Any basketball performance in double figures is very good. Twenty or more points in the scorebook is excellent. Thirty-three points in a 32-minute basketball game is superstar caliber.
Junior captain Erika Cheever scored a career-high 33 points to lead the Revere High girls basketball team to a 43-27 victory over Medford Friday night at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
Cheever netted seven 3-point field goals and was also a force with her dribbling and drives to the basket. It was an especially significant evening for the program as the victory gave first-year head coach Matt Willis, assistant coaches Melissa Randall and Jenna Thomas and the Lady Patriots a berth in the MIAA State Tournament.
It was also Senior Night and the team honored four-year starter and senior captain Emily DiGiulio, who has been an integral part of four State Tournament teams. DiGiulio filled up the stat sheet once again with 2 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Sophomore forward Caroline Stasio (6 points), junior guard Chloe Giordano (2), and freshman guard Skyla DeSimone also played well.
Medford tried to contain Cheever, but it was a difficult assignment from start to finish.
“We knew she [Cheever] was a great shooter and their best scorer and we tried different things on defense, but she was tough,” said Medford Coach Leo Burke. “It was Senior Night and they were battling to get in to the State Tournament and they qualified.”
Cheever said the team played with a lot of energy and emotion on Senior Night.
“It feels really good [to score 33 points], but I’m really happy to do it for Emily, especially on her Senior Night,” said Cheever. “I’m so excited that we’ll be in the State Tournament.”
Willis said Cheever’s performance was not surprising and he didn’t realize his talented junior had soared past the 30-point mark, a tribute to her consistency.
“You watch the game and it didn’t feel like she was doing anything special – it’s what Erika does,” said Willis. “She is the best scorer that I’ve ever coached.”
Many had doubted that Revere would return to the State Tournament after graduating two of its leading scorers in Valentina Pepic and Tatiana Iacoviello. But with the trio of DiGiulio, Cheever, and Stasio leading the way, the Patriots are back in the postseason with the other elite programs in the area.
“We’re happy to be there [in the State Tournament], but we want to finish the season out strong,” said Willis.
Willis especially credited the leadership of DiGiulio, who will be playing in the State Tournament for her 11th sports season in a row.
“Emily is an amazing captain and she is the reason why it’s been such an easy transition for me as a coach,” said Willis. “You don’t meet many kids who are as unselfish as Emily is. Emily embraces her role as a defender, shot blocker, rebounder, and playmaker. She does it all for us.”
DiGiulio, one of the winningest athletes in school history, said the word around the Northeastern Conference was that Revere would be on the outside looking in this season.
“No one thought we were going to make it,” said DiGiulio. “Everyone doubted us as a small, young team. It’s unreal. It feels so great to be a tournament team again.”