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Belfast forges 7-9 record in 'incredible' campaign

posted Mar 2, 2020, 4:40 AM by Christine Guerette
By Staff | Feb 27, 2020

BELFAST — In the case of the Belfast Area High School boys junior varsity basketball team, it was not strength in numbers, but in talent that carried the banner throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

Led by coach Korey Doolan, the Lions prowled to a 7-9 record and had what the young coach called “an incredible season.”

Team members included Jerry Porter, James Ritter, Zepherin Leppanen, Keegan McGowan, Matt LeBlanc, K.J. Payson, Zach Sanderson, Liam McConnell, Ethan Hall and Steven Friel.

McConnell average 10.9 points to lead Belfast in scoring, while McGowan averaged 7.8 points and Payson 6.6.

Doolan was impressed with his team’s campaign, particularly given the youth and lack of height.

“Our 7-9 record was the best record I have had as a coach in my three years coaching,” said Doolan. “This is an incredible group of young men and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

The third-year coach said the team’s highlight was a home game against Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, a contest that saw Belfast eek out a 40-39 victory.

“One of my proudest moments [as a coach] because I had told the players to foul if [the Ponies] were going to get an easy shot or layup,” he said. “Make them earn it from the line. The player missed both [foul] shots and we won the game. We cut their points in half from last time [they scored 75 the first time we played them]. Our defense improved so much from the beginning of the season to the end.”

With three of the team’s 10 players swinging to varsity — and thus practicing with the varsity — Doolan admitted, “It was tough to practice situational aspects of the game, but we did a lot of skill work and concept work for our defense [and other] plays.”

“I saw a huge improvement in each player from the beginning of the season to the end,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how much they improve over the summer.”

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