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Joyce Endee

Raiders start slow, fall to Prospect

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont’s Bret Spaulding gets a shot away in the third quarter of the Red Raiders’ loss to Prospect Mountain. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
January 23, 2012
BELMONT – Visiting Prospect Mountain showed why it's considered one of the favorites to capture the Division III championship this winter on Jan. 18, as the undefeated Timber Wolves jumped out to a 16-0 lead and didn't look back in a 63-41 win over Belmont High School in boys' basketball action.

"They're undefeated for a reason," said Belmont coach Derek Hamilton of the T-Wolves. "I kind of had an idea what to expect…they're big and physical. When they pack it in on you in their 2-3 zone and you aren't shooting the ball well, it's probably going to be a long night for you."

Belmont (2-7) struggled right off the bat, as PM opened the game on a 16-0 run utilizing both the inside and outside games. Bret Spaulding finally put the Red Raiders on the board with just 1:13 left in the first quarter, as his jumper made it 16-2. Gene Duclos added a layup for Belmont, but the T-Wolves led 19-4 after the opening frame.

"You try and stop (the run) right away," explained Hamilton of the 16-0 streak. "I called timeouts at 6-0 and 13-0. You tell the kids to forget about the scoreboard, try and work the deficit down bit by bit. But they couldn't keep their eyes off the scoreboard at a certain point."

Things didn't get much better for the Raiders in the second quarter, as Pedro Perez, Kaleb Brace and Spaulding each managed buckets, but PM still managed to extend its lead to 30-11 at the half, with point guard Zack Drouin scoring 19 points himself before intermission.

"We were just kind of swinging the ball around on offense, not really looking to attack or get any open looks," admitted Hamilton. "Then we'd settle for a lot of long jumpers, most of which weren't good looks at all."

Challenging his players to improve in the second half, Hamilton's team played much better out of the locker room. Brace hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter and Spaulding drained three triples of his own, with back-to-back treys opening up the fourth quarter. PM led 51-33 early in the fourth, but that was as close as Belmont would get in the 63-41 defeat.

"We settled down a little bit," Hamilton said. "I think they realized they just had to play. You look at it four minutes at a time, just try and win those little segments and see what happens. We try and improve every quarter, make the most of the different game situations we find ourselves in throughout the season."

Spaulding led all Belmont scorers with 16 points, including 13 in the second half on four threes. Brace was close behind with 14 points, 12 of which came after intermission. Duclos added five in the loss for the Raiders.

Drouin totaled 27 in a solid performance to pace the PM backcourt, while big men Logan Roberts (12 points) and Jay Mousseau (10) paced the T-Wolves frontline.

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