Who’s Number 1? Belmont! Girls’ Hoops Top Globe’s Top 20 Poll

Photo: Belmont’s Maiya Bergdorf  (41) in action against Winchester. (David Flanagan photo)

Belmont High School Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Melissa Hart hadn’t heard the news until late Wednesday, Feb. 6.

“Oh really? I did not see that,” she wrote after being informed that her team was on top of the Boston Globe Top 20 Girls Basketball poll, ranked number 1 after the two teams that had been above them for weeks on end, Bridgewater Raynham and Cathedral, lost for the first time in the previous week.

Not that being number 1 is that unusual for an undefeated team, 15-0, whose tightest margin of victory was a 10 point victory over a tough Reading squad.

(Coincidentally, Belmont’s first opponents as number 1 is against Reading which comes into Wenner Field House on Friday, Feb. 8 with a 12-3 record and only two games behind the Marauders in the race for the Middlesex Liberty title.) 

But for Hart, the rankings are fairly subjective and should be taken with a grain of salt. 

“My reaction is you are as good as your last game,” she said, noting that the Globe pollsters probably “didn’t realize we were down by 1 [point] at halftime vs. Burlington.” (Her team did come back to win by 21, 55-34). 

It’s been an impressive season for the Marauders, a team which Hart can put 12 players out on the floor without any drop in skills or intensity. And it’s on the defensive side which anchors the Marauders’ game as its half-court pressure has strangled most rivals attack, limiting challengers to a meager 33 points per game. Hart has the luxury to put out a crew of tall, physical players – led by seniors Jess Giorgio, Ella Gagnon and Jane Mahon – that controls the boards.

Offensively, it’s been four-year varsity guard Megan Tan leading a collection of underclass athletes with tall sophomore Maiya Bergdorf who connects from long-range or driving to the basket and a pair of freshmen guards, Nina Minicozzi and Bridgette Martin, who lead the attack. 

Off the bench are sophomores Kiki Chirstofori, Emma McDevitt, Abigail Morin along with senior Alexandra Keefe, Breah Healey and junior Katie Reynolds. 

As of Thursday, Hart’s attention was on the coming clash with Reading who is led by its league MVP candidate senior Haley Lightbody who was not up to her usual dominating play when Belmont won 54-44 in January.

“This is a big game for both teams, but definitely a bit do or die for them” to catch Belmont in the race for the league championship, said Hart.

Winter Wonders: Belmont High Globe All-Scholastics and League All-Stars Named

Photo: Julia Martin, alpine all-star.

Four Belmont High School winter athletes took home regional honors from the Boston Globe by being names Eastern Massachusetts All-Scholastics in their sports. In addition, the Middlesex League released its list of Belmont all-stars which included a record eight members of the league winning Boys’ Swimming team.

Carly Christofori (Girls’ Basketball), Julia Martin (Alpine skiing), Anoush Krafian and Calvin Perkins (Indoor Track) were selected All-Scholastics athletes by the Boston Globe.

  • The Middlesex League MVP, Krafian ended her indoor high school career winning the state pentathlon crown and three days later the 55-meter hurdles and placing second in the high jump in the All-State meet. She would go on to place 5th in the pentathlon in the National meet in New York.
  • Martin, who dominated the league this season, finished fourth in the giant slalom and 10th in the slalom at the state championship.
  • A four-year starter and Middlesex League MVP, Christofori lead Belmont to the Division 1 North finals in the team’s first year in the upper division.
  • Perkins turned in the second-best time nationally in the indoor 600 meters and won the All-State meet and is a member of Belmont’s All-American 4×400 mix relay team that placed 6th in the National meet.

The Belmont athletes who were selected Middlesex All-Stars include: 

Girls Basketball: Carly Christofori, Jess Giorgio, Megan Tan.

Girls Hockey: Meg Higgins, Rachel Iler-Keniston.

Girls Indoor Track: Carey Allard, Olivia Cella, Emily Duffy, Anoush Krafian, Alexa Sabatino, Soleil Tseng.

Girls Alpine Skiing: Ashley Green, Julia Martin.

Boys Hockey: Kevin Dacey, Steve Rizzuto.

Boys Swimming: Ilias Arredouani, Damien Autissier, Antony Bulat, Luc Durand, Will Findlay, Tor Metelmann, Samuel Thompson, Rickey Ye.

Boys Alpine Skiing: Nicolas Coppolo, Max Vigneras.

Boys Basketball: Danny Yardemian.

Belmont Swimming, Field Hockey Standouts Honored as Globe All-Scholastics

Photo: Jessie Blake-West (left), Nicoletta Kalavantis and AnnMarie Habelow, Belmont High School Boston Globe All-Scholastic fall 2015.

Three Belmont High School student-athletes were named Boston Globe All-Scholastics, which recognizes the best participants in each sport during the recently completed 2015 fall season, with one earning the prestigious title of Swimmer of the Year.

Senior Jessica Blake-West was named the Division 2’s top swimmer after winning three state championships (100-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, and 400 free relays) in the State Finals in November. She topped her high school career with a meet-record time of 54.66 in the butterfly – in which she is a three-time state champion – in a time that earned her an automatic National High School All-American status. Blake-West will matriculate and swim at Brown next season. 

Joining Blake-West as a swimming All-Scholastic is freshman Nicoletta Kalavantis, who like her teammate won a pair of individual events – the 200 free (1:58.91) and 500 free (5:17.97) – and joined Blake-West in winning the 400 free relay title.

Blake-West and Kalavantis were Middlesex League All-Stars as were Julia Bozkurtian, Sophie Butte, Thea Kelsey, Dervla Moore-Frederick, Sara Noorouzi and Emily Quinn.

The third Belmont High All-Scholastic is junior field hockey player AnnMarie Habelow. The MVP of the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division, “Habelow scored 22 goals and added 11 assists, running her career total to 83 points through three years. She also plays lacrosse and has committed to play field hockey at Louisville,” wrote the Globe in its write-up.

Belmont’s Middlesex Field Hockey All-Stars includes Habelow, Julia Chase, Kerri Lynch, and Serena Nally.

Joining the swimmer and field hockey players as Middlesex League All-Stars include:

  • Leah Brams and Sara Naumann for Girls’ Cross Country.
  • Faye Reagan in Volleyball.
  • Bob Malcolm and Michael Pergarm for Golf.
  • Girls’ Soccer’s Carey Allard, Kristin Gay, Katrina Rokosz.
  • Boys’ Soccer’s Edward Stafford.
  • Belmont Football is represented by senior running back Mekhai Johnson, who ended his senior year with 22 touchdowns and scoring a total of 136 points.

The All-Scholastic teams are selected by the school sports staff. Selection is limited to MIAA schools that compete in Eastern Mass leagues.