The Revere High girls basketball team looked every bit worthy of its new No. 1 ranking with strong victories over Gloucester (81-48) and Danvers (52-36) last week.
Valentina Pepic, the team’s leading scorer, poured in 30 points in the rout of Gloucester and added 23 more in a good test against Danvers Friday night. Pepic is well on her way to a repeat as the Northeastern Conference’s Player of the Year.
Danvers, who won its first seven games but is now 7-5, had closed the margin to 36-31 in the fourth quarter before Pepic and teammates Pamela Gonzalez, Meaghan Gotham, Emily DiGiulio, and Tatiana Iacoviello led a 16-5 surge in the final five minutes that propelled Revere to victory.
Pepic was 9-of-10 from the free throw and also pulled down five rebounds. Displaying her defensive prowess – an underrated part of her total game – Pepic produced five deflections, two blocks, and a steal.
Iacoviello swished two 3-pointers and was 5-of-6 from the line for 11 points to go along with four assists and three steals. Gotham, starting alongside Pepic in the frontcourt, had seven points.
Gonzalez hampered by a cold, gutted out a solid 5-point, 3-assist, 6-steal performance. Samantha Woodman continued her steady play with four points and six rebounds.
Erica Cheever had two points while DiGiulio contributed two assists and made four steals.
Danvers coach Pat Veilleux was impressed by the Patriots’ depth and firepower.
“They’re awesome,” said Veilleux following the game. “I thought our kids put out a max effort tonight. Pepic’s awesome, but she’s not the only player on their team. Gonzalez and Gotham are tough and their other guards are tough. You have to play almost a perfect game to beat them.”
Lianne O’Hara was pleased with her team’s overall effort, but felt it rushed the ball on offense.
“I’m pretty happy with our defense, but we had a tough time controlling the ball on offense,” said O’Hara. “We still have a lot of work to do. Every game is a learning experience.”
Revere (13-0) hosts Lynn Classical (10-3) Friday night. Classical is second in the league and upset the Lady Patriots last year.
Revere girls basketball team
is ranked No. 1 in Mass.
By Cary Shuman
The Revere High girls basketball team is ranked No. 1 in Massachusetts for the first time in school history.
Following impressive wins over Gloucester and Danvers last week, coach Lianne O’Hara’s squad vaulted past Bishop Feehan, Braintree, and Woburn to earn the top ranking in both the Boston Globe Top 20 and Boston Herald Super Six polls.
The ranking represents a milestone for a program that enjoyed a run of success in the 1980s on Ed Leyden-coached teams and more recently when Diana Finn led the program.
Director of Athletics Frank Shea said the ranking is symbolic of the high regard the Revere program is held by coaches and the media and the superb play by the Revere contingent that is undefeated.
“We’re excited to see our undefeated girls basketball team ranked No. 1 in the polls,” said Shea. “This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the coaches and the players. We look forward to continuing to support this team and all our other winter sports teams who are bringing much recognition to our school and our city.”
Revere displayed some precise inbounds plays against Danvers that resulted in Valentina Pepic layups. “Those are offensive inbound plays that we spend a lot of time on at practice,” said coach Lianne O’Hara.
Revere held Danvers to 11 points in the first half and 36 overall, below the Falcons’ season average.
Revere will play Braintree on Saturday, Feb. 18 in the semifinal of the Comcast Tournament at nearby Malden Catholic. Bishop Feehan and Woburn will meet in the the other semifinal.
RhS sports Roundup
RHS boys hoop
The Revere High boys basketball team remained one game below .500 after splitting its two contests this past week.
The Patriots made the long trek to Gloucester last Wednesday evening (the game had been scheduled for Tuesday, but the Gloucester gym sprung some leaks in the roof during the rainstorm) and came home with a tough loss, 71-65.
After Revere shook off a slow start (the Pats trailed 12-2 at the outset) to make it a 15-14 contest after one period, the second period proved to be a back-and-forth display of basketball for the full eight-minute stanza, leaving the teams at level, 27-27, at the intermission.
The Patriots came out firing after the break and seized the initiative. A pair of three-pointers from senior guard Curtis High (who turned in a superb two-way effort with 30 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and four steals) and some tough shots in the lane from senior Gerald Jean-Charles (14 points) pushed the Patriots into a seven-point advantage midway through the third period.
However, Gloucester fought back in the remainder of the quarter to cut the Revere lead to a tight 46-43 heading into the final period.
The Patriots held onto their edge through the first five minutes of the final eight, but Gloucester sophomore guard Marc Smith (18 pts) nailed a shotclock-beating trey to boost Gloucester ahead by two with 2:40 remaining, 60-58.
The next 40 seconds of frenetic play was back-and-forth, with the teams punching and counter-punching. High hit a bucket for Revere to deadlock the contest at 60-60, but Gloucester forward Evan Mason (21 pts) drained a three-pointer, only to have Revere’s John DiGregorio (seven points, four rebounds) retaliate with a bomb of his own to even the count at 63-63.
Unfortunately for the Patriots however, Mason nailed another shot from beyond the arc for which Revere did not have an answer. Revere hit only one more hoop down the stretch, while Gloucester sank all of its free throw opportunities for the 71-65 finale.
“This was a real tough loss, especially with us getting a performance like we did from Curt,” said RHS head coach David Leary. “He had one of the most well- rounded games as a high school player I’ve seen in a long time, but this is a team sport. Gloucester was tougher and wanted it more. We were out rebounded, 34-18, and that made all the difference in the game.”
However, Friday evening the Patriots bounced back with a well-rounded team win over Danvers, 61-53. The contest opened with a well-played first quarter by both teams, leaving the score at 15-14 in Revere’s favor at the first buzzer.
The Patriots were led by sophomore point guard Marcus Brunson-Perez’s (nine points, four assists) pair of three-pointers in the frame and the play of senior Brendan Hayes (nine points, seven assists).
Revere was playing aggressive man-to-man defense, and though the Pats got into foul trouble in the second quarter, it did not prove fatal to the Patriots’ cause.
“Our bench was outstanding tonight,” noted Leary. “They gave us the energy we needed to extend the lead.”
Led by sharp-shooting sophomore Scott Montefusco (11 points, all in the second quarter) and big man Mass Joof (14 points, eight rebounds), the Patriots took a 35-25 lead into halftime.
Revere would push their advantage to as many as 18 points in the second half and closed out the game with their defense and rebounding. The team’s season-leading scorer, High, though stymied by foul trouble all night, was immense on the glass, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
“We really emphasized toughness and rebounding after the Gloucester loss,” said Leary. “If we want to continue to chase our goals as a team, we need to play tough, hard-nosed team basketball every night. Hopefully we can build on this win.”
Leary and his crew, who stand at 5-6 as they try to attain the .500 mark that will qualify them for the post-season state tourney, were set to host Beverly last night (Tuesday) and then travel to Lynn Classical Friday and to Lynn English next Tuesday.
RHS boys track
edged by Beverly
The Revere High boys track team won six of the nine individual events in its meet last week with Beverly, but came out on the short end of a 47-39 decision to the Panthers.
The Patriots who topped the field in their specialties were: Morris Toglan in the shot-put with a throw of 43′-9″; David Sinatra in the hurdles in a time of 6.6 seconds (David also took second place in the high jump with a leap of 5′-6″ to score a team-high eight points on the day); Jonathan Hysenaj in the 50 dash in 5.6; Yussuf Buda in the 300 dash in 40.6; Zach Gentile in mile in 5:06.3 in an exciting race in which he edged a Beverly runner by just 0.5 of a second; and Sebastian Mejia in the two-mile run in 11:11.5.
Andy Em took second place in the hurdles in 6.8 and also a third in the high jump with a leap of 5′-4″. Arthur LaCerda grabbed a third in the 1000 in 3:00.7 and Gabriel Felix-Martinez did likewise in the shot-put with a toss of 38′-11″.
With Beverly leading by a score of 42-39 after the individual events, the outcome of the meet came down to the final event, the 4 x 400 relay. Beverly claimed the five points, with a time of 3:50.9 vs. Revere’s clocking of 3:57.9, to take home the victory.
Revere will compete in the all-NEC League Meet this Friday at the Reggie Lewis Center and host Swampscott next Wednesday in the last dual meet of the season.
for RHS girls track
Hannah Fitzpatrick was the lone victor for the Revere High girls indoor track team in their meet last week with Beverly. Hannah, the Lady Patriots’ junior captain, captured the 1000-meter event in a time of 3:24.4, just edging a Lady Panther rival by 0.4 of of a second in an exciting race.
Other point scorers for Revere were captain Rachel Shanbar with a second place throw of 30′-7″ in the shot-put; captain Monica Posada with a second place in the mile in a clocking of 6:13.8; and Claritza Vasquez with a third in the high jump with a leap of 4′-3″.
“Beverly is an extremely deep team and loaded with talent,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna. “Every year they just seem to reload. It’s an impressive program.
“Our three captains Hannah, Rachel, and Monica, and Claritza produced all of our points. They have been scoring consistently all season and cracking a top-three spot against Beverly is never easy,” noted the coach.
LaBruna and his crew will compete in the Northeastern Conference League Meet set for this Friday at the Reggie Lewis Center. Their last dual meet of the season is next Wednesday at home against Swampscott.
“We have two weeks to get better and I’m expecting our team to end the season with some fast times,” added LaBruna.
RHS hockey team
drops two contests
The Revere High hockey team dropped both of its contests this past week, falling to non-league opponent East Longmeadow and Northeastern Conference South Division rival Lynn.
In the 5-3 loss to East Longmeadow last Wednesday at Cronin Rink, the Patriots spotted the visitors a 3-0 lead in the opening five minutes before regrouping and playing East Longmeadow more than evenly thereafter.
“We had a few lapses on defense to start the game and it cost us,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “After we realized we could skate with them, we had the better of the play thereafter.”
Mike Giordano scored two goals for the Patriots and Jim Pandolfo added a solo lamplighter.
In the 3-1 loss at Lynn three days later, a penalty shot in the opening period (which was awarded to Lynn when a Revere player covered up the puck in his crease) and a power play goal in the second frame allowed Lynn to take a 2-0 advantage.
Lynn made it 3-0 with another lamplighter in the middle stanza before Giordano put Revere on the board in the final period.
“As a team we played well in both games,” said Ciccarello, who praised the performances of RHS goaltender Ken Uminski, “but we will need to step up our level of play in the second half of the season if we want to make the state tournament.”
The Patriots were scheduled to make the long trek to Gloucester today (Wednesday); host Swampscott Saturday at Cronin at 5:10; and face Hamilton-Wenham at Bourque Arena at Endicott College next Wednesday evening.
middle school sports Basketball
The boys and girls Middle School teams made the short trip to Breed Middle School in Lynn on 1/12 to take on the Bobcats.
Coach Porrazzo’s boys came in sporting a 3-1 record and a 2 game winning streak. The Breed squad also 3-1 were on a 3 game streak.
Revere fell behind 9-0 early on, but fought back vs a very talented Bobcat group and were down by just 3 (13-10) after 1 quarter. Our guys continued to hang in, but still trailed by 6 (24-18) at the break.
The Breed kids came out gunning in the second half, nailing 6 three pointers (9 for the game), on the way to 39 second half points, and ran away from the cold shooting Patriots to score a convincing 63-34 victory. Our guys were just never able to mount much of an attack in the last 16 minutes, while their opponents were on fire from everywhere on the floor.
Kyle Ramirez lead all Revere scorers withe 13 points. Gabe Rodriquez was held to a season low 6. Dillon Day and Jarred Natola each chipped in with 3. A quartet of RMA players, Ryan Doucette, Crisreal Lithgow, Jared Mercado, and Sal DeAngelis all contributed 2 apiece. Finally, Zack Bowden ended up scoring a single point.
The Pats fell to 3-2 with the loss.
Revere’s girls of the hardwood took a 3-1 record to Lynn to play the Lady Bobcats on the smaller auxiliary court at Breed. This court presents problems every year because of it’s smaller dimensions and the fact that only 1 referee is utilized. The Breed girls are traditionally a hack and whack group who take full advantage of the 1 ref situation. It turned out to be a back and forth affair with many lead changes and few fouls called. Coach Parker’s team played outstanding defense and headed Breed off each time that they started to mount a rally and maintained a 6 point advantage heading into the final period.
The 2 teams matched baskets throughout the quarter and Revere outlasted the Bobcat 5 to hold on for a 31-25 win.
Amanda Rotondo led all scorers with 6 points and continued playing tough defense. Ayah Harper and Caroline Stasio were right on her heels with 5 each. 3 girls Nina Cassinello, Alexis Iacoviello, and Frankie DeAngelis contributed 4 hard fought points apiece and Alana Nelson and Julianna Raffa closed out the scoring with 2 and 1 points respectively.
The win propelled the Girls to a 4-1 record.
The Revere Middle School hoop teams entertained the Salem Witches at SBA Gym on 1/18.
The Salem Girls are struggling through a tough season and 4-1 Revere took full advantage racing to a 24-4 halftime lead and waltzed to a lopsided 44-13 win to improve to 5-1.
Ten of Coach Parker’s players broke into the scorers column led by a double digit performance by RMA’s Ayah Harper who had 10. Alana Nelson (SBA)(2 3pointers) and Caroline Stasio (RMA) finished with 8 each. Next up was Alexis Iacoviello who put up a season high 7 and played some tenacious defense.
Frankie DeAngelis put 3 hard earned points on the scoreboard, and 3 Lady Pats, Nina Cassinello, Stella Cito, and Karen Yepes all chimed in with 2 and Soliel Young and Amanda Rotondo closed things out with 1 point each.
Coach Chris Porrazzo’s Middle School boys welcomed the Salem Witches to SBA gym and proved to be rude hosts early on as they ran past their guests to take, what they thought, was a commanding 33-15 lead at the half.
Salem somehow put on their game faces in the locker room and staged a furious 2nd half comeback to cut a 21 point deficit to 2 with 2:00 remaining in the game. Luckily the good guys stemmed the tide and outlasted their guests for a 64-54 triumph.
3 of the Revere players finished with double digit points led by GMS’s Dillon Day who put 13 on the board.
Jarrod Natola (RMA) and Kyle Ramirez (GMS) followed closely scoring 12 each.
Ryan Doucette found the range for 8 and Gabe Rodriquez (GMS) chipped in with 7. A trio of RMA players,
Rich DiMarzo, Altin Haziri, and Sal DeAngelis closed out the scoring by registering 5,4, and 3 points respectively.
Revere now sits at 4-2 and will travel to Peabody to do battle with the Tanners on Thursday 1/19.
On Thursday January 19th the Revere Middle School hoop squads journeyed up Route 1 to face teams from Peabody and make their 1st visit to the brand spanking new Higgins Middle School.
The 5-1 Lady Patriots took the court vs the undefeated (6-0) Peabody team with fire in their eyes. The Peabody ladies appeared to exhibit a smug sense of entitlement because of their unblemished record and showed our girls little respect. However, Coach Parker’s troops were not intimidated in the least and jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, to put their hosts back on their heels, and lead by a 12-6 score after 8 minutes. It was first time that Peabody had been behind all year.
The 2nd quarter was a stalemate with the team’s trading baskets and the score was 19-13 (in Revere’s favor) at intermission.
Scoring was at a premium in the final 2 quarters with Revere putting only 11 second half points on the board, but defense ruled the day for our girls and they limited the vaunted Tanners to a mere 7 markers in quarters 3&4 and pulled out a well earned 30-20 win over their stunned hosts handing them their 1st loss of the season.
The Lady Pats really clamped down on defense and frustrated the Tanners from start to finish to earn the win and now sit at 6-1.
Frankie DeAngelis led all scorers with 8 points and Caroline Stasio and Alana Nelson (2 treys) followed close behind with 7 each. Ayah Harper knocked down 5 and Lynzie Anderson added 2. Amanda Rotondo finished with point, but was a monster on defense (as she has been all year) playing a tough “in your face” D that clearly frustrated and intimidated the Peabody team.
Our girls now take a 4 game winning streak and a 6-1 record back home to SBA Gymnasium to face the Saugus Sachems on Monday 1/23.
The 4-2 Revere Middle School Boys visited 4-2 Peabody on 1/19.
The two teams felt each other during the first 8 minutes and were deadlocked 8-8 after 1 period.
Shaky guard play and an anemic offense put Coach Porrazzo’s troops in a 22-11 hole at the half by getting out scored 14-3 in quarter # 2.
The teams traded baskets for a good part of the 3rd stanza, but just couldn’t generate enough offense in the fourth period and let the game get away on the way to a disappointing 44-27 loss to drop to 4-3 on the season.
Eight Patriots ended up scoring with Dillon Day, Kyle Ramirez, and Ryan Doucette each going for 4 points apiece. The trio of Jared Mercado, Gabriel Rodriquez, and Jarrod Natola dropped 3 apiece and guards Jafar Barry and Crisreal Lithgow finished with 2 each.
The Jr Pats will try to regroup and get back on track when they return home to SBA gym to play the Saugus Sachems on Monday January 23.