Belfast jayvees experience solid five-victory campaign
Belfast — The Belfast Area High School boys junior varsity basketball team was a competitive bunch during the 2016-17 season, which, in turn, should be good news for the program as a whole in the coming years.
Led by coach Gordon Fuller, the Lions finished with a 5-13 record, including wins over Winslow, Nokomis of Newport, Islesboro, Hermon and Lee Academy.
Team members included Jessie Perry, Michael Popovic, Luke Blow, Andrew Akles, Wilder Magruder, Evan Porter, Grady Doolan, Nathaniel Nelson, Luke Lightner, Max Lewis, Dakota Payson, Chris King, Issac Cunningham and Isaac Bernosky.
Fuller said the Lions started by winning 3-of-4 out-of-conference games, but “then struggled for most of the season against a very strong [Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference] schedule.”
A bright spot on the year for Belfast was a pair of wins against Winslow and Nokomis. The Lions bested the Black Raiders 64-60 at home and a 51-50 win on the road against the Warriors when Payson tipped in a shot at the buzzer to secure the victory.
Payson led the team in scoring, while Perry, Akles, Magruder and Cunningham also had strong offensive seasons for the Lions.
Lightner led the team in assists and steals, while Lewis, Perry and King keyed the squad in rebounds.
Fuller said at the junior varsity level, games are “about continuing player development while also striving to remain competitive, and for the most part, I think we achieved that goal.”
“It was a good season for this group,” said Fuller. “While we certainly feel we were a better team than perhaps our record indicates, we did make strides and show improvement during the course of the season and certainly showed that we could compete with most anyone on a given night by the end of the season.”
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