BURLINGTON – The Belmont girls’ basketball team was only a couple of made shots away from taking control in Thursday’s Division 1 North semifinal matchup against top-seeded Woburn.
And right before halftime, the floodgates opened.
The fourth-seeded Marauders nailed four consecutive triples during a 12-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half, allowing them to pull away for a 58-47 victory over their Middlesex League Liberty rival at Burlington High.
In its first season playing in the Division 1 tournament, Belmont (19-3) will play for the North title Saturday at Tsongas Arena against the winner of Friday’s semifinal between Central Catholic and Lowell.
“When we moved up to Division 1, we knew we’d be one of the smaller schools in the bracket,” said Belmont senior captain Carly Christofori.
“But we have the talent, we’re a pretty experienced team, so we knew we could compete, we just wanted to prove ourselves.”
The 5-foot-4-inch Christofori proved her worth as an elite point guard, racking up a game-high 18 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Colby commit hit a 3-pointer and found junior Megan Tan (13 points) for two more triples to put Belmont up 31-12 at the half, then put the game on ice with 12 points in the fourth quarter.
“[Christofori] is the engine of the team,” said Belmont coach Melissa Hart.
“You can always be comfortable with her ball-handling in so many situations. She’s really grown over the years as a point guard and has a great ability to control tempo.”
With Christofori leading the charge, Belmont has a reason to be optimistic about its chances in the highest available division.
“Woburn works as hard as any team I’ve ever seen, but I think our girls had more confidence tonight,” said Hart. “They’re starting to gain more confidence and realize what they’re capable of.”
Woburn finished 19-3.Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.