RhS sports Roundup
RHS hockey team tourney game tomorrow
The Revere High hockey team will meet Swampscott tomorrow evening (Thursday) in an opening round contest of the Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state hockey tournament.
Coach Joe Ciccarello and his squad entered the final week of the season with a 7-7-4 record. With two games left on their schedule, they were in need of two points in order to attain the .500 record required for tourney qualification.
The Patriots punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney in style, winning both contests, beginning with a 6-2 victory at Amesbury. After taking a 2-1 lead at the first horn, Revere exploded for four unanswered goals in the middle period to assume a commanding 6-1 advantage that never was challenged.
Mike Goroshko and Mike Giordano scored two goals apiece, with Zach Rufo and Matt Cravotta also lighting the lamp.
The Peabody contest, a 9-5 victory for Revere, was a shootout from beginning to end, with the Patriots unloading more firepower than the Tanners could muster.
“Every time they scored, we responded in a bigger way,” said Ciccarello.
Revere carried a 3-1 lead into the second period and a 7-3 advantage into the third. At that point, Ciccarello gave freshman goalie Tristian Goroshko a turn in net. As a result, the six-man Revere lineup for the start of the third period consisted of three sets of brothers — Mike and Tristian Goroshko, Zack and Cory Rufo, and Mike and Mark Giordano — a happenstance that is believed to be the first such occurrence in the history of the Revere High hockey program.
As for tomorrow (Thursday) night’s tournament contest with Swampscott, the Northeastern Conference South Division rivals met twice in the regular season. The Big Blue won the teams’ first meeting early in the year, 3-1, but the Patriots earned a 2-2 tie in the rematch two weeks ago in which Swampscott scored the equalizer with less than one second showing on the clock.
“It should be a good game,” said Ciccarello of the contest, which will be played at the O’Brien Rink in Woburn. “We both know each other pretty well and overall we are evenly matched.”
Revere enters the tourney as the ninth seed in the D-3 North with a 9-7-4 record. Swampscott is the eighth seed with a 9-5-6 mark. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to face Lowell, which earned a bye as the number one seed in the 12-team D-3 North with a 15-3-2 record. That game already has been scheduled for Sunday (March 4) at 8 p.m. at the Stoneham Arena.
Three Patriots named to NEC all-star team
Three members of the Revere High hockey team have been named to the Northeastern Conference all-star team: senior forward Mike Goroshko and defensemen Cam Mazza and Matt Cravotta.
RHS boys basketball concludes season
The Revere High boys basketball team wrapped up its season last week at the General George S. Patton Tournament at Hamilton-Wenham High School.
The Patriots met the host Generals, the #3 seed in the upcoming Division 3 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament with a 17-3 record, in the opening round last Monday evening.
The Patriots, who were looking to upset H-W (which is coached by Rumney Marsh Academy history teacher Michael DiMarino) in the first round of their own tournament, came out on fire in the opening quarter.
Junior guard Marcus Brunson-Perez (20 points) hit a couple of deep three-pointers to open up the scoring. Senior guard George Quintana (six points, four rebounds) also helped the Patriots jump ahead, 14-8, to close the first frame.
The Revere defensive remained solid in the second quarter, holding the Generals to their lowest first-half point total of the season, allowing the Patriots to head into the locker room at the half with a 21-19 lead.
“We were proud of the kids’ effort level and focus tonight against a very tough and talented Hamilton-Wenham team,” said RHS head coach David Leary. “That first half was the best we’ve played defensively as a group all season.”
Unfortunately, the Generals found their shooting touch early in the third quarter and jumped ahead by six midway through the period. Leary, with an unconventional move, brought in recently-promoted freshman Dillan Day (five points, four rebounds), who did not disappoint, as Dillan knocked down a trey and a pair of free throws, enabling Revere to bring matters back to level at 36-36 entering the final period.
“We were having a hard time scoring and Dylan responded in a tough spot,” noted Leary. “That’s a great sign for a freshmen to seize the opportunity.”
The fourth quarter did not go as smoothly for Revere, as H-W finally took advantage of their size mismatch and pounded the ball inside. The host Generals held on for a 54-45 victory.
“You’re not going to beat a good, experienced team like that by scoring only nine points in the fourth quarter,” said Leary. “They went inside and we settled for shooting from the perimeter. We fought hard for 32 minutes, but they were the better team. Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap.”
The following afternoon Revere took on Arlington Catholic in the consolation game of the tournament. Revere would take control early in the game behind the sharp shooting of junior forward John Leone (17 points, five three-pointers) and led 13-10 after the opening eight minutes.
However, the second quarter prove to be the difference in the contest. The Patriots could manage only four points in those eight minutes and trailed 26-17 at the half.
“It seems like almost every game this season, we would have a bad stretch for a quarter or five minutes and that would be the difference between winning and losing,” Leary said. “We just had too many stretches without scoring.”
The third quarter was better, as seniors George Quintana (three points, eight rebounds) and Devon Avery, playing in their final high school game, scored a three pointer and a layup respectively, and the aforementioned Leone drained a pair of treys.
Revere cut the lead to 40-34 heading into the final period, but the Patriots proved unable to get over the proverbial hump. AC controlled the fourth quarter on the boards to hold on for a 55-46 victory.
“We made strides this year — there is no doubt,” said Leary, whose team finished the season at 3-17. “But unfortunately that did not show in our record. There is some promising young talent in this program and there will be a lot of competition in the off-season which is always important to grow and improve.
“Thank you to our seniors, Devon and George, who always showed positive leadership in a trying season,” added the coach.
Junior forward John Leone was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The future is bright for RHS boys program
Although the Revere High basketball team went through some growing pains during this rebuilding season at the varsity level, what was going on quietly and without headlines at the freshmen and junior varsity levels this year promises a strong future.
Under the tutelage of freshmen coach Bob Sullivan and JV head coach John Leone and assistant Rick Hayes, the sub-varsity teams in the program had very successful seasons.
Sullivan was asked last year by varsity head coach David Leary to come up with a system in which all of the ninth graders can get playing time in order to build confidence and develop.
Sullivan, a long-time varsity head coach himself, took on the challenge and came up with a formula. With Sullivan rotating five players every 2:40, almost like a hockey shift, the young Patriots all obtained game experience, as well as working on fundamentals every day in practice.
“The kids really bought into the, ‘We do what we do’ mentality,” Sullivan said. “They worked extremely hard and came together as a group and got stronger as the year went on.”
The freshmen finished the season at 19-1, with their only blemish coming in a tough loss at Everett in early January.
Everybody contributed, starting with guards Calvin Boudreau, Cris Lithgow, Nathan Ramos, Danny Vranos, Jafar Barry, Bruce Culleton, Richie DiMarzo and Marco Cerbone; forwards Wilfredo Martinez, Dylan Day, Alden Ibishi, Steven Leone, and Lucas Rincon; and centers Zach Bowden and Ryan Doucette.
”We had a fun year. Hopefully these guys put in the work in the offseason so they can make JV or varsity next season,” added Sullivan.
The JV team did not have the immediate success under coaches Leone and Hayes that the freshmen enjoyed, but once they got going, they were tough to beat.
Sitting at 5-6 midway through the season, coach Leone knew he needed to make some changes. With the promotion of freshmen Dylan Day, Wilfredo Martinez, Calvin Boudreau ,and Cris Lithgow, to go along with the strong play of guards Amara Bockarie, Josh Vazquez, Michael Hayes, Derek Avery, Sebastian Vanegas and Eli Vicente, and forwards Robert Raduazzo, Adam Harper, Bobby Kiersgara, William Ly, Andres Mejia and Milton Rios, the team won 12 of its last 13 games.
Even more impressive, the JV team competed in the Ruby Hercule Memorial Tournament over February vacation with 16 other teams from the Boston area and won the championship.
“The team worked hard all year,” said Leone, whose squad finished at 17-7. “We had a young team, but they were hungry and they wanted it. There is a bright future for the RHS boys basketball program. It is an honor and a blessing to coach these kids. I am so proud of their hard work and commitment to each other all year and what they have accomplished.”
The two young squads went undefeated over the last six weeks of the season.
“It was fun to watch these guys mature and come together this year,” said Leary, the varsity head coach. “There will be a lot of competition this off-season, which is great. We just all need to continue to work hard collectively.”
Revere girls basketball team hosts Andover tonight in first game of D-1 North Sectionals
By Cary Shuman
One of the rewards for having an excellent regular season is that you are given the opportunity to host a game in the MIAA State Tournament.
And that’s what head coach Lianne O’Hara and the Revere High girls basketball have on tap for tonight (Wednesday) when they host Andover in the first round of the Division 1 North Sectionals at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
The Lady Patriots, led by senior co-captains Tatianna Iacoviello and Valentina Pepic, finished their 16-4 season on a high note, defeating Billerica, 44-42, in the Division 1 championship game of the Spartan Classic.
Revere is seeded fifth in the North Sectionals while Andover (10-10) is the 12th seed. But don’t be misled by Andover’s record. The Golden Warriors, led by first-year head coach Andy Hibino, play in the tough Merrimack Valley Conference and have been one of the top teams in Division 1 for several years. Andover defeated Billerica, 54-33, in MVC play on Jan. 26.
O’Hara is excited that her team will be home playing for the opener.
“We expect a big crowd, and if they can bring a lot of energy, I think it will bring energy on to the court for the players as well,” said O’Hara.
The Revere coach scouted Andover in a game against No. 2 seed Central Catholic.
“Andover is a tenacious team that works hard, and has some talented players,” said O’Hara, noting that senior guard Gia Bramanti is very efficient at running the Andover offense.
Andover will pay special attention on defense to Revere’s Pepic, who is averaging 22 points and 11 per game. Pepic has put together another All-Scholastic-caliber season and the 6-foot-2-inch, Niagara-bound center will test Andover’s defense in the frontcourt.
Iacoviello has emerged as Revere’s top playmaker and her three-pointer to force overtime against Billerica was one of the season’s most memorable moments. Junior Emily DiGiulio has helped the Patriots immensely with her solid defense and rebounding.
Sophomore guard Erika Cheever has been a consistent scorer in her first year as a starter. Cheever is an emerging star for the Lady Patriots.
Two freshmen, Caroline Stasio, who has been a pleasant surprise as a starting forward, and Ayah Harper, a talented guard who can drive to the basket well, will be playing in their first postseason game.
In addition to Iacoviello and Pepic, also ready for the final home games of their careers are seniors Jasmina Mujic, Nouhaila Nadef, and twin sisters, Madison Cunningham and Mackenzie Cunningham.
The winner of the Andover-Revere game will play No. 4 seed Belmont (17-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. in Belmont.