Sports 01-07-2015

RHS sports Roundup

RHS girls basketball team off to 2-1 start

The Revere High girls basketball team has opened the season with a promising start, winning two of its first three games under head coach Diana DeCristoforo, who has returned to lead the Lady Patriot basketball program after a three year hiatus in which she coached at Salem State University and pursued an advanced degree in education at night and on weekends at SSU.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to return as the head coach of this team,” said DeCristoforo, who led the Lady Patriots to an epic 20-0 regular-season record in the last year of her prior tenure as head coach of the RHS girls program. “This is a great group of girls who are highly-competitive and who work hard at every practice. It’s a pleasure  to coach them.”

The Lady Patriots are led by captains Tiphani Harris (the only senior on the team) and Ally Hinojosa, a junior. The other members of the varsity squad are juniors Adanna Hector, Natasha Iacoviello, Trisha Cheever, and Maritza Scott; sophomore Meaghan Gotham; and freshmen Pamela Gonzalez , Valentina Pepic, and Tatianna Iacoviello.

“We have a nice blend of veteran and younger players,” noted DeCristoforo. “But what they all have in common is heart and desire.”

The Lady Patriots are blessed with height. In the front court Harris, who has been the team’s leading scorer in the first few games, stands at 5′-11″ and Gotham, who starts at center, registers at 6′-1″. Pepic, who typically comes in off the bench at the 5 spot for Gotham, also stands at 6′-1.”

Hector starts at point guard and teams with Hinojosa at 2 in the backcourt. Scott at the 3 slot fills out the starting lineup. Tatianna Iacoviello can play at either 1 or 2 and Gonzalez, who stands at 5′-9″, can play at 2 or 3 when she comes in. The junior duo of Cheever and Natasha Iacoviello are swing players who bring experience and who, said DeCristoforo, “have great basketball IQ and do all of the little things on the court that are so important.”

The Lady Patriots presented DeCristoforo with a nice “Welcome back” in the season-opener in the form of a runaway 67-22 triumph over Lynn Classical. Revere next defeated Salem handily, 57-34, before falling to Beverly, 57-54. “We started slowly against Beverly and fell behind early,” said DeCristoforo. “We didn’t get going until the second half, but we could never quite make it all the way back. We’re looking forward to the rematch with them a few weeks from now.”

In the Classical and Salem victories, all 10 of the Lady Patriots figured in the scoring. Scott scored 13 points to lead the way against Classical, with Gonzalez adding 11 points and Harris chipping in with 10. Harris topped the scoring column in the Salem victory with 13 points and Hector reached double figures with 10. Harris also was the Lady Patriots’ high-scorer in the Beverly encounter with 20 points. Gonzalez struck for 11.

The RHS junior varsity and freshman teams also are off to strong starts. The JV squad, under the direction of coach Kristin Ciappina, is 3-0 and the frosh quintet, coached by Elizabeth Leonard, is 2-0.

The Lady Patriots were set to play four games in a nine-day span after their holiday break, a stretch that began at Peabody earlier this week. They travel to Lynn English tonight (Wednesday) and will host Marblehead Friday. They then will make the short trek to Saugus next Tuesday.

RHS hockey team drops pair of games

The Revere High hockey team will be looking to get back on track after dropping both of its contests over the holiday break. The Patriots took on a strong Somerville team, the former Revere rival from the Greater Boston League which reportedly has added five boys from Russia, all of whom are top-notch players, to its roster.

“I was very proud of the way we played,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello in the aftermath of his team’s 5-1 loss. “In many respects it was our best game of the season. Somerville has some very strong players and we never gave up.”

After yielding a goal early in the contest, the Patriots buckled down on defense and essentially stymied Somerville’s top-scoring line, with Steve Noel in particular doing a superb job shadowing Somerville’s top skater. However, a consecutive penalty call gave Somerville two successive power play opportunities, both of which were cashed in by that Somerville player once he was freed from Noel’s shadow.

The Pats refused to fold and Rich Polignone made it a 3-1 contest with a lamplighter before the end of the period with assists going to linemates Noel and Joe Ristaino. The score remained frozen at 3-1 for most of the third frame until Somerville scored a pair of empty-net goals late in the game for the 5-1 finale.

The Patriots trekked to Salem State University Saturday to take on Northeastern Conference foe Swampscott, a decidedly less-formidable opponent than Somerville, but came out on the short end of a 2-1 decision.

“As pleased as I was with our effort against Somerville, I was just as displeased with the way we played against Swampscott,” said Cicarello. “We played with no energy or enthusiasm. We made sloppy passes and had zero focus.” After a scoreless first period, Swampscott broke the deadlock with a goal in the middle frame. Swampscott made it 2-0 in the third stanza before Anthony Cecca, assisted by Dan Valenti, got Revere on the board to close the gap to 2-1. However, that’s where matters stood at the final horn.

“We need to win some games and get some points if we’re going to have a shot at making the state tournament,” said Cicarello, whose squad now stands at 2-4-2 on the season. The Pats play at non-league opponent Northeast Regional tonight (Wednesday) and then will host Saugus this evening at 5:10 at Cronin Rink. They will be back on the road to Swampscott next Wednesday at the Connery Rink in Lynn.

Patriots fall to

Peabody, 71-57

The Revere High boys basketball team, back in action after its holiday break, came up short in a 71-57 loss to Peabody at the Merullo Fieldhouse Monday evening.

The Patriots stayed within striking range through the first three periods, trailing 25-20, 36-33, and 51-44 at the first three junctures. However, the Pats were unable to mount a decisive comeback effort in the final stanza. Revere pulled as close as five points in the closing minutes of the contest, but was forced to foul and the visiting Tanners proved solid from the charity stripe to seal the victory.

Tommy Chea led Revere in the scoring department with 14 points. Camilo Gomez was next on the point parade with nine, followed by the trio of Brendan Hayes, Nermin Ibreljic, and Janard Jones with six each; Gerald Charles and Romeo Thomas with five apiece; Marvin Urdaneta with four; and Mass Joof with two.

“After putting a lot of focus on defense this week in practice, we didn’t get very many stops early,” said RHS head coach Adam Rizzo, referring to the 25 points scored by Peabody in the opening quarter, 13 of which came from the hot hand of Peabody sophomore Junior Estrella, who led the game with 21 points. “Our 20 points was a very good offensive quarter, but what does that mean when you give up 25 at the same time?”

Revere buckled down on defense in the second frame, limiting the Tanners to just 11 points and narrowing the gap to three at the intermission. However, that would prove to be as close as the Pats would get the rest of the way.

“Right now, we are struggling,” said Rizzo. “We are either thinking too much or not at all. We need to get everyone on the same page and have our system be second nature for everyone. Our shooters also haven’t seen the ball go in the rim often, so that isn’t helping things either.”

The Patriots are back at it again tonight (Wednesday) when they host Lynn English. They journey to Marblehead Friday and return home to face Saugus Tuesday.

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