By Cary Shuman
After defeating No., 1 seed Lowell in the Division 1 North semifinals, the Revere High girls basketball team was poised to keep the greatest season in the programâ€™s long history heading toward the TD Garden.
But an excellent Woburn team, led by dynamic guard Marissa Gattuso, ended Revereâ€™s dream season in a 58-46 decision in the North final Saturday at Whittier Tech in Haverhill.
Coach Diana Finnâ€™s Northeastern Conference champions were unable to generate any consistency on offense against the Lady Tanners. Turnovers and missed free throws kept Revere from overtaking the Middlesex League representatives, especially in the crucial third quarter when one additional basket would have tied the game.
Gattuso, a 5-foot-4-inch junior, was the chief protagonist, displaying a wonderful all-around game in the backcourt to finish with 28 points.
Sophomore guard Pamela Gonzalez, who had a breakout season and looms as a college basketball prospect, was Revereâ€™s leading scorer with 12 points. Senior forward Maritza Scott, the teamâ€™s No. 1 defensive star in the postseason, had 10 points before fouling out with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Sophomore center Valentina Pepic also contributed 10 points. Senior guard Ally Hinojosa, whose clutch three-point shooting helped Revere advance in the tournament, connected on a three-pointer in the final game of her excellent career.
Woburn coach Steve Sullivan was asked about his teamâ€™s ability to contain Revereâ€™s offense, notably the towers of terrific, 6-footers Meaghan Gotham and Valentina Pepic. â€œTheyâ€™re very good, very physical and tough. And Gonzalez is a very good player as well. When Revere would make a run, we would make a big play.â€
Â Revere coach Diana Finn said her team had some good offensive opportunities throughout the game.
â€œI give all the credit in the world to Woburn,â€ said Finn. â€œWe didnâ€™t hit our shots when we needed to. We were able to get to the basket. We just didnâ€™t finish on the shots that we typically do and they were. We wanted to win. Woburn just played better today.â€
Finn praised her seniors, Adanna Hector, Maritza Scott, Ally Hinojosa, and Natasha Iacoviello, all impact players who helped bring the program to new heights in the 2015-16 season.
â€œWe did have a young team but I canâ€™t downplay the impact that our seniors had in the way they play, but also their leadership on and off the court,â€ said Finn. â€œWeâ€™re losing four seniors who are big pieces to the puzzle of what we do and they know what we stand for as a program. Weâ€™ll miss them next year. I just hope our underclassmen have been paying attention to all theyâ€™ve done so they can step up in their roles.â€
Revere director of athletics Frank Shea, who came within one basket of leading Savio to a state title, credited the Revere team on an exceptional season that created excitement in the school and in the city.
â€œItâ€™s unfortunate we didnâ€™t play our best basketball today but you have to credit Woburn, they played great,â€ said Shea. â€œWe had a few shots that just missed. Itâ€™s still a great season. The positive is we have most of our team coming back and hopefully we can get stronger and be back here next year. That will be the goal.â€