Girls’ Hoops: 5 Days, 3 Games and 1 Garden Party

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. 

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Garden Party 2.0: Girls’ Hoops to Play At TDGarden Sunday, Jan. 8. Get Your TIX Now

Photo: Last year was a Belmont Garden Party.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, at 9:30 a.m., the Belmont High School Girls Basketball team returns to the Boston TD Garden to face neighboring SpyPonders from Arlington High School in the Good Sports Invitational Day of high school games in the Garden.  

The proceeds of this event benefit Good Sports, a non-profit organization that provides athletic equipment and opportunities for kids and programs who cannot afford it.

Last year, Belmont upset Division 1 Chelmsford, 50-36, on the parquet court, home of the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

“We would love for you to come to our game and support the girls as they take on league foe Arlington High,” said Belmont Head Coach Melissa Hart.  

“It is an excellent chance to experience Boston Garden while supporting our team.  As well, there are 18 high school teams playing throughout the day, both boys and girls (see below), and your ticket allows you entry to any and all games (including re-entry). There will be plenty of great high school basketball to see!” she said.

“Part of the team’s commitment to be part of this great event is selling 400 tickets so if you are coming, please buy the tickets from us,” said Hart.

Each ticket purchased benefits Marauder Girls Basketball and Good Sports. 

“Even if you cannot go, you can support by purchasing tickets to donate to others as it will enable us to get more fans there, particularly students from the high school who would like to go! We do also have youth players playing at halftime of our game.”

“So, I humbly ask to please consider supporting our team by purchasing/donating tickets (and hopefully coming too),” said Hart.

Information to do so can be found at:

Tickets cost $15 (+$1 fee if paying online). If you want to pay by check, please email to indicate how many tickets you would like and we can arrange getting them to you. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door.

Belmont Youth Basketball is selling tickets at

SCHEDULE FOR Good Sports Invitational, Jan. 8:

  • 8:00 am Austin Prep vs Lowell Catholic (boys)
  • 9:30 Belmont vs Arlington (girls)
  • 11:00 Wellesley vs Lincoln Sudbury (girls)
  • 12:30 pm Wellesley vs Needham (boys)
  • 2:00 Newton North vs Waltham (boys)
  • 3:30 Malden Catholic vs. Cardinal Spellman (boys)
  • 5:00 Bedford vs Concord Carlisle (boys)
  • 6:30 Pingree vs. Thayer Academy (girls)
  • 8:00 Pingree vs. Thayer Academy (boys)

Sports: Belmont Girls Hoops’ Holds Garden Party at Chelmsford’s Expense

Photo: Belmont High wins at the Good Sports Invitational.

On the biggest stage this season, Belmont High’s Girls’ Hoops put together its best and most complete game as a suffocating defense and clutch shooting powered the Marauders by a strong Chelmsford High Lions squad, 50-36, on the parquet court of the TD Garden, Sunday, Jan. 24, at the Good Sports Invitational.

In a game which Belmont Head Coach Melissa Hart used her entire bench (10 Marauders would grace the score sheet) allowing each player an opportunity to play on an NBA court, Belmont stayed with its Division 1 opponents in the first half before clamping down on the Lions shooters in the second half, limiting the Merrimack Valley Small Conference leaders to a total of 14 points in the final 16 minutes.

“We had some really good moments on the floor,” said Hart, whose team now stands at 8-3.

“The girls really communicated well in a big new place and nerves didn’t seem to be a factor,” she said.

Leading the Marauders was its senior co-captain center/forward Sarah Stewart who controlled the action in the paint (in front of the basket) with her rebounding against taller opponents, blocking and harassing shots and hitting a series of timely baskets including an offensive put-back as time expired in the third quarter to up Belmont’s the lead to 10.

“My coach said it starts with defense and that’s what I focused on, on boxing out and just being a bigger person on the court both mentally and physically,” said Stewart who finished the morning with 8 points. 

“When you do defense first, the offense will come with it,” she said.

Stewart’s dominance gave her teammates room to find space to score near the basket. After going “Oh-for” (no points) two nights before against Wakefield in a disappointing loss (42-38), sophomore Jenny Call responded by scoring a game-high 19 points, 12 in the second half on drives to the hoop and from range with a pair of threes.

Quarterbacking the offense was sophomore point guard Carly Christofori, who scored 12 points while picking herself off the floor after driving to the basket. 

Belmont got out to a fast start, going up 12-4 in the first four minutes. But the Lions used three-point marksmanship and pinpoint passing, took the lead in the second quarter behind Chelmsford’s 1,000 points senior captain Claire Markey (10 points) and center Annie Donahue, who had 9 of her 11 points in the first half. 

The Lions took a six-point lead, 22-16, midway through the quarter which saw Hart used her role players. And while the Belmont starters sat, their teammates chipped into the lead while wearing down the Chelmsford five. A mid-range basket by freshman Jane Mahon (2 points), a hoop from Call and a three-pointer from Christofori at the buzzer finished off a 7-0 run and secured a 23-22 halftime lead for the Marauders. 

“I think our depth actually helped by playing everyone. We were able to run so much, and while the game was close, we had fresh bodies out there, and that helped in the second half,” said Hart.

The second half saw Belmont slowly pull away from the tiring Lions as the Marauders took control of all aspects of the game. A spinning hook by sophomore Greta Propp (2 points) gave Belmont a 6 point lead with just under two minutes to play in the third and Stewart’s buzzer beater upped the advantage to nine, 39-30, with eight minutes to play.

While the Lions got within six points (41-35) midway through the quarter, Call would respond with a three-pointer and going 4-4 from the charity stripe to close the deal.

For Belmont, it was a rare occasion not just to play on the same court as the Boston Celtics, but to celebrate a victory in the Garden.

“At first, the adrenaline was really crazy. Just being here was unreal, so it was nice to see familiar faces in the crowd instead of random people,” said Stewart.

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