High school boys basketball

Height, talent key Panthers over hard-working Lions

Host Belfast stays close in first half, but shorter Lions no match down stretch
By Ken Waltz | Jan 20, 2013
Photo by: Ken Waltz Medomak Valley's Ryan Ripley (31) stretches to block a shot by Belfast's Levi Lapham during a Jan. 19 high school boys basketball game in Belfast. At left is Lion Kaleb Benjamin, while Stephen Paul stands in front. The visiting Panthers won 55-41.

Belfast — It was a contrast of styles for the Medomak Valley and Belfast boys basketball teams Saturday afternoon, Jan. 19.

The game played out as one would expect, with undersized Belfast working as hard as possible offensively and defensively on every inch of the court, while visiting Medomak Valley used its inside strength, experience and talent.

That is how each squad played for 32 minutes as the host Lions and visiting Panthers battled toe-to-toe before Medomak Valley's inside strength simply wore down Belfast and helped the visitors secure a 55-41 victory.

Click for photos from this game.

A video from this game appears below.

Belfast hung tough for the first 16 minutes, but could not keep pace down the stretch.

With 6-foot-7-inch John Murray and 6-5 Ryan Ripley forging a foothold close to the basket and Micah Williamson turning in a super all-around effort at his guard position, the Panthers slowly, but surely, pulled away.

The Lions again played pesky defense and pushed the ball when possible, but, with few players taller than six feet, simply had trouble keeping pace inside with the Panthers.

Medomak Valley led 11-5 after the first quarter before the game was knotted 20-20 at halftime. The Panthers led 39-31 after three stanzas.

Keying the Panthers were Murray with 14 points; Ripley and Williamson, both 12; Nicholas DePatsy, eight; Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet, four; and Brandon Soper, three. MVHS made 22-of-37 free throws (59 percent).

The Panthers cemented the game by making 12-of-18 foul shots (67 percent) in the fourth quarter.

Murray also grabbed 13 rebounds and Ripley 11 caroms. Hendrickson-Belloguet and Murray both chipped in four assists.

For BAHS, Korey Doolan tallied seven points; Ryan Rice, six; Kaleb Benjamin and Levi Lapham, both four; Yanni Rakis and Carl Dodge and Stephen Paul, all three; and Greg Clark, Zach Collier and Mike Reynolds, all two. The Lions netted 12-of-18 foul shots (67 percent).

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Medomak Valley (10-2, 52.9321 points) is fourth and Belfast (5-6, 21.6049 points) 14th, while Presque Isle (11-1, 68.9815 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Medomak Valley at Belfast high school boys basketball
Medomak Valley High School competes against host Belfast Area High School in boys basketball Jan. 19 in Belfast. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Bryan Gess)
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