The Revere High boys basketball won two in a row last week to make it four victories in their last five outings with triumphs over Chelsea and Marblehead.
Thursday’s 65-51 win at Chelsea saw the Patriots jump out to a nice lead at the half, 37-23, and never look back against their long-time rivals from the other side of the Parkway before a big and boisterous crowd at the CHS gym.
Although Revere held a height and size advantage for the first time this season against an opponent, the Patriots relied on some deadly outside shooting, led by Mike Dreezsen, who drained a trio of three-pointers in the opening period, to sprint to a 20-14 advantage at the first buzzer.
Revere maintained its offensive rhythm in the second frame, scoring 17 points, but changed its defensive strategy to neutralize Chelsea’s top scorers, holding the Red Devils to just nine points.
“We were able to clamp down on them defensively in the second quarter,” said RHS head coach Adam Rizzo. “The key was minimizing dribble penetration from their guards against our zone. In the first quarter, we allowed their best player to get into the lane too easily and he scored eight points off four easy looks. In the second quarter and into the second half, we got tougher and kept them out of the lane.”
The teams basically traded buckets after the intermission, which worked to Revere’s advantage given the Patriots’ sizable lead. Chelsea made a run in the fourth quarter, but timely hoops by Dreeszen, who scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the final quarter, killed Chelsea’s runs.
“My hat is off to Dreeszen,” said Rizzo. “He hurt his ankle the previous night against Marblehead and the coaching staff didn’t think he would come back. But he ended up playing the second half against Marblehead and then played the entire game against Chelsea. He really energized our team with his shooting. His ability to shoot the ball is second-to-none on the team and we needed a big game from him.”
Backcourt mate Jason Seigal, whose dad Jay coaches Chelsea, put up some nice numbers against his father’s Red Devil team, reaching double figures with 16 points. Ravi Ryland was next on the point parade with eight, followed by Mike Ciambelli with six, Doug Zingali with five, and Dante Lauria with four.
The previous night saw a different kind of contest as the Patriots erased a seven point lead at the half to pull out a 48-45 win over Northeastern Conference rival Marblehead at Merullo Fieldhouse.
The visitors played a tight 2-3 zone defense in an obvious effort to shut down the Revere inside game, but with the Patriots’ outside shots not falling, Marblehead was able to take a 29-22 lead at the intermission.
However, Revere came out like a different after the break. Dreeszen, who had rolled his ankle just minutes into the game, came back shortly after the start of the half to give the Patriots a lift.
“Mike’s ability to stretch a zone allowed us to penetrate off the dribble, as well as feed the post,” said Rizzo. Dreeszen knocked down a big three in the third quarter and Ciambelli and Seigal came to life, chipping in six points and five in the quarter, respectively, to give Revere a 37-35 edge at the third buzzer.
The fourth quarter saw Seigal direct the Revere offense like a maestro at the point. When Revere moved out to a two-possession lead with under four minutes to go, Seigal was able to settle the ball against the zone, burn some clock, and then make good decisions against the shot clock. Jason also scored six of his 11 points in the fourth frame to keep the Revere offense going.
However, Marblehead refuse to fold and drew within a point in the final minute. That’s when Zingali, who had come in as a defensive sub, drew a crucial charge call with under a minute remaining. Ciambelli added two clutch free throws on the ensuing possession with under 15 seconds left to make it a three point Revere lead, 48-45. The Patriot defense then closed out the game, harassing Marblehead into a bad shot at the buzzer that went awry to hold for the win.
“It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but it’s a win and we will take it,” said Rizzo.
Ciambelli ended up as high man for Revere with 12 points. Seigal also reached double figures with 11, followed by Camilo Gomez with eight, Ryland with six, and the trio of Lauria, Dreeszen, and Zingali with three points apiece.
The Patriots opened their week last Monday against a powerful Lynn English squad, coming out on the short end of a 92-68 decision. The Bulldogs showed why they’re rated as one of the big dogs in the state (among the top five in the polls), sprinting to 48-29 lead at the half.
However, the Patriots refused to quit and came out fighting hard after the intermission, changing the momentum of the game. Revere sliced the English lead to 11 by the end of the third frame and got as close as seven in the fourth quarter before English reasserted control.
“Coming in we knew we were playing a top-five team in the state and needed to play a great game from the start,” said Rizzo. “We stressed boxing out and rebounding to limit them to just one shot on offense. Unfortunately, we didn’t rebound well at all in the first half. Couple that with our best big man, Mike Ciambelli, getting called for two fouls in the first 90 seconds of the game and it was a disastrous start to the game and led to a 19-point deficit. If it weren’t for Dante Lauria scoring all eight of his points in the second quarter, we would have been in a huge hole.
“However, we came out in the third and played our best quarter of the season,” said Rizzo. “Our defensive rotations were tight, we boxed out hard, and kept English off the offensive glass, limiting them to one shot that allowed us to push the tempo in our favor.”
Ryland had a huge third frame, scoring all of his 11 points in the period to go along with eight of Ciambelli’s team-high 19.
“When we cut English’s lead to seven in the fourth period, they were getting flustered and we had them on their heels. I don’t think they expected us to battle back like we did. Unfortunately, we could only sustain such a run for so long before they made a run of their own. It got away from us at the end, but the final score doesn’t tell the full story at all.
“Losses are never welcome, but to know we were only down seven to a top-five team in the fourth quarter shows us we can play with anyone,” added Rizzo. “We need to focus on putting together four quarters of quality basketball in order to secure a few more wins.”
In addition to Ciambelli’s 19 and Ryland’s 11, Lauria had eight, Dreeszen and Nermin Ibreljic hit for six each, Seigal and Zingali added five apiece, Tommy Chea contributed four, and Selevitch and Gomez had two each.
Rizzo and his crew, who now are 4-5 at just about the midway point of the season, were set to host Gloucester last night (Tuesday) and will travel to Danvers Friday evening. They will be off until the following Friday (January 24) when they will entertain Swampscott.
Hockey team wins ties, in two outings
The Revere High hockey team enjoyed a successful week, earning a win and a tie, to improve their record to a fine 6-2-2 at the halfway mark of the season.
The Patriots traveled to the Salem State College rink last Wednesday to take on Swampscott in what RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello termed “a crucial contest for us.
“We had not played well in a 3-0 loss to Salem a few days previously and this was another divisional game, so it was very important for us to get back on the winning track,” said Ciccarello. “We’d had two good days of hard practice on Monday and Tuesday, so we were well-prepared.”
Ciccarello’s charges did not disappoint, skating to a commanding 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to two goals by Marco Mazzarelli and a lamplighter by Cam Whalen. The Patriots maintained their three-goal edge after two frames, 5-2, thanks to markers by Rich Polignone (who also had two assists on the night) and Joe Ristaino.
The third frame saw the teams trade goals, with Brendan Mastropietro lighting the lamp for Revere, for the 6-3 finale. Goalie Adam Comeau earned the win in nets, turning aside 20 Swampscott shots.
Three nights later Ciccarello and his crew made the long trek to Gloucester to take on the always-tough Fishermen who play in the Large Division of the Northeastern Conference.
“We came into the game wanting to show that we can play with the big division teams,” said Ciccarello.
However, that hope did not appear to have much chance of attaining fruition when the Patriots fell behind 1-0 after the first frame and 2-0 into the second, one of which was of the own-goal variety thanks to a mix-up between a Revere defenseman and Patriot goalie Maxx Anderson (who was outstanding all night with 28 saves).
However, the Patriots refused to quit and soon got on the board on a goal by Steve Noel (who also had two assists on the night). The teams played cat-and-mouse thereafter, with Gloucester restoring their two goal edge, but Revere answering back on a marker by Mazzarelli.
Gloucester counter-punched with a goal to make it a 4-2 game in the third stanza, but the Patriots refused to quit. Whalen made it a one-goal affair early in the third and then freshman Anthony Cecca notched the equalizer with four minutes to play.
The Patriots maintained their momentum ’til the final horn, but were unable to put home the go-ahead score. Still, Ciccarello was highly-pleased with his team’s performance.
“This was as proud as I’ve been of any team I’ve coached,” said Ciccarello. “The Gloucester rink is a tough place to play, especially when you fall behind, but we showed an incredible degree of resilience. We were down by two goals on three different occasions, but we always kept our focus. It was a great team effort in which everybody contributed.”
The Patriots will play Lynn tonight (Wednesday) on the latter’s home ice at 8:00 with first place in the Northeastern Conference Small Division on the line. They will host Salem Saturday at Cronin (5:10 face off) in another key divisional matchup.
RHS boys track edged by Beverly
The Revere High boys indoor track team battled Beverly evenly throughout their entire meet, leaving the outcome to be decided by the final event, the 4 x 400 relay. However, a victory was not in the cards for the Patriots as Beverly won the relay by nine seconds to take all five points for a 46-39 victory last week.
Coach Sam Ros’s Revere squad enjoyed many fine moments during the meet, paced by the shotput trio of Brett Deukmejian, Martin Keuchkerian, and Anthony Destefano, who swept their Beverly counterparts in high style. Deukmejian won the event with a toss of 41-9, a personal record (PR), while Keuchkerian’s second place throw of 39-5 also was a PR, with DeStefano’s toss of 39-1 completing the sweep.
Revere’s ace high jumper, Tark Maddrey, remained undefeated this season with a leap of 5-8. However, Tarik’s quest to accomplish his usual double-victory in the 50 yard hurdles fell victim to a fall, which caused him to be injured and disqualified. Teammate Joseph Gonzalez took first with a time of 7.7 seconds and Patriot Lionel Forbes grabbed third in 8.4.
Other first-place winners for Revere were Younes Hartout, who sped to victory in the 50 dash in 5.8, and John DelloRusso, who won the two mile run in 11:27.
Second place finishers for Revere were Bounlaing Chea in the 600 in 1:39 and Frank Davidson in the 1000 in 2:59.9.
Third place points were earned by Sebastian Mejia in the 1000 in 3:07, Salah Barhoum in the mile in 5:22, and Jay Mistri in the two mile run in 12:22.
“We knew going into the meet that it was going to b tough to beat Beverly,” said Ros. “We had a couple of tough breaks during the meet that could have changed the outcome. Tarik stumbled in the hurdles, hurt himself, and got DQ’ed. We could have gone first and second there instead of first and third.
“Going into the last event, the two mile, we needed a first from John Dello Russo and a third from Jay Mistri to take it to the relay for a shot at winning the meet and they accomplished that for us. Unfortunately, with Tarik injured, we didn’t have our four fastest boys in the relay and came up on the short end,” Ros continued.
“Despite the loss, I am very proud that our boys were able to force the meet to the relay and put us in position to win,” the coach added. “The boys did an admirable job and were competitive the whole meet.”
The Patriots were scheduled to host Salem this past Monday and will travel to Peabody next Wednesday.
Destefano wins shotput in meet with Beverly
Janice Destafano captured the shotput for the Revere High girls indoor track team in the Lady Patriots’ meet last week against Beverly.
Destefano topped the field with a throw of 31-2. Teammate Lauren Hayes took third in the shotput with her toss of 26-11.
Although Destefano was the lone first place finisher for Revere, many of her teammates scored points with second and third pace finishes. Comfort Toglan raced to a second place finish in the 300 in 45.5.
Third place efforts were turned in by: Jacqueline Pisano in the 50 yard hurdles in 9.0; Angeica Nguyen in the 50 yard dash in 7.0; Jaclynne Dion in the 1000 in 3:52.8; Nikki Nelson in the mile in 5:50.5; and Suellen Guerriero in the two mile run in 14:36.
“I told the girls before the meet that I wanted to see PR’s (personal records) from everybody and about 50% of the team achieved their PR which I was extremely happy with,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna. “Beverly is such a talented team that I figured the tougher competition would ultimately help improve on our individual times in each of the events and for the most part, that was the case. Most of our scoring this season has come from seniors, but we do have a large group of freshmen and sophomores who are still learning how to compete. This meet was definitely the peak of the season up to this point for those younger kids and I expect them to continue to improve each and every week.”
LaBruna and his squad took on Salem this past Monday and will travel to Peabody next Wednesday.
Tough week for RHS girls hoop
It was a difficult week for the Revere High girls basketball team as the Lady Patriots came out on the short end of three contests.
The most frustrating encounter was a 31-29 loss at Northeastern Conference rival Marblehead. Despite committing 30 turnovers and missing 13 free throws, the Lady Patriots nonetheless had a chance to tie things up in the waning seconds of regulation. However, a double-team by Marblehead forced the 30th and final Revere turnover of the game to end Revere’s bid to notch the equalizer.
The Lady Patriots had trailed by 10 at the half, but a pressure, full-court defense after the intermission energized the Revere squad and brought them within striking range in the fourth period.
Jen Fajardo and Tiphani Harris led Revere with seven points apiece. Ally Hinajosa added six, followed by Angela Curtis with four, Adanna Hector and Trisha Cheever with two apiece, and Natasha Iacoviello with a free throw.
This past Friday the Lady Patriots hosted the Lady Mustangs of Medford, a former long-time rival from the Greater Boston League. Although Revere did not have the problem of turnovers that had plagued them in the Marblehead game, the Lady Patriots could not hit their shots.
“We were getting great looks at the basket, and took almost double the amount of shots that Medford took in the first half, but could not convert,” said RHS head coach Katelyn Leonard.
The Lady Patriots were down by 10 at the half, but crawled back within six in the fourth quarter on the strength of some tenacious defense.
“Our zone press was forcing Medford to turn the ball over continuously, but again, we just could not convert on the other end,” noted Leonard.
The Lady Patriots ended the game by fouling to try and stop the clock, but Medford did a good job of sinking their free throws down the stretch to pull away with a 51-37 victory.
The trio of Curtis, Hector, and Harris led Revere with eight points each. Hinajosa added five, followed by Meaghan Gotham with three, Iacoviello and Cheever with two apiece, and Cassandra DiBella with a free throw.
Two weeks ago the Lady Patriots encountered a Lynn English team that is ranked seventh in the state. “From the tip, they controlled every facet of the game,” noted Leonard, whose team dropped a 60-24 decision. “We had a hard time penetrating their defense, and our turnovers created easy fast-break opportunities for them. Plus, we only went to the line one time.”
Harris enjoyed a nice all-around game with eight points and 12 rebounds. Fajardo was next on the point parade with six, followed by Curtis with five, Nector with three, and Hinajosa with a pair.
“This week was tough,” observed Leonard. “We are definitely showing our youth when it comes to breaking a press and taking care of the ball. But if we correct a few things, such as foul shots and turnovers, our season can turn around. The girls are working hard in practice; they just need to translate those improvements into the games.”
The Lady Patriots, who now stand at 2-6 on the season, were scheduled to travel to Gloucester last night (Tuesday) and then host Hamilton-Wenham in a non-league tilt tonight (Wednesday) and entertain Danvers Friday. Tip-off for all games is 7:00.