Simply put, this edition of Belmont High School Boys’ Basketball was too quick, too big, too skilled and too good for Stoneham High on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at the Wenner Field House, downing the visitors, 82-47.
Just how dominate was the Marauders? In the first four minutes of the game, the starting five outscored the Spartans, 15-0 (the squad was ahead 13-0 two minutes in) and Belmont Head Coach Adam Pritchard had five subs on the sidelines ready to give his starters an early Christmas-Eve Eve rest.
While Stoneham did cut the lead to 7 (15-8) with a minute left, a pair of threes from junior forward Cole Bartels upped the lead to 21-10 at the end of the half.
Then the starters came back in and senior point guard Ben Lazenby knocked down the next 7 points (a drive through the lane, a break away and a deep three) as the defense clamped down on Stoneham led by big man senior center Adam Kleckner who either harassed or rebounded everything that came his way.
A drive by Kleckner and a rare four point play (hitting the three while being fouled) from junior guard Matt Kerans saw led grow to 38-15. In came the subs and soon the lead expanded to 29 (48-19) thanks to a pair from Bartels just before the half and a game high of 32 (58-26) midway through the third.
“Yeah, we were good out there,” said Pritchard, noting that Stoneham is not a walkover as it defeated a strong Winchester team last week.
When asked what did the team gain in a blow out, Pritchard said “[o]ur goal is to get better with each game and what I saw tonight is that [the team] played unselfishly and every game you do that, you benefit.”
Pritchard was able to clear the bench for an extended period allowing reserve senior forward Pablo Reimers and sophomore Bryan Goodwin to hit towering threes and injured senior captain Tom Martin the chance to bang in his first basket of the year to the cheers of the crowd.