the majority of shots coming from the outside.

“I can’t say enough about pairs; they just play a great game again and again. We’ve got senior leadership back there along with freshmen that don’t playing like freshmen. It’s a confident group,” said Kelleher.

Belmont First Year Defender Elsie Larkin-Schultz

Belmont’s Player of the Match was first year defender Larkin-Schultz who provided coverage along the blue line while making a spark on offense, weaving her tall frame into the Warrior’s defensive zone.

While Billerica – a young team with just a pair of seniors while putting three 8th graders and seven first years on the varsity team – had their moments attacking Costa, Belmont had nearly double the shots taken by the Warriors. In the end, it would be left up to Driscoll, Belmont’s leading scorer and the most skilled player on the night, to end the contest.

Kelleher said while he would like to see a balanced scoring attack with all three lines – and a few defenders – getting on the scoring sheet.

“Nothing gets easier this time of year. It’s the old survive and advance. We came with the mindset that we will be back for another game.”

On The Road, Again: Just A Single Home Match For Belmont High’s Winter Teams In MIAA Tourneys

Photo: Belmont High Sophomore Jil Costa making the skate save vs. Woburn

Marauder fans will be on the road to see their favorites play as three of the four Belmont High’s Girls and Boys Hoops and Hockey teams will be visitors through out the 2024 MIAA high school state playoffs.

Belmont High Girls hockey (13-2-3) is the sole local entry to host a first-round Division 1 playoff game and it will take place in neighboring Watertown’s JA Ryan rink against Billerica Memorial (6-9-5) on the Leap Day (Thursday, Feb. 29) at 7 p.m. Despite losing a single game in regular time (the best in the Division 1 tourney) and giving up less than a goal a game – 0.833 to be exact – the Marauders just hung on to a home game as the 14th-seed due in no small part to a less than a robust scoring offense, Watch for goalie Jil Costa and first line center Molly Driscoll to stand out. The likely Sweet 16 opponent for the winner will be three-seed Lincoln-Sudbury (17-2-1) up on Route 2 in West Concord.

In a rebuilding season in which the team had a hard time creating an on-ice identity, Belmont Boys’ Hockey (8-11-3) was the first team to miss out on a home game as the 17th seed and will be journeying along Route 128 to meet Wellesley High (14-4-2) on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at the Boston Sports Institute in Wellesley. The “lucky” winner will head to Danvers to take on the one-seed St. John’s Prep.

The one Belmont team that had high hopes on obtaining not just one but two home games was Girls Basketball. On Jan. 26, the team suffocated a good Winchester squad to secure a playoff spot with a 10-4 record, sitting just outside the top 10 in the power ranking calculations and having entered the Top 20 in some polls. But in the past month, the squad could not buy a win, losing its final seven regular season games and falling to 10-11. As the 21 seed. the Marauders will be taking its own Leap Day bus ride to the Rhode Island border to meet 12-seed Bridgewater-Raynham – losers of three of its final four games – on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

It’s not how you earned a playoff spot, just that you did it. Just ask a talented but at times uninspiring Belmont High Boys Hoops squad. With a gaudy 37th ranking in the MIAA power rankings, the Marauders needed in the past fortnight a two-point upset of a 14-6 Arlington team and a rally to defeat Billerica at home to remain above the required .500 mark (11-9) to earn a preliminary “play-in” match against Peabody. It’ll be a journey along scenic Route 128 in afternoon rush hour traffic on Tuesday, Feb. 27 with the game starting at 6 p.m. against the Tanners which made the tournament with an impressive 18-2 mark.

Belmont’s Grappler Takes First Ever MIAA Girls’ Wrestling State Championship At 106 Lbs [VIDEO]

Photo: Belmont High’s Ava Svistunov in the first-ever finals of the MIAA D1 State Girls Wrestling Championship at 106 lbs.

When hearing last year there would likely be a separate state tournament for girls’ wrestling, Belmont High’s Ava Svistunov and Craig Janjigian, the team’s head coach, said they knew that if her progression continued in the sport, she would be topping the podium.

“We both said it, that I could win,” said Svistunov.

Svistunov with Belmont High Head Coach Craig Janjigian (left) and assistant Head Coach Andrew McCahill.

One year later, their shared vision came true as Svistunov placed her mark on Belmont High sports history, winning the Division 1 state championship at 106 lbs. at the inaugural MIAA Girls Wrestling tournament.

The 15-year-old sophomore dominated the final against Claire Roney of Wellesley High, shutting out the top seed, 7-0, in the Saturday, Feb. 17 match at Newton South High School.

“It’s a big deal, probably,” said Svistunov, still contemplating what she had done five minutes earlier.

“[Svistunov] got the job done. She dominated this tournement,” said Janjigian, who also brought three male wrestlers to the championships.

Belmont High’s Ava Svistunov won the first-ever MIAA D1 State Girls Wrestling Championship finals at 106 lbs.

Svistunov will next wrestle in the Massachusetts Girls’ All-State tourney in Salem on Saturday, Feb. 20, when the top grapplers from across the three divisions will meet to determine the best wrestlers in each of a dozen weight groups.

It was an impressive run through the tourney for Svistunov, who started early Saturday morning by pinning Jasin Abdella of Leominster in 37 seconds in the opening period. Svistunov would have her most difficult challenge in the semifinals against second seed Abigail Muller, also from Leominster. Muller would go up 2-0 early on a quick counter that landed Svistunov on her back. She would recover and score two points on a reversal just before the period ended. The second (of three 2-minute) period saw Svistunov take down Muller to go up 4-2. And for the next five minutes of the contest, Svistunov would use her weight to secure Muller – who would finish third – to the mat and counter every attempt the increasingly exhausted Leominster wrestler made to escape her opponent’s grasp.

The finals against Roney saw Svistunov being efficient and relentless, going up 4-0 early in the match and never looking back, employing the same punishing ground game she employed with Muller. It may not have been the most action-packed of the finals, but it was certainly the most effective. When the official ended the bout, Svistunov flew into the arms of her coaches and then went to greet her mother mat-side.

“Wonderful!” said Svistunov’s mother after the finals. “If I say anything else, I’ll start crying.”

Belmont High Hoops: Girls’, Boys’ Playoff Bound But A Way To Go Before Tourney Ready

Photo: Belmont High Senior Co-Capt. Mia Ferrari and sophomore Sophia McClendon vs. Lexington

The good news: Both Belmont varsity basketball teams are playoff bound having secured their 10th win this season.

The flip side: The Marauders Boys’ and Girls’ are not looking, just quite yet, ready to withstand a tournament game much less going on a playoff run in the MIAA Division 1 post season that starts next week.

Case in point: Seniors Night games on Feb. 9 against Lexington that both Marauder teams hosted at the Wenner Field House. It’s certain Belmont’s girls and boys will be meeting similarly skilled squads as Lexington in the playoffs which gave the games a Cassandra quality peering into the future. And while Belmont was able to keep both games outcome within a couple of baskets, the Minutemen demonstrated just a bit more basketball smart to carry off the wins by the final buzzer.

Too much second quarter Sam

In the opener of last weeks doubleheader, the Belmont Boys’ were coming off a 5-2 stretch to earn its 10th victory demolishing Woburn, 59-29. But despite a 10-6 overall record, Belmont’s all important MIAA Power Ranking – which is used to seed the teams in the playoff – was a paltry 41st in which the first 32 teams automatically make the tournament. Teams with a .500 record or better are added to the post season but must win a play-in game against the lowest automatic teams to make the 32-team tourney.

Friday’s matinee game set two teams with nearly identical records. Lexington’s power ranking was 40th and they were seeking its 10th win. The Marauders took advantage of its tall, physical forwards – senior co-Capt.’s Donovan Holway and Gabriel Meyer-Herron with junior Ryan O’Byrne – to get off to a 15-10 first quarter lead.

But the second quarter quickly turned into “Showtime with Sam” as Lexington’s Sam Myerberg had career eight minutes. The sophomore guard started by hitting consecutive 3’s, then going one for two from the free throw line then hit two more treys finishing the quarter with 17 points and 22 for the half to push the Minutemen to a 35-29 lead after the first half. Belmont relied on its big men specifically Meyer-Herron but too many times on the court the Marauders were not executing with quickness allowing Lexington to hold the advantage to the frustration of Head Coach Darren Martinez.

The Minutemen continued their onslaught this time highlighted by senior co-capt. guard Derin Ongur (19 points for the game) who canned two threes and a straight away jumper to increase the lead to 48-31 with three minutes left in the third quarter. While this could have been a good time to think about its next game, Belmont got back in the game as Meyer-Harron and O’Byrne headed inside the paint to score and drag the team to within nine at the end of three, 48-39.

Belmont up the tempo in the fourth and got to the charity stripe three times only ending up missing the six free throws they were awarded. The Marauders kept chipping away, cutting the Minutemen lead to 57-53 with two to play. But a technical foul on a Belmont player gave Lexington four shots from the line and they didn’t miss to put the lead back to eight, 61-53 with 1:05 to play. And when Myerberg hit for a three – he finished with 32 points – on the next time down the court, that was all she wrote as Lexington eased to a 68-63 win.

Stella stellar for Lexington

The nightcap saw Belmont Girls coming into the game on the wrong end of a three game losing streak, seeing them drop to 14th in the power ranking at 10-7, getting uncomfortably close to the 17th ranking which would result in the Marauders missing out on hosting a home game. Facing them was 12-4 Lexington – 8th in the power rankings- squad that defeated Belmont earlier in the season, 48-39.

After the tipoff, the Minutemen showed immediately their skills, using quick cutting runs through the paint to open space against Belmont’s zone defense for easy baskets to lead 9-4 midway through the quarter. But lead by senior capt. Mia Ferrari and sophomore Sophia McClendon, Belmont fought back to where a pair of free throws from junior Brynn Connolly to tie the score at 13 after one.

Belmont came out with purpose and snatched the lead, 18-17 off a junior co-captain Linda Sheng drive with 6:20 to play in the quarter. But just like the boys’ game, a Lexington player took hold of the game in the second quarter and didn’t let go. Junior guard Stella Crinti started with a three pointer, followed by a stop and shot basket, than a layup on the break and then handing out two pitch perfect assist to take the Minutemen from one down to 10 up before a three from finished a 13-0 run to give the Minutemen at 30-18 lead that the visitors would not give up. Belmont through Sheng would cut the lead at the half to 30-23.

If there was a statistic that showed the advantage Lexington brought to the game occurred early in the three quarter when the Minutemen took down five offensive rebounds on two possessions resulting in two baskets, one courtesy of a Crinti turnaround to up the lead back to 12 at midpoint in the quarter. Lexington led by 18 – 48-30 – when McClendon went on her one run with two in close buckets and a three to pull Belmont back to 11 only to see that Crinti player hit a three to give Lexington a 51-37 advantage with six left in the game. But Belmont made it interesting with McClendon and Sheng cutting the lead to 56-47 before – guess who – Crinti putting the knife in any hope of a miracle comeback with a straight away three making the score 59-47 as the Minutemen put this win to bed, going home 63-55 victors.

The Belmont Girls would subsequently loss their remaining three games of the regular season to finish the campaign at 10-10 and likely miss out on holding a playoff game. The Boys’ went 1-1 since the Lexington game – a loss at Winchester before winning against visiting Billerica. They have two games left this week against Westwood and Malden Catholic before the start of the playoffs.