Photo: Sophomore center Jess Giorgio skies for a basket at the Boston TD Garden.
When told that her team is 2-0 at the Boston TD Garden after Belmont beat Arlington, 40-21, on Sunday, Jan. 9, Head Coach Melissa Hart quipped that “I’d like to be 3-0 when the season ends,” a not so subtle reference to coming back to the Garden for an Eastern Massachusetts championship game.
Belmont High Girls’ Basketball’s consecutive win at the Garden – it defeated Chelmsford a year ago in the Good Sports Invitational – marked the middle of a three-game stretch played over a five-day span which saw the Marauders bounce back from its second loss of the season, 47-33, to top-ten ranked Woburn to cruise by Arlington and Lexington, 54-35, (on Tuesday, Jan. 11) to reach the five-win mark (5-2).
The game at Division 1 Woburn High Friday, Jan 7, was a frustrating affair as the Marauders allowed Middlesex All-Star guard Marissa Gattuso to run the show, scoring 11 points in the first half, the same number of points the Marauders scored in the half as the Tanners led 25-11.
Belmont closed the gap to seven points twice in the third and fourth quarters behind junior Greta Propp’s 6 points in the third and sophomore Megan Tan’s 6 points (a game-high 9 points for the Marauders) in the fourth as well as a strong defensive stance.
But the combination Woburn keying on Belmont’s point guard Carly Christofori and Gattuso’s scoring touch allowed the hosts to move the lead back into double digits.
Against Lexington, junior co-captain forward Jenny Call had 6 three-pointers and a game-high 23 points as the Marauders took out several years of frustration on the Minutemen who had dominated Belmont for the past three years, mostly at the hands of Lexington’s star Anna Kelly who once scored 54 points at Belmont and generally manhandled Belmont.
But it was the Sunday morning game against the SpyPonders that was special for the team. Hart emptied the bench and allowed the entire some time on the historic parquet court which the NBA’s Boston Celtics play.
Against a young Arlington team, the Marauders’ active zone defense saw a slew of turnovers for Belmont as Christofori (who scored her game-high 9 points in the first half) led the team offensively to a 26-8 halftime lead.
As Arlington struggled from the field – only scoring four baskets in the game – Belmont had its role players out for extended periods of time on the court. Propp had 8 points in the fourth quarter and junior guards Alexa Sabatino, and Ally Shapazian collected a couple of baskets.
When the buzzer sounded to end the game, both teams wanted one last photo with the leprechaun logo at center court.