Belmont High School Boys' and Girls' Basketball teams could not over come slow starts and found themselves fighting for future playoff positions as they lost to host Lexington High Friday night, Jan. 20.
Girls' Can't Complete Climb Back, Fall to Minutemen
The Belmont High Girls' Hoops team is beginning to resemble a Katie Perry song:
"Cause you're hot and you're cold."
On the same week that they couldn't miss a shot in a win against archrival Watertown, the Marauders' could not hit a first half basket against struggling host Lexington. And despite several strong runs in the second half, Belmont could not overtake the Minutemen, falling 42-37.
Belmont leaves Lexington at 4-8 while the Minutemen up their record to 5-6.
Cat Costello and Kate Powers led Lexington with 13 and 11 points while scoring the final 7 of 9 points in the final quarter as the Minutemen showed a consistentcy in scoring (putting up 11 points in each of the first three quarters) that Lexington has been lacking this season.
The Minutemen defense and poor shooting resulted in the Marauders scoring a scant 4 in the first and a total of 13 in the half, more than half (8 points) coming from Belmont standout Katie Leinbach.
Back from half time saw Belmont come back from the dead as they scored the first six points as Isabella Goldstein, Amari Bradshaw - a throw-it-up-and-pray underhanded shot - and frost Sophia Eschenbach-Smith scored to cut the lead to 22-19 in less than two minutes.
But Lucy Lang and Kristyn Kajko came through for the Minutemen with an inside shot and a jumper to up the lead back to 26-19 before Leinbach hit her own jumper.
Belmont's Olivia Lyons began scoring from the outside and contributed five points – including a bucket with no time on the clock – to the Marauders' 15 in the quarter to cut the deficit to 33-28.
But as Belmont got close, the Minuteman would respond as Costello and Powers took turns hitting jumpers and driving inside to keep never allow the Marauders to get any closer than three points (40-37) with two minutes left in the game.
Boy Marauders could not solve Minutemen's tall order
Tyaishawn Abdul-Aziz is Belmont's tallest player at 6'4". Lexington High Boys' Basketball has five players taller than Tuyaishawn.
And no matter what strategy they used, the Marauders could not untie the Gordian knot that forced shots and threw Belmont off their game, ending up on the wrong end of a 68-47 thumping at Lexington Friday night, Jan. 20.
After starting 5-2, Belmont now sits at 5-5 just before the halfway point of the season. Lexington also finds themselves at .500 with a 6-6 record.
Senior guard and captain Chris O'Keefe (6'2") led the Minutemen with 18 points, half of those in the critical third period when Lexington scored 17 points to effectively ice the game.
Belmont kept the game close in the first quarter as guard Sam Musler scored six of his 8 points.
But the second quarter saw the Minutemen begin to use their height advantage on defense with 6'6" Pat Burns (who scored 8 of his 10 in the first quarter) and 6'5" Chris Lee (6 points and a crowd pleasing rejection on Musler in the quarter) clogging the inside while 6'8" center Myles Penniman grabbed a slew of rebounds.
Belmont could only manage 6 points – including a break away dunk from captain John Dillon – in the quarter but only trailed by 10, 26-16, at the half due to Lexington's poor shooting quality outside of 10 feet from the basket.
After trading a pair of baskets at the start of the third quarter, Lexington went on a 13-4 run as Penniman and Lee scored on the inside and O'Keefe scored a three (his second) to end the barrage.
Dillon attempted to keep the Marauders close with slashing moves through the trees but Lexington's speed resulted in a number of odd man fast breaks upping the score to 43-27 at the end of three.