Sports 01-09-2019

RhS sports Roundup

RHS boys defeat Chelsea in overtime

The Revere High boys basketball avenged a loss two weeks previously to archival Chelsea with a scintillating 49-45 overtime victory last Wednesday at a rocking’ and rollin’ Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.

The two teams did not disappoint in their rematch front of the large and raucous crowd. Chelsea jumped out quickly to a 5-3 advantage, but senior forward Omar Bendjahene (12 points, seven rebounds) made two straight baskets to give the Patriots the lead midway through the first quarter. Both teams played tough defense thereafter and Revere held on for a slim 11-10 lead to close the frame.

The second quarter also was a struggle for the home team, as the Patriots managed just six points in the quarter on a pair of three-pointers, one from senior captain Sebastian Vanegas and the other from sophomore forward Dillan Day. The Red Devils were only marginally better on offense and took a 20-17 edge at the intermission.

Revere senior center Nick Ciciulla, who was a tower of strength underneath with 12 rebounds and four blocks on the night, had the task of containing Chelsea’s big man, 6-foot, 8-inch CJ Moore-Perkins and did a superb job to start the second half, while junior guard EJ Leone (10 points, 10 rebounds) got into a groove with eight points in the quarter.

However, the visiting Red Devils clung to a 32-31 lead at the third buzzer, setting up what would prove to be a hectic and dramatic conclusion.

With both teams not shooting well, in large measure  because of their mutually-aggressive defensive efforts, Chelsea held a 39-36 lead entering the final minute of play.

Revere turned to senior captain Scotty Montefusco, running a set play for the Patriot sharpshooter. Captain Scott did not let his team down, draining a clutch trey from the corner to bring the game back to level, 39-39.

Chelsea guard Mazariegos Deleon came right back at Revere and scored to give the Red Devils a 41-39 lead with just 17 seconds showing on the clock. After a timeout, RHS head coach David Leary drew up another play to free Montefusco for a three-point shot to take the lead, but when the ball bounced in-and-out, Bendjahene was there to put it back, deadlocking matters at 41-41 and sending the teams into OT.

With the big crowd and the teams at a fever pitch, the OT session was frantic. Revere’s sophomore forward, Day (12 points, six rebounds), made two baskets to give Revere the lead. Then, after a huge steal and layup by EJ Leone, the Patriots just needed to hold on in the last minute to pull out a gritty 49-45 win.

“It was not pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Leary afterwards. “I thought we showed a lot of mental toughness and togetherness as a group. We have been struggling to score recently, and it was affecting our defense as well, but we just kept fighting and created our own chances. I’m very proud of this group so far, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Two nights later the Patriots made the short trek up Route 1 to take on Northeastern Conference opponent Saugus. Revere struggled early, committing numerous turnovers that allowed the Sachems to jump out to an early 9-5 advantage. Revere would settle down toward the end of the first quarter and received solid contributions from sophomore forward Wilfredo Martinez (six points, five rebounds) and senior forward Omar Bendjahene (14 points, 11 rebounds) to gain control and lead 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Saugus however, would continue to pressure the Patriots and force them into more mistakes as both teams would change leads several times before halftime. Revere held onto a one-point lead heading into the locker room, 23-22.

“We (the coaching staff) were not to pleased at halftime,” said Leary. “We were just shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and bad, selfish shots. We needed to play team basketball.”

The Patriots responded to their coach’s admonition and soon took control of the contest after the intermission. Montefusco (eight points, five rebounds, three assists) energized his teammates, while EJ Leone (13 points, five rebounds) and Martinez played stifling defense on the Sachems’ two leading scorers, making it tough for them in the second half.

Revere big man Nick Ciciulla battled foul trouble in the first half, but came up huge with three blocks and five rebounds after halftime. However, the big story of the night came from senior forward Johnny Leone (20 points on six-of-12 three-pointers), who sank four of his treys in the third quarter to move the Patriots out to a commanding 50-33 lead heading into the final quarter.

Revere continued its hot shooting behind John Leone, Bendjahene, and EJ Leone and closed out the game with a 68-53 win.

“I thought our kids really responded to the challenge laid out by our coaching staff at halftime,” noted Leary. “Our defense and passing were much better and then when Johnny Leone got going, we just fed off of his energy. Everybody will talk about his shooting, which was awesome, but he did a lot of other things out there to help the team.

“We are really proud of him,” Leary added. “It’s been a struggle for him early on, but he found his game. We played our best team basketball so far this year and hopefully we can build off of this.”

Leary and his crew were set to host Everett last night (Tuesday) and then will travel to Marblehead Friday night.

Cheever hits for 29 to lead RHS girls to win

Erika Cheever poured in a career-high 29 points to lead the Revere High girls basketball team to a 62-47 victory over Northeastern Conference rival Saugus Friday evening at the Merullo Fieldhouse.

“Erika played a tremendous game, especially considering that she had missed practices during the week because of the flu,” said RHS head coach Matt Willis.

The Lady Patriots led at all of the junctures, 13-7, 31-22, and 48-34, increasing their lead incrementally up to the final buzzer.

In addition to Cheever’s high-scoring output, eight other Lady Patriots made major contributions to the victory.

Caroline Stasio and freshman Skyla DeSimone both hit for eight points, with Skyla draining a three-pointer from just one step over the half-court line as the 40-second shot clock was expiring with six minutes left in the game that stuck the proverbial dagger in any comeback hopes for Saugus.

Katie O’Donnell scored four points on the night, including a huge buzzer-beater at the end of the first half to give Revere a nine-point and halt what had been a late Saugus run just before the intermission. Chloe Giordano chipped in seven points in her season-debut after recovering from an early-season injury and Carolina Bettero made a nice contribution with six points.

Willis also praised Emily DiGulio and Stasio for their great defensive efforts on the boards and forcing turnovers.

The Lady Patriots were set to take on Everett last night (Tuesday) and will host Marblehead Friday night at 7:00.

RHS swimmers top Somerville

The Revere High swim team continued with its winnings ways, easily cruising past Somerville, 87-71, Friday evening.

The Somerville squad featured only 10 swimmers and proved no match for the Patriots, who took first place in every event except for the 200 IM.

Among the top performers for Revere were Ahmed Khalid, who swam a personal record (PR) in the 100 fly; Lucas Hurtado, who grabbed second place with a PR in the 100 breast; and Xavier Hernandez with a PR in the 100 back.

Freshman Miguel Leonarte swam the 500 free for the first time and finished in 7:29, which was good for third place.

“We started off really well,” said RHS head coach Chris Hill. “In the first event, the 200 medley relay, we took first and second place to jump out to a 12-2 lead.  After that we never looked back and just piled on the wins in event after event. By the 8th of the 12 events, we led 87-36 and stopped scoring.”

The Patriots were set to take on Lynn English yesterday (Tuesday) and Beverly tomorrow (Thursday), both at the Garfield Pool.

Narrow loss for RHS girls track

The Revere High girls track team came out on the short end of its meet with Malden in the most heartbreaking of fashions last Wednesday at the local fieldhouse.

The Lady Patriots held a 42-39 lead going into the final race, the 4 x 400 relay, with the final five points of the meet on the line in the winner-take-all event. However, the Lady Golden Tornado quartet proved faster than their Revere counterparts in their four circlings of the track, edging the Lady Patriots by 

12 seconds, 4:48-5:00.

“Malden has one of the fastest 4 x 400 relay teams in the Northeastern Conference, so we were trying to avoid determining the meet in the relay,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna. “But ultimately, we fell a couple of points short.”

The Lady Patriots once again were led by the duo of Luana Barbosa and Kiana Napolitano.

Luana won the high jump with a leap of 4’-10” and the 50 hurdles with a time of 8.9 seconds to score 10 points for the Revere side of the tally sheet.

“Luana had another great meet and qualified for states with her 4’-10” jump,” said LaBruna. “She has been huge for us this year and leads our team with 38 points on the season.”

Kiana sped to victory in the 50 dash in 6.9 and grabbed third place in the high jump with a leap of 4’-4” to record six points.

Also finishing in first place for Revere were Thalia Ramos in the 600 dash in 1:58.2 and Olivia Novoselsky in the two-mile in 14:39.8.

Second-place finishers for the Lady Patriots who added three points to the Revere cause were:

Taylor Sujko – High Jump (4’6”)

Kathy Umanzor – 300 (50.6)

Ghizlane Guisser – 600 (3:57.1)

Fatima Hartout – Mile (6:34.4)

Single points with third-place efforts came from:

Crystal Valente – Shot put (25’-11”)

Lily DellaIacono – 50 Dash (7.1)

Giulia Cincinnato – 600 (2:01.2)

Jessica Vo – Hurdles (9.4)

“It was one of the most competitive meets that I’ve ever been a part of,” noted LaBruna. “Every race was close, including a handful that were decided right at the finish line. The girls left it all on track. I was certainly pleased with their effort.”

LaBruna and his crew are set to trek to Peabody tomorrow (Thursday).

“Peabody is the top team in the NEC this year, so I’m hoping the step up in competition can lead to some fast times,” LaBruna said.

The Lady Patriots then will host Gloucester on Tuesday.

Close encounter

for RHS boys track

The Revere High boys indoor track team came up short by the smallest of margins in its meet with Malden last week, dropping a 44-42 decision.

Similar to the outcome of the girls’ meet, the boys’ contest came down to the final event, the 4 x 400 relay.

The Patriots led at that juncture, 42-39. Four Patriots had garnered first place in their individual events: Rayan Riazi in the 50 hurdles in a time of 7.8;  Yusuf Ali Buda in the 50 dash in 6.1 (Yusuf led a Revere sweep in that event); Samuel Gonzalez in the 600 dash in 1:36.1; and Victor Pelatere in the 1000 in 2:58.3.

Adding three points to the Revere side of the scoresheet with second place finishes were five Patriots for a total of 18 points: Lucas Barbosa with a high jump of 5’-6” and a 50 yard dash of 6.2; Alaa Atoui in the shot put with a toss of 37’-6”; Michael Adolphus in the hurdles in 8.0; Christian Madrid in the mile in 5:04.3; and Jonathan Nushi in the two-mile run in 11:21.

Scoring single points for their third-place efforts were: Riazi with a shot put throw of 36’-4”; Ronald Ulrich in the 50 dash in 6.3; Eric Bua in the 600 dash in 1:38.6; and Fabio Tran in the mile in 5:06.

Those performances left Revere with 42 points, one shy of ensuring a tie and two shy of making the outcome of the 4 x 400 a moot issue.

The 4 x 400 proved to be a classic battle, with Revere having dominated the 600 race, but Malden having swept the 300. In the end, after four laps of the track, the Golden Tornadoes prevailed by 3.4 seconds with a time of 3:52.4 to capture the final five points of the meet and claim the 44-42 win.

The Patriots are set to be back action when they trek to Peabody tomorrow (Thursday) and then will return home Tuesday to host Gloucester.

RHS hockey team hosts Everett tonight

The Revere High hockey team will be looking for its first win of the season when the Patriots host Everett at Cronin Rink. Face-off its set for 6:30.

Revere came out on the short end of a 5-2 decision to Somerville and a 6-2 outcome with Gloucester this past week.

Seniors Zach Rufo and Rick Briana scored the goals in the Somerville contest and Rufo and Wayne Cintolo lit the lamp against Gloucester.

Sophomore goalie JT Bowdridge turned in a fine effort in net in both games.

“Overall we played well and we played hard in both games,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “Gloucester is one of the best teams in the league, but the score was only 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after two. However, we made some mistakes in both games that created scoring chances for our opponents and we cannot afford to do that.”

After tonight’s game against the Crimson Tide, Ciccarello and his crew will entertain Lynn Saturday evening at Cronin with the face-off set for 5:00.

Ready for Round Two:Kimberly Wabik prepares for second pro bout in New Hampshire

By Cary Shuman

Revere resident Kimberly Wabik will encounter an interesting challenge in the second bout of her professional boxing career.

Wabik, 32, will be facing Britain Hart, who just competed in the Bare Knuckle Fight Championships in Mississippi. Hart fought for the bare-knuckle title and lost a split-decision to champion Bec Rawlings. Competitors do not wear boxing gloves in bare-knuckle fights.

Wabik and Hart will fight on Jan. 25 at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, N.H., the site of Wabik’s pro debut which ended in a majority draw. One judge had Wabik ahead, but two judges had the bout a tie on their scorecards.

“She [Hart] is a bare-knuckle title contender, but she also has two knockouts as a boxer,” said Wabik. “I’m ready. She’s a tough opponent. I’m working out a couple hours a day at the Quietman Gym. My trainer [Eddie Ford] is making me work hard in training every day.”

Ford, who also lives in Revere, expects his fighter to be tested by Hart, who has more experience as a professional.

“With the experience this young lady has, it will let us know where Kimberly is at in her boxing career,” said Ford. “But I think this is more Kim’s kind of fight.”

Wabik holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from  Simmons College and is a licensed clinical social worker at North Suffolk Mental Health.

Known for her powerful punches and non-stop action in the ring, the 5-foot-4-inch Wabik is nicknamed “The Machine.” She will be fighting in the 130-pound division this time after making her debut at 135 pounds.

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