The Belfast Area High School boys JV team made significant improvements this season in both their record and play. Last year, the team finished the season with less of a record than they would have liked and one win. This year, however, the Lions did three better with a 4-12 season, coming out strong in the later half.

“Over the season, the kids improved tremendously with the game,” said coach Nick Arthers. “Not only did they improve their skills, but they came together as a team and played very well.”

The roster included juniors Ben Knowlton, Mike Perry and Lew Dyer; and sophomores Scott Kulikowski, Gabe Desjardins, Emerson Dellamattera, Mike Davis, Jamie Jackson, Ben Lowe, Alex Blair, Jake Campbell, Tyler Prescott and Casey Flagg.

Individual stats were as follows: Dyer, 118 points, 14-of-28 free throws; Jackson, 95 points, 20-of-32 free throws; Kulikowski, 87 points, 25-of-40 free throws; Lowe, 66 points, 6-of-17 free throws; Dellamattera, 55 points, 9-of-22 free throws; Prescott, 47 points, 19-of-38free throws; Perry, 39 points, 9-of-17 free throws; Campbell, 25 points; 5-of-15 free throws; Knowlton, 12 points, 1-of-5 free throws; Davis, 11 points, 0-of-2 free throws; Blair, 9 points, 1-of-3 free throws; Desjardins, 4 points, 2-of-3 free throws.

The team started the season 0-7 but ended the season by winning the last three out of five games. The wins included a highlight of the year, a 68-65 win over Nokomis, who had defeated Belfast by 28 points earlier in the year.

Belfast was down by three points going into the fourth quarter, but the Lions were determined to take the win. Jackson then lead his team with two three-point shots to put them ahead. From there, Arthers said, “everyone contributed to pull through and get the win.”

In the game, Jackson scored 19 points with 13 of them in the fourth quarter.

For Arthers, the taste of victory was the sweetest thing.

“The excitement on the kid’s faces was what makes coaching great,” he said. “To see them celebrating the victory and to see the sense of accomplishment on their faces made me happy.”

Campbell won the most improved award for the season and Prescott, one the coaches’ awards.

Another highlight was their first win of the season where they beat Maranacook. According to Arthers, the score remained close throughout the game, adding to its intensity.

For Belfast, Jackson led scoring with 12 points followed by Dellamattera and Kulikowski with 11 points. Kulikowski also made 7 out of 10 free throws in the last quarter

“The game was exciting and that was the point in the year where the kids really turned the season around and made a commitment to improving the rest of the year,” said Arthers.

In the end, Arthers was proud of his team’s development.

“The team improved tremendously and they became a tighter unit as the season progressed,” he said. “I am proud of how the kids did not let the beginning of the season get them down, and I was very pleased at how they came together as a team.”

VillageSoup Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to ffreudenberger @villagesoup.com.