Belmont boys recall hoop season



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Belmont senior guard Sean McWilliams dribbles the ball up the floor during action against Winnisquam in February. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
March 21, 2011
BELMONT – Belmont High School boys' basketball coach Scott Currier has trouble believing his large senior class is on the verge of graduating. With the bulk of his squad belonging to the Class of 2011, it's safe to say that next winter will feature a very different looking Red Raiders team.

"It's been fun to watch this group of seniors grow on the basketball floor and in school these last two or three years," said Currier. "And now they're heading off to college, which is kind of crazy to think about. In one case it's sad but on the other hand, the large senior class gave the opportunity for us to keep the younger kids down on JV and give them a real nice chance to grow and work on their skills down there."

Belmont finished this season with an overall record of 8-11, winning a play-in game against Hillsboro-Deering before falling to eventual Division III state champion Somersworth in the preliminary round.

"I thought we were competitive with everybody," Currier said. "We played a tough schedule, especially when you look at Somersworth winning it all. We played them three times this year and even though we didn't fare very well in the playoffs, the other two games were tightly contested."

Belmont also traveled to Berlin and played two games with White Mountains during the regular season.

"I think our schedule was challenging but I'd much rather lose more games in the year and play a tough schedule than play the other way around," said Currier. "That's just me. I love the fact we play (Division II) Laconia every year because of the proximity of the schools, the local rivalry, the kids knowing each other quite well. We learned a lot about ourselves playing the Berlins and Somersworths. That's the best our division has to offer so it was good to see how we matched up."

While Currier acknowledged there were frustrating nights along the way, he knew his team had it in them to compete at that high level.

"The biggest commonality in the games we played well in was how well we played as a team," he explained. "If we played defense with energy and actively, and we shared the ball, we were tough to play. On the nights we didn't do those things, we struggled."

The Red Raiders won their first two games of the year but struggled during the middle portion of the season. They made a run late in the year however, as the team won four of its last seven games.

"There were times we struggled but also some times we had flashes of some really good stuff," said Currier. "That inconsistency was something we struggled with all year and it kind of made it a very interesting season."

Currier has high hopes for his sophomore class, and is excited to see them play on the varsity level next year as juniors.

"They were able to stay down and there was no pressure on them," he said. "They got tons of experience so I was excited about them. It's bittersweet to see one group move on but it'll be nice to get going with these next guys."

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