High schools: Belmont boys’ basketball bounces back with win over Gilford

  • Belmont forward Keith Landry blocks the shot of Gilford forward Jack McLean during the first half at Belmont High School on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Gilford forward Adrian Siravo hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half against Belmont on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Gilford forward Adrian Siravo (23) jumps to celebrate with guard Korey Weston (11) as guard Connor Sullivan joins in after Siravo hit a three-pointer at the buzzer end the half agains Belmont on Wednesday, January 22, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/22/2019 11:41:37 PM

His squad had lost two straight and three of its last four. And when that Belmont boys’ basketball team was struggling again on Tuesday night against Lakes Region rival Gilford, Belmont senior Griffin Embree put his foot down.

“Griffin was really unbelievable tonight,” Raiders coach Jim Cilley said. “And he just stepped up in the second half and said, ‘Not in our house, not tonight.’ ”

The Raiders trailed by nine after the first quarter and Embree had a quiet six points in the first half. But things were different in the second half as Embree finished with 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and the Raiders (6-3) claimed a 74-65 win.

“We got what we needed,” Cilley said. “We got a good win in front of our home crowd, although I do have to say there were a lot of Gilford fans there, too.”

The Raiders needed the win because of the form they had showed in their last two games. They held a late five-point lead at St. Thomas on Jan. 11, but wound up losing, 61-59. They followed that up with a poor showing at home against White Mountains on Friday and lost, 53-43.

But Belmont did have two productive practices after the two losses, and Cilley was feeling good heading into Tuesday’s game. Until the first quarter happened.

Led by star junior Adrian Siravo (21 points), Gilford (3-5) took a 19-10 lead after the opening eight minutes.

“The practices were good and we thought that carried over and the players were all amped up,” Cilley said. “Our plan was to use that and get up early and bury them, so of course we’re down by nine points after one.”

Belmont’s preparation for Gilford included tweaks to their defensive schemes, and Cilley called on those tweaks in the second quarter. Lucky for him, his players had listened and could put their lessons to work during the game.

The Raiders cut the deficit to one in the second quarter before the Golden Eagles hit a pair of late 3-pointers to take a 32-23 lead into halftime. But the defensive momentum and adjustments carried into the second half for Belmont, and the offense came alive.

Keith Landry (12 points, five rebounds) hit back-to-back 3s to start a scoring binge for the Raiders, who scored 30 points in the third to take a 53-49 lead. Aidan Rupp shook off a poor first half and scored all 13 of his points after halftime. Nate Sottak was all over the place, as usual, and finished with four points, four steals, four rebounds and three assists. And then there was Embree, constantly driving to set up teammates or score himself.

“Griffin is our only captain,” Cilley said. “We have a bunch of seniors, but he’s our only captain. He’s our leader.”

On the other end, the Raiders did enough to make life uncomfortable for Siravo, who scored just six in the second half, and Gilford’s other talented big man, Greg Madore, who finished the game with 10 points.

Matt Thurber had 12 points and Jackson Ruelke added six for the Raiders, who rotated through their bench players, maintained defensive pressure and steadily increased their lead in the fourth.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Cilley said. “They did what we asked them to do tonight.”

Boys’ Basketball

Pembroke 73, Plymouth 46

Key players: Pembroke – Sean Menard (24 points), Noah Cummings (19 points), Shea Shackford (15 points, 12 rebounds), Tim Pitman (11 points)

Highlights: Plymouth hung around early and trailed by five after the first quarter, but the Spartans built a 40-25 lead by halftime and ran away with the win. Before the game, there was a moment of silence to honor Suzanne Klink, the Pembroke Academy Athletic Director from 2007-16 who passed away last week.

Records: Pembroke 8-1; Plymouth 1-6

Bishop Brady 71, Sanborn 50

Key players: Bishop Brady – Tommy Fraser (16 points, 10 rebounds), Ryan Johnson (9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks), Will Spencer (12 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds), Connor Raposo (12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals), Ismael Rivera (8 points, 6 rebounds), Angelo Besho (6 points, 2 steals)

Highlights: The Giants used defense and rebounding to build a 43-29 halftime lead on the road and eventually even their record at .500 for the first time this year. Raposo had his best game of the season for Brady, and Rivera looked good on his return from an injury.

Records: Bishop Brady 5-5; Sanborn 1-8

Coe-Brown 69, Kingswood 41

Key players: Coe-Brown – Luke McCusker (23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), Albert Lapiejko (10 points, 10 rebounds), Spencer Murphy (6 points), Cayden Donoghue (5 points), Keegan Paradise (5 points), Seamus Baker (4 points), Dominic Cronshaw (4 points, 8 rebounds)

Highlights: The Bears got points from 12 different players as they ran away with the win at home.

Records: Coe-Brown 3-4; Kingswood 1-8

ConVal 65, John Stark 30

Key players: John Stark – Christian Barr (11 points, 9 rebounds), Kayden Easter (9 points)

Highlights: This was a four-point game late in the first half, but ConVal went on a late run to take a 28-19 halftime lead and then dominated the second half with depth and full-court defensive pressure.

Records: John Stark 2-6; ConVal 7-1

Franklin 73, Fall Mountain 38

Key players: Franklin – Ben Lafrance (34 points), TJ Laramie (19 points); Fall Mountain – Owen Marandino (17 points)

Highlights: The Tornadoes led just six at halftime, but Lafrance scored 17 of his 34 in the third quarter and Franklin’s defense did the rest.

Coach’s quote: “This was the best we’ve played all season. If we can continue to grow on defense, I like our chances. It’s also the bench. These guys are the ones who prepare our starters night in and night out.” – Franklin’s Michael Donnell

Records: Franklin 5-5; Fall Mountain 5-5

Portsmouth Christian 61, Pittsfield 53

Key players: Pittsfield – Devin Bedell (13 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists), Jesse MacGlashing (11 points), Tyler Prentice (11 points), Dylan Bocash (10 points, 7 steals); Portsmouth Christian – Bryson Lund (25 points), AJ Chase (18 points)

Highlights: The Panthers jumped out to a 19-10 lead after one, but went cold in the second quarter and went into halftime down by two, 29-27. Both teams exchanged leads the second half and Pittsfield led, 51-49, with 3:58 to go. But the Panthers would only score one field goal the rest of the game and PCA went 10-for-12 from the free-throw line in the last two minutes to ice the win.

Coach's quote: “We played with a lot of energy tonight but the bounces didn’t go our way.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Portsmouth Christian 7-3; Pittsfield 8-3

Girls’ Basketball

John Stark 34, Con Val 24

Key players: John Stark – Chelsea Woodsum (14 points), Autumn Nelson (5 points); ConVal – Lindsey Carey (13 points)

Highlights: The Generals held ConVal to just nine points through the first three quarters on their way to the home win.

Coach’s quote: “Great defense saved us on a night when the offense was out of sync. Going 19-for-26 from the line was very beneficial.” – John Stark’s Bruce Johnson

Records: John Stark 8-2; Con Val 6-4

Spaulding 45, Bow 30

Key players: Bow – Maddie Speckman (10 points) Jessica Chamberlain (10 rebounds), Taylor Burhman (5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals)

Highlights: Bow had a sluggish start and Spaulding took advantage with 17 first-quarter points. The Falcons chipped away during the second half in Rochester, but they never got closer than eight points.

Records: Spaulding 5-4; Bow 4-7

Belmont 46, Gilford 42

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (16 points), Mackenzie Donovan (12 points), Alexis Donovan (6 points), Lizzie Fleming (5 points, defense), Katie Galambos (four points, defense)

Highlights: Gilford bolted out to an 11-0 lead, so the Riaders took a timeout and switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense. The change worked as the Raiders tied things up by halftime and pulled out to a 35-29 lead through three quarters. Estremera hit some big free throws in the fourth, Donovan once again did all the little things, and Morgan Hall collected two big offensive rebounds in the final minute as Belmont won for the third time in its last four games.

Records: Belmont 5-6; Gilford 5-5

Girls’ Hockey

Concord 5, St. Thomas-Winnacunnet 0

Key players: Concord – Joanna Dustin (3 goals), Abby Corbett (26 saves)

Coach’s quote: “We’re excited to grab another victory in our three-games-in-three days stretch. We were able to get our entire bench involved in today’s game and it’s always great to see Abby Corbett strong in net as we head into our third game tomorrow against Exeter. ” – Concord’s Patrick McDonough

Records: Concord 10-0-0; St. Thomas-Winnacunnet (3-5-0)

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