After consecutive road losses to powerhouse teams in the Middlesex League, the Belmont High School Girls’ Basketball team last week reeled off a pair of victories to see its record jump to 6-3 overall and 5-3 in the league.
On Thursday, Jan. 15, Belmont outscored an undermanned Waltham High School team 28-10 in the third quarter to sail by the Hawks, 67-49, at Wenner Field House.
Tied 28-28, the Marauders’ used its quickness and ball hawking skills on defense to tire the nine-man Waltham squad, sparked by freshman point guard Carly Christofori who in a final three minutes of the third put on a one-woman show, pouring in 8 of her 12 points, stealing the ball on back-to-back plays, rebounding and caused two fouls to be committed against her aggressive play.
On one play in the sequence, Christofori ran down an errant pass and lunged to keep the ball inbounds and then scored on the subsequent foul.
“I was just trying to help the team by playing hard,” said Christofori.
Playing her best game of the season on both ends of the court, senior center Linda Herlihy put in 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and 3 block shots while junior guard/forward Irini Nikolaidis hit for a career high 19 points, going 9 for 11 from the charity strip.
On the next night, the Marauders’ got by a one-win Winchester High team, 47-32, in a game an assistant coach of Head Coach Melissa Hart described as “one that you are not going to write home about.”
The quick turnover saw Belmont struggle to get any rhyme or reason to either the offense (no player hit double digits in scoring as Herlihy threw in 9 for the team lead) and defense for the night. It took the insertion of junior guard Samari Winklaar to lift the team’s defensive presence while scoring some much needed outside shots (4 of her 5 points in the quarter) to propel the team to a 10 point lead (24-14) at the half.
“I go in and do what ever [Hart] asks me to do; that was shooting and play strong on defense,” said Winklaar, who said she is becoming more comfortable with her teammates “as I get to know how they play and where they are [on the court.]”
With the game in hand after the Marauders scored 15 points in the third quarter while holding the Sachems to 7, Belmont was able to empty the bench, allowing several players significant minutes on the court. And out there, junior Sara Lyons put in a runner in the paint for 2 points, junior Ani Maroyan stroked a three from the outside, sophomore Mary Kate Egan battled for her 2 points and freshman Gretta Propp hit a jumper and three free throws before leaving the game with a lower-leg condition.