Was Friday’s game against Woburn High the kairotic moment for Belmont High School Boys’ Basketball?
Maybe. The 69-51 win over the Tanners at Wenner Field House highlighted a team that didn’t panic while beset with a bevy of miscues and played to its strengths – quickness and power at the post – to dominate an opponent who came into the game tied for second in the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division at 10-6.
The victory stemmed a two-game losing streak where Belmont fell to superior (undefeated Arlington) and inferior (a three win Reading squad) competition by being unable to make the big play down the stretch.
That wasn’t the case Friday as Belmont used a 19 to 10 third quarter to open up a tight game as All-Star senior center Adam Kleckner scored 9 of his game high 20 points in the eight minutes.
Not that Belmont looked good coming out of the gate, falling behind 7-0 and 11-4 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, before cutting the lead to 13-10 at the half behind two three-point hoops by junior shooting guard Matt Kerans including a successful wild heave that beat the buzzer.
The second quarter was much like the first; Belmont falling further behind early – 19-13 after three minutes after a three-point shot from junior point guard Brandon Moscat – before rallying with contributions from senior guard Ben Lazenby (8 of his 15 points in the second stanza) to tie the score at 28 at the half.
The second half was set up for Kleckner who proceeded to score 7 points in the first two-and-half minutes while pulling down rebounds on both ends of the court to give Belmont a five-point cushion. Then the Marauders’ guard duo – who have played together for the past three season – took turns leading the way; Kerans making one of two after a steal before burying a three followed by Lazenby hitting a leaner than barking “Matt!” to his backcourt mate who swung the ball to the open point guard who sank a 15 foot jumper with the shot clock at 1 second. The lead was then 45-36 with a 90 seconds left in the quarter.
Helped by Woburn’s cold hand shooting from the outside, Belmont was able to take time off the clock before punishing the Tanners inside as Kleckner (9 points including 5 for 6 from the charity strip) and junior Justin Wagner (8 of 12 points in the fourth quarter) ruled under the basket.
The win ups Belmont’s record to 11-6.
Belmont’s game Monday against Wakefield is canceled for a second time and Tuesday’s game with Lexington remains hostage to the latest snow storm.