RHS Girls Defeat Danvers in Tourney
The Revere High girls basketball team turned in a solid, two-way performance to earn a 42-35 victory over Danvers in the consolation game of the North Reading Holiday Invitational tournament last week.
The triumph marked a nice rebound triumph for coach Chris Porrazzo and his squad after falling to host No. Reading in the opening game of the tournament. In that encounter, the Lady Patriots battled well through the first period and for half of the second, but No. Reading went on a run before the half to turn what had been a closely-fought, four-point contest into a 27-9 advantage for the host team at the intermission.
Although Revere cut into the deficit in the final 16 minutes of play, the Lady Patriots were unable to overcome the large No. Reading lead.
“We worked hard in the second half, but ultimately came up short,” said RHS head coach Chris Porrazzo.
Skyla DeSimone led the way for Revere in the scoring column with 13 points.
The Lady Patriots then took on Danvers, which had dropped its tourney-opener to Wakefield, in the consolation game and bounced back to claim a victory over their former rival from the Northeastern Conference.
Revere was in control for most of the game, opening up as much as a 13-point lead, but the Lady Falcons fought back to move out to a two-point advantage late in the fourth period.
However, that’s when RHS sophomore captain Haley Belloise stepped up to the free throw line and sank two clutch free throws to tie the game.
Revere made a strong defensive stop on Danvers’ next possession and with under two minutes to play, freshman Belma Velic kicked out a beautiful pass from the post to senior captain DeSimone, who knocked down a three to give the Lady Patriots the lead back for good.
“We were disappointed with our performance against North Reading, so we knew we had to come back and make a statement in our consolation game against Danvers,” said Porrazzo. “We were determined to prove to ourselves that we belonged with the other three talented teams that were a part of the tournament.
“I was so proud of us for competing in this game and pulling out a win,” the coach added.
DeSimone finished with eight points and five steals and was named to the tournament all-star team.
Belloise hit for 14 points to go with six rebounds and two assists. Belma Velic was a force at both ends of the floor. Belma turned in a nice double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and blocked five Lady Falcon shots.
Elaysia Lung was an all-around threat with four points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Porrazzo and his crew will be off this week because of the Greater Boston League’s cessation of athletics thanks to COVID-19. If they resume after this week, they are scheduled to host Chelsea next Tuesday at 5:00.
RHS Swimmers Splash to a Fast 4-1 Start
The Revere High swim team is off to a fine start to its 2022 season, capturing four of its first five meets.
The Patriots defeated Shawsheen Valley Tech in a non-league meet to start the season, 97-71, and have earned victories over Greater Boston League opponents Lynn Classical (89-75), Somerville (87-73), and Lynn English (76-54).
Revere’s lone setback came to Malden by a score of 93-75.
“We have had a number of really impressive performances so far,” said RHS head coach Christopher Hill.
Among the Patriots leading the way en route to the team’s strong start are:
— Senior and team captain Ashton Hoang with five first-place and five second-place finishes in his individual events.
“Ashton usually swims some of the hardest events — the 200 IM, 100 butterfly and 500 free,” noted Hill.
— Senior captain Mohamed Benzerdjeb took first place in the 100 free and 100 back against Classical, first in the 200 IM against Shawsheen, and first in the 100 fly against Malden.
— Sophomore Alem Cesic has been outstanding so far. Alem has won nine out of 10 races and has won all four of the 500 frees he has been in.
— Sophomore Matt Terrell has been a consistent point-scorer for the team, coming in first or second in every race. He has been especially dominant in the 100 butterfly, winning it four times.
— That quartet also has formed Revere’s top relay team, winning five of the six relay races they have been in.
“We have also had great swims from Daniel Cardona (senior-captain), Luanna Carvalhais (junior-captain), Julian Goglia (senior), Miguel Leonarte (senior), Gavin Rua (junior), Kathy Trinh (junior), Jannet Sheli (freshman), Harrison Rua (sophomore), Vilson Lipa (sophomore), Mo Al-Azzawi (sophomore), Nate Hill (sophomore), and Jennifer Rivera-Ayala (junior),” Hill added
With COVID-19 throwing a monkey wrench into the local sports scene, Hill and his crew will hope to get back into the water next Tuesday when they host Malden in a rematch.
RHS Boys Basketball Tops Pioneer Charter in David Green Tourney
The Revere High boys basketball team traveled to Winthrop High School last week to compete in the first annual David Green Memorial Holiday Tournament, which is named after the Winthrop native, who was a retired State Trooper, who was shot in a heinous hate crime last summer in Winthrop in which Green and another Black person, Ramona Cooper, were murdered by a 28 year-old Wareham native who had white supremacist literature in his personal belongings. Green was a star athlete for the Vikings’ basketball and track teams in the early 1970s.
Coach David Leary and his crew took on former Northeastern Conference (and former Greater Boston League) rival Peabody in the opening round of the tourney last Tuesday, coming out on the short end of a 43-40 decision that went down to the final seconds.
The Patriots, who had not played a game in 16 days because of a postponement against Lynn Classical the week before Christmas, came into the contest without their full team because of health and safety protocols.
“We had some guys out because of injury and illness, but we always talk about guys stepping up when opportunity knocks,” said Leary, who had only eight players available for the encounter.
A slow pace at the start helped the depleted Patriots conserve energy. Peabody jumped out to a 5-2 lead midway through the first quarter as both teams struggled to find their shooting touch.
Revere senior tri-captain Jack D’Ambrosio had two nice fast-break layups and sophomore forward Glenn Kule made a free throw to give Revere the lead, 7-5, to end the frame.
The Patriots were doing a nice job in their zone press and seemed to confuse the deeper and more experienced Tanners, as the second quarter was more of the same with very little scoring. Junior forward Vincent Nichols (six points) made 4-of-4 free throws in the quarter, senior center Kenny Arango chipped in a free throw of his own, and junior guard Sal DeAngelis made a deep three-pointer to give Revere a slight (17-15) halftime lead.
Peabody came out in the second half with a distinct focus to rely on the three-point shot and the Tanners had success, sinking five treys to move out to a 29-19 lead with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Leary called a timeout to slow the Tanners’ momentum and it seemed to work. Patriot senior forward Ramadan Barry (six points) drained a three-pointer and DeAngelis (18 points, five rebounds, four assists) began to get going, sinking three baskets in the third, but Peabody led 33-25 heading into the last quarter.
The first few minutes of the final frame continued to be a challenge to score for both teams until Barry made a nice drive and junior guard Domenic Boudreau (two points, seven rebounds) made a nice put-back for the Patriots, cutting into the Peabody lead and making it a 39-35 affair with 2:21 to play.
The two teams had empty possessions on offense and then Peabody made a free throw to push their lead to five points with under a minute to play. Revere came out of a timeout and executed a nice set play to get DeAngelis open for a shot and he was fouled. Sal made both free throws and after a great Patriot defensive stop, DeAngelis pulled up for the tying three-pointer with 26 seconds to play, knotting the score at 40-40.
The Tanners chose not to use a timeout and brought the ball up to attempt the final shot, and with 3.6 seconds on the clock, Peabody guard Gino Forte drained a deep three-pointer to ultimately give the Tanners the victory, 43-40, after Revere missed their desperation shot to tie.
“We were proud that we didn’t quit, but it was a missed opportunity,” noted Leary. “A layup here, a free throw there, and we are on the right side, but that’s basketball. We just need to keep grinding.”
Leary and his crew returned to the Winthrop gym two days later to take on Pioneer Charter of Saugus in the consolation contest.
The Patriots were able to get some of their players back and were almost at full strength.
Revere employed a full-court press defense and created a lot of opportunities to score. Sophomore forward Glen Kule (four points) made two layups, senior tai-captain Jack D’Ambrosio (nine points, seven rebounds) sank a basket and two free throws, senior center Kenny Arango made a power move inside, and junior guard Sal DeAngelis (seven points) made a fast break layup to move Revere out to a 19-10 advantage at the first buzzer.
The second quarter was played more evenly as both teams stayed on the attack. Patriot junior guard Alejandro Hincapie made a nice layup, plus the foul, to get things going and then the rest of the quarter belonged to senior tai-captain James Clauto (23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, seven steals), as James slashed to the basket a few times and then hit a buzzer-beater going into halftime to give Revere a 31-22 lead at the intermission.
The Patriots continued their hot shooting to start the second half. Clauto made a handful of free throws and then a three-pointer to push the lead to 18 points. RHS junior guard Domenic Boudreau (17 points, five rebounds, four assists) had a quiet first half, but exploded after the break, hitting for a trio of three-pointers in the quarter.
Pioneer did not give up however, getting the ball inside against the smaller Revere squad. D’Ambrosio sank two FT’s and Boudreau made a nice floater in the lane to give the Patriots a 52-40 advantage heading into the final frame.
Patriots junior forward Ramadan Barry (five points) made a jump shot and a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter to extend the lead for Revere. Clauto, Boudreau, and DeAngelis made their free throws down the stretch to give Revere the 70-54 win.
Boudreau was voted to the All-Tournament Team in recognition of his two fine games.
“We played much more-balanced against Pioneer, which is always nice to see,” said Leary, whose squad now stands at 2-2 on the season. “We should be getting the rest of our guys back next week and get into a better routine after the holidays. We just need to keep grinding, as always. I’m proud of this group.”
With the GBL halting its athletic schedule this week, Leary and his crew hopefully will be back in action next week when they travel to Chelsea on Tuesday.
GBL Halts All Sports for a Week
The Greater Boston League has ceased all interscholastic sports activities, including practices, for this week (January 3-7) because of the high prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in the GBL schools and communities.
The full announcement from the league that was issued on Monday (January 3) is as follows:
“Due to the current spike in Covid cases, and with the safety of our student-athletes in mind, the Greater Boston League unanimously has agreed to put a temporary halt on all athletic events.
“Effective immediately, there will be no athletic competitions or practices for the remainder of the week. Practices can resume on Saturday, January 8, with competitions resuming on Tuesday, January 11.
“It is the hope of league officials that this stoppage will allow our member schools to focus on policies and procedures for all student-athletes and coaches, to ensure that we can continue to provide the safest possible environment for competitions.
“Each district will create their own policy specific to spectators at competitions. The visiting team will adhere to the host team’s spectator policy.”