Belmont High School Girls' Basketball Head Coach Melissa Hart remembers losing a close game to Watertown High School last year.
It's better to be a the winning side of a close one, said Hart coming off the court Friday, Dec. 14.
Led by senior forward and co-captain Olivia Lyons who secured her first double-double this season with 18 points and 13 recorded rebounds, the Marauders' defeated the Red Raiders, 41-34, at Belmont's Wenner Field House in the league opener for both teams which due to the physical nature of the game resembled a wrestling match at times.
Hart noted that unlike many games last year when Belmont (2-0) could not come back after falling behind late in matches, the team was able to rally from three down (29-26) at the end of the third quarter to out score Watertown, 15-5, in the final eight minutes.
A basket and then a three pointer on successive trips down the court by senior forward and co-captain Katie Leinbach (11 points) gave Belmont the lead early in the final quarter while an aggressive team defense frustrated the Red Raiders which was a playoff team last season.
Hart noted the work of the back court: co-captain senior Amari Bradshaw (4 points), juniors Ashleigh Chinn (2 points) and Gabbie Joyal and sophomore Sophia Eschenbach-Smith while praising Bradshaw for taking the majority of time matched up against Watertown's league all-star Gabbie Coppola.
Boys' fall to Red Raiders
The first game of the season for the Belmont High School Boys' Basketball on Friday at Watertown High School provided head coach Adam Prichard with the certainty that the team is a work in progress.
Despite a great deal of energy and a good attitude, the Marauders (0-1) kept slipping further behind after each quarter and lost the season opener, 61-50, to the hosts Red Raiders.
Adam Kleckner (12 points) and Alex Nikolaidis (20 points with two three pointers) led Belmont scorers.