Photo: Matt Kerans after Friday’s victory at Wakefield.
For Belmont Boys Basketball Head Coach Adam Pritchard, it’s great to see his team earn a return trip to the post-season MIAA tournament.
It’s even nicer to reach that goal in January. With a record of 11-3, there is no need for a late season rush, or sitting on the sidelines hoping other teams will fall to the wayside after the Marauders’ beat back a resilent Wakefield team on the road this past Friday, Jan. 22.
“Life’s good,” said Pritchard after the 55-49 victory. “We got a great effort from a lot of different players.”
While Wakefield (8-3) was able to stay close in the first half, Belmont would take the lead in the second quarter from deep outside, hitting five consecutive three-point shots accounting for Belmont’s 15 points, leading at the half, 29-26.
The Marauders sank 10 threes including four from captain senior point guard Matt Kerans (who finished with a game high 20 points) and three from the big man, senior center Justin Wagner (11 points).
“We worked on it yesterday. We suspected that they were going to use a ‘box and one’ (where four players commit to a zone defense while the fifth player takes on the other team’s best player one-on-one) with Cole (Bartels, the team’s shooting guard) absent so we said we are going to shot as many threes until they come out man-to-man against us. Luckly the shots went in,” said Pritchard.
During that time, Belmont relied on role players, such as Bryan Goodwin (5 points including a three), Tomas Donoyan (a pair of baskets) and sixth-man junior Daron Hamparian (2 points) who played significant minutes in the middle quarters.
“We have a lot of good basketball players on the team who worked hard in practice. As we say, adversity equals opportunity and since we have a starter injured, it was an opportunity for some of those guys to get in there and contribute,”
Wakefield made a run at Belmont in the third behind its scoring leader Corey Imbriano who scored 8 of his team’s high 10 points in the quarter to have the Warriors level with the Marauders at 43 points entering the final eight minutes.
But as Pritchard has said in the past, it’s good to have Kerans out on the court in the final frame as the pre-season Middlesex League co-MVP hit a three and was sent to the line to make 3 of 4 from the line, equaling Wakefield’s total for the quarter as Belmont’s defense prevented the Warriors from taking any comfortable shots.
Next up for Belmont is the rivalry match with Watertown High at the Wenner on Tuesday, Jan 26 at 7 p.m.