Middle School Basketball Teams off to a Fine Start

The Revere Middle School basketball season began in successful fashion, with both the boys and girls teams opening with impressive victories over Swampscott.

The girls team jumped out to a quick lead, scoring the first 14 points of the game and never looked back. The Lady Patriots played tenacious defense throughout and cruised to a blow-out win.   Coach Anthony Palermo played all 13 of his players and each member of the team scored.

Eighth grader Vanessa Puopolo led the scoring parade by tallying 12 points. Next on the scoring list was 6th grader Emily DiGiulio, who contributed five points as did Meghan Gotham (8th grader). Seventh graders Emily Wykes and Valentina Pepic and 8th grader Sam Woodman chipped in with four points apiece. Tia Fichera, an 8th grader, and Jenna Wells from grade six scored three each. Rounding out the scoring were 8th graders Liz Lake and Victoria Puopolo, 7th grader Marina Robinson, and 6th grader Gabby Rotondo, who all finished with two.

The girls played very well together and Coach Palermo had a chance to play a variety of combinations during the game.

The boys game started slowly with neither team scoring until midway through the first quarter when Swampscott buried a three pointer to break the ice. Revere came out and played great defense from the get go and led 7-3 after one period. As the offenses loosened up, Revere opened up a double digit lead that they would never relinquish, and led 22-11 at the half.

Coach Chris Miller’s team picked up right where they left off defensively as the second half began and held their opponents to no field goals and only two points in the third quarter while putting nine points on the board themselves to build an 18 point lead after three frames, 31-13.

The onslaught continued in the fourth quarter as Miller emptied his bench and the boys cruised to a 42-21 win

Ten players scored for Revere in a balanced attack. Eddie Sullivan led all scorers with nine points. He was followed by Derek Reyenger with six. Gerald Charles, John DiGregorio and Vin DeGregorio all chipped in with five apiece. Lucca Barbosa was next up with four, Anthony DeStefano dropped in three, and Brendan Hayes, Gianni Hill, and Scotty Montefusco completed the scoring, netting two points each.

All in all it was a very successful opening day for the Middle School hoop teams.

The boys team took on a tough Gloucester team at SBA on Jan.7. Coach Miller’s crew came out sluggishly and fell behind 12-6 after the first period. After regrouping between periods, Revere came out smoking in the second quarter, outscoring Gloucester 16-10 in the period to pull into a 22-22 tie at intermission. The second quarter surge was led by Gerald Charles and Anthony DeStefano, who both had six points, and Lucca Barbosa, who added four.

The third quarter was an entirely different story as Revere’s shooting went cold and Gloucester went on a scoring binge, tallying 19 points to Revere’s five to go up by 14 entering the final stanza. Coach Miller’s troops showed no quit however, and mounted a valiant comeback cutting Gloucester’s lead to six with four minutes to go in the game, but ultimately they ran out of steam and ended up on the losing end of a 52-44 score.

Revere’s scoring was well-balanced with nine players scoring, led by  Charles and DeStefano, who both finished with 11 each. Next on the list was Sullivan with five, John DiGregorio and Barbosa with four apiece, and James Merritt with three. Rounding it out were Hayes and Reyenger finishing with two each and Gianni Hill adding one.

The Revere girls turned in a runaway 63-13 win over previously unbeaten Gloucester. Revere came out displaying ice cold shooting, hitting only five of their first 30 shots. But a stifling defensive effort by the Lady Patriots shut down Gloucester’s offense for a 13-4 lead after one quarter. Revere caught fire in the second period, as the Middle School version of the twin towers, Valentina Pepic (sister of tennis star Mladen) and Meghan Gotham ( sister of RHS football star Kyle) exploded for a combined 14 points in the quarter ( and 30 between them for the game) as our girls outscored their opponents 20-2 to take a commanding 33-6 lead at the half.

The third quarter was more of the same as Revere scored 25 points led by the diminutive 6th grader Emily DiGiulio (sister of varsity basketball and lacrosse player Ben) who tallied seven of her 11 total points in this period, including a long three pointer from deep in the right corner. Coach Palermo got to play all 13 of his players for the second straight game and 10 of the players managed to make the score sheet.

The scoring summary was as follows: Pepic led all scorers with 18 followed by Gotham who had 12. Next was DiGiulio with 11. The Puopolo twins, Vanessa and Victoria, combined for 15 between them and Sam Woodman, Marina Robinson, and Alina Giuliano went for two points apiece for a total of 63 which tied the Revere record for most points in a game by a Girls Middle School team. Coach Palermo’s gang scored 113 points in its first two games. He has assembled an excellent collection of fundamentally sound players who play very well together.

The Revere teams played their first away games of the season at Breed Middle School in Lynn last Thursday.

Coach Chris Miller’s boys squad went up against a much bigger and stronger Breed team and went down big early. But on the strength of some accurate shooting and smart overall play, the Revere five scratched back to make it respectable. Adverse playing conditions, including having just one referee, made things even more difficult. Though the final score was 43-28, Coach Miller saw a lot of positive things in the play of his kids. “This team is one of the best groups of kids that I’ve ever  coached,” said Miller. “They are very coachable, they NEVER quit, and they genuinely care about each other.”

Though his squad sits at 1-2 after three games, Miller thinks that this team is capable of surprising some of their opponents as the season rolls on.

The girls’ game was a very physical affair as the Breed team tried to intimidate the Revere girls with a hands-on (literally) and tight man-to-man defense. Once again Revere got off to a slow start offensively and scored only three points in the first six minutes before they  settled down and started to get the ball inside and utilize the height advantage of six- footers Gotham and  Pepic. On the strength of this inside game Revere  opened up a sizeable 30-2 advantage at halftime.

Breed came out shooting in the second half and scored 11 quick points on the strength of three quick three-point bombs in the opening seconds. However, a time out by Coach Palermo helped pull his team out of their defensive stupor and they held the opposition to just three points the rest of the way to waltz to a 53-16 victory and remain undefeated at 3-0

For the third straight game Palermo got to play all of his girls and for the second time in three games, every player scored. Once again Gotham led the scoring with 11, followed by Pepic with eight.  Sisters Vanessa and Victoria Puopolo had six and five points respectively, and Elizabeth Lake and Alina Giuliano both chipped in with four. Marina Robinson contributed three and the remaining points were scored by Jenna Wells, Tia Fichera, Emily Wykes, Sam Woodman, Gabriella Rotondo, and Emmy DiGiulio, who all finished with two apiece.

Both the boys and girls teams have represented themselves and their city with pride, sportsmanship, and fine play.

Next up is another road game at Pickering Middle School (Lynn) today (Wednesday).

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