Two For One:Cheever’s free throws keep undefeated Revere at No. 1
By Cary Shuman
It’s Erika with a ‘K’ but if it were a ‘C’ it would stand for Clutch.
Erika Cheever, the lone freshman on the Revere High girls varsity basketball team, swished two free throws with 1.6 seconds left to help the Patriots edge Lynn Classical, 55-53, Friday night at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
Cheever’s heroics that also included a free throw with 8.7 seconds kept Revere’s record undefeated and its ranking at No. 1 in Massachusetts.
“It feels amazing,” Cheever told reporters moments after the game. “You just have to take a deep breath and breathe. My coach [Lianne OHara] says, ‘Prime Time,’ every single practice when we do foul shots. And if it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have made them.”
Cheever has been a consistent performer off the bench in her first season of varsity basketball. She has a nice shooting touch that she also displays at the free throw line.
“It’s a really great pleasure to be playing varsity and I’m very honored,” said Cheever.
Lianne O’Hara said she had confidence in her freshman guard.
“She hit those key shots when we needed them,” said O’Hara. “I have confidence in Erika – that’s why I put her in the game. During practice we run a drill called Prime Time and they have one chance to make a foul shot. We do it a lot and Erika is pretty consistent on the foul line.”
Valentina Pepic (22 points, 10 rebounds) once again was instrumental in Revere’s race to a sizable advantage. The 6-foot-2-inch junior hit three successive mid-range jump shots to help Revere open a 10-point lead. Junior guard Tatiana Iacoviello (10 points) also went on a mini-tear with eight consecutive Revere points, six coming from three-point land.
Samantha Woodman, who gave Revere another quality performance, had two baskets in the third quarter to go along with a three-pointer by Emily DiGiulio to make it 40-29. Iacoviello’s jumper gave Revere a seemingly comfortable 42-30 lead.
Pepic’s basket made it 52-49 but Paris Wilkey (25 points) answered with a three-pointer (52-52), setting up the final frenetic minutes. Cheever tied the game at 53-53 and then was fouled after making a midcourt steal.
Cheever calmly stepped to the line and delivered in the clutch.
“Classical played a tough game – they were ready for us,” said O’Hara. “It was a great game. Our season has been a little overwhelming but it’s really exciting. I came from a program that was really successful so I know what it takes to be successful. I know that they have a lot more work that they have to put in and I think a game like tonight they realize that. It was a good test for us.
Classical coach Tom Sawyer talked about being so close to defeating the top-ranked team in the state.
“Any time when you play a really good team, you have to play your best because they expose your weaknesses,” said Sawyer. “So I think the kids played as well as we can play, so that’s good. We haven’t scouted other tournament teams but Revere is as good as it gets and we were right there with them at their place.”
Revere raced to a 72-32 victory over Beverly on Jan. 31 on the Panthers’ homecourt. Pamela Gonzalez scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Valentina Pepic had 14 points and seven rebounds. Jenna Wells connected on all three of her three-point attempts for 9 points. Erika Cheever, Tatiana Iacoviello, and Samantha Woodman each scored 8 points. Emily DiGiulio had a superb game with six assists, five steals, and two points. Kiana Napolitano netted one three-pointer.
Revere led 35-13 at the half against Beverly. The Panthers battled Revere for the NEC title two years ago, with Ally Hinojosa hitting a clutch basket in the final seconds (known as the Ally Hoop Play) to give Revere the victory and the undisputed Large Division title.
Congratulations to senior co-captain Meaghan Gotham who signed a national letter of intent Feb. 1 to attend Post University, which is located in Waterbury Connecticut.
Emmanuel College coach Andrew Yosinoff was at the Classical-Revere game.
RhS sports Roundup
RHS boys hoop knocks off Classical
Revere High boys basketball team ventured into the hostile environment of the Lynn Classical gymnasium Friday night to take on a Ram team that entered the contest with an 11-0 record in the Northeastern Conference and a 14-2 mark overall. But the Patriots, undeterred both by Classical’s top ranking and a 13 point Ram lead midway through the third period, rallied hugely in the final period to pull off the biggest upset on the North Shore this season and come away with an exciting 57-52 triumph.
The Patriots had battled Classical tough in their first meeting. Although the Rams prevailed by 10, 61-51, the contest was closer than the final score might indicate. However, Revere’s hopes for duplicating — and surpassing — that initial performance appeared dim through the first three-plus periods of Friday’s encounter.
Classical grabbed a 14-9 lead after the first quarter and held a 34-25 advantage at the half. Only some great shooting by RHS leading scorer Curtis High, who hit for 16 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, kept Revere within striking distance.
“Curt really bailed us out in the first half as we struggled to make shots and those misses led to quick scores for them in transition,” said RHS head coach David Leary, “We had to tighten things up defensively to stay in this game.”
However, Classical continued to build upon its lead after the intermission, moving ahead by as many as 13 points early in the third period. But that would prove to be the apogee of the Rams’ performance for the evening, as the Patriots heeded their coach’s directive and buckled down on defense. The added defensive pressure yielded some turnovers and buckets for Revere and the Patriots managed to get the Classical lead down to 42-36 at the third buzzer.
The fourth quarter proved to be a rock’em, sock ‘em affair, with both teams battling furiously for every ball and contesting every shot. However, Revere continued to cut into the Classical lead and the Pats’ perseverance finally was rewarded when Brendan Hayes drained a big three-pointer to bring matters to level at 44-44 with three minutes to play.
The Rams counter-attacked and appeared to regain control when a put-back shot gave Classical a 52-49 lead with 21 seconds to go. Patriot Gerald Jean-Charles was fouled on the ensuing Revere possession and sank two clutch free throws to make it a one-point affair. The Patriot defensive pressure in the backcourt then forced a Classical back-court violation with 11 ticks left on the clock.
Leary used his final time out to draw up a play and Marcus Brunson-Perez, with ice water in his veins, knocked down a trey from the corner with just three seconds remaining to give Revere a 54-52 lead.
“We knew they would protect the paint, but we wanted to go pick-and-roll for Curt or Gerald. We told them that Marcus should be open back side and an uncontested three was better then a contested two,” said Leary. “Fortunately it worked out.”
Classical then made a big mistake by calling a timeout that the Rams didn’t have — resulting in a technical foul — and High sank a free throw. Revere also retained possession of the ball and senior center Marvin Urdaneta sank two more shots from the charity stripe to close the game out at 57-52.
“We keep telling the kids that to be a good team, you have to win some ‘signature’ games along the way and Friday night at Lynn Classical was one of those games,” said Leary. “We really needed this one for our confidence and now we need to build on this. It was a signature win against a great program.”
Last Tuesday evening night the Patriots earned a nice “W” at home against Beverly, 64-59.
Revere overcame a slow start in which the visiting Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but after a time-out, the Pats tightened up their defense and made some shots that drew Revere within 12-10 at the first buzzer.
The Patriots picked up the tempo in the second period, thanks primarily to some hot outside shooting from sophomore guard Brunson-Perez, who finished with 18 points on the night (including a trio of treys) and the teams ended the half deadlocked at 25-25.
“We really stressed to the players in our halftime talk that we needed to stop starting so slowly in quarters and halves,” said Leary. “It seemed to get their attention and they played a great third quarter.”
The Patriots scored 20 points in the third eight-minute segment, led by senior Curtis High (24 points, seven rebounds), who struck for 11 points in the period. Revere led 45-40 at the buzzer and enlarged their margin to as many as 12 in the final period.
However, Beverly refused to fold, led by their big man, Pat Gavin (23 points, 10 rebounds), and shooting guard, Luigi Derrane (18 points, including four three-pointers), and made things interesting down the stretch.
However, Jean-Charles (10 points, six assists) drained a huge corner three and converted a fast break layup to enable Revere to claim the 64-59 victory.
Leary and his crew, who now stand at 7-6 on the season as they seek to attain a berth in the post-season state tourney, were set to play at Lynn English last night (Tuesday) and at Winthrop Friday evening. They will trek to Danvers Monday and host arch-rival Chelsea next Wednesday.
Sinatra wins NEC title in hurdles; Hysenaj 2nd in dash
Revere’s ace hurdler David Sinatra came through with the race of his career to capture first place and claim the title of the 2017 indoor champion of the Northeastern Conference in the 55 meter hurdles at the NEC League Meet held Friday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
David’s winning time of 8.03 edged the second-place finisher from Salem, Jaidon Oliver, by 0.03 of a second. However, what was remarkable about Sinatra’s winning performance was that he qualified for the final field of eight with a relatively slow clocking of 8.62, which was only the sixth fastest of the day in the prelims. By contrast, Oliver, the Salem runner, had turned in a time of 8.04 in the prelims, the fastest of the day, until Sinatra’s 8.03 in the final.
Hurdling-mate Andy Em also came though with an outstanding effort in the final, moving up from seventh in the prelims to sixth place in the finale with a time of 8.48 and thus earn a medal for his fine performance.
Jonathan Hysenaj almost earned a second NEC title for the Patriots, taking home second place in the 55 dash in 6.88. David moved up a spot in the finale after finishing third in the prelims in 6.85. Marblehead’s Joe Doherty was the fastest sprinter of the day with a time of 6.75 in the final.
Revere’s Yussuf Ali Buda qualified for the final eight with a clocking of 6.99 in the prelims and then came across in 6.97 in the final for an eighth-place finish.
The Patriots earned medals in two relay events, the 4 x 200 (third place in 1:36.76) and the 4 x 800 (fourth place in 9:14.53).
Zach Gentile just missed a medal in the 600 with a seventh place finish in 1:29.68, just .37 of a second from sixth spot. Christian Acuna also came close to medaling with a seventh-place performance in the 1000 in 2:56.33.
On the girls’ side, the top finisher was Claritza Vasquez with a fourth place performance in the long jump with a leap of 14’-4”. Hannah Fitzpatrick medaled with her fifth place finish in the 1000 in 3:19.65. Rachel Shanbar also grabbed a fifth place ribbon with her toss of 32’-4.5” in the shot-put.
The Lady Patriot 4 x 800 quartet finished in fourth place in 11:19.18 and the 4 x 200 foursome came home with fifth place ribbons.
Both the boys and girls teams will conclude their season today (Wednesday) with a dual met against Swampscott.
Rough patch for RHS hockey team
The Revere High hockey team dropped both of its contests this past week, falling 6-0 at Gloucester last Wednesday and 9-1 to Swampscott Saturday at Cronin Rink.
Despite the outcome against Gloucester, RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We were tied at 0-0 at the end of the first period and it was one of the best periods we’ve played all year,” said Ciccarello. “Everybody was following the game plan and executing it well. We had our chances to score, but just couldn’t finish.”
Although Gloucester lit the lamp three times in the middle period, the Patriots continued to hustle and play with determination. “Although we fell behind, we never gave up,” said Ciccarello. “The effort was there right to the end.”
On Saturday, the Patriots absorbed a 9-1 loss to Swampscott at Cronin Rink. Mike Goroshko scored the lone Revere goal late in the game.
“We let Swampscott take it to us from the the start and we never got into it,” said the coach. “We had told the team that our schedule will be getting more difficult in the second half of the season and it will be up to them to decide whether they will elevate the level of their game if we want to make the state tourney.”
The Patriots now stand at 5-8-1 as they embark on the last third of their season. Revere needs to garner nine points in their final six games in order to attain the total of 20 points that is needed in order to punch a ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
The Pats meet Hamilton-Wenham tonight (Wednesday) at Bourque Arena at Endicott College and will host Saugus Saturday night at Cronin Rink at 5:10 that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities. They will play at Medford next Wednesday.
RHS sports Through the Years
10 years ago
February 7, 2007
The Revere High hockey team overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Danvers, 5-2, in a battle for first place in the Northeastern Conference. Coach Jim Palumbo’s Patriots remain undefeated in the NEC with a 9-0-2 mark, while Danvers falls to 9-2-0, its only losses coming at the hands of Revere. Chris Mastropietro, Anthony Morico (three goals), and Kyle Clayson scored for Revere.
The RHS girls basketball team earned its first win of the season, 48-37 over Marblehead. Freshman Nicole Kjersgaard led Revere with 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Senior captain Lauren Forgione also reached double figures with 11 points, while Kerry Roche snared 14 rebounds.
The RHS boys basketball team dropped a pair of close contests this week, 61-56 to Saugus and 64-61 to Marblehead. Chris Flint hit for 22 points against Saugus and struck for 26 against Marblehead. Jevic Muteba also reached double figures in both games with 21 and 14 points respectively.
The Revere Middle School girls basketball team has been enjoying a fine season under head coach Liane O’Hara. Among the standouts have been Marisa Parent, Morgan Jenkins, Caitlyn Caramello, Gena Restiano, Venous Hamza, Kat Prince, and Ashley DiFraia,.
20 years ago
February 12, 1997
The Revere High hockey team stunned unbeaten Arlington with a 3-3 tie Wednesday at Cronin Rink. Arlington salvaged the tie thanks to a goal with 27 seconds left to play when the ref failed to whistle an Arlington player for being offsides. Jamie Nadworny, freshman Mike Melanson, and Nick Mosca scored the Revere goals.
A 54-32 victory by the RHS boys track team over Peabody moved the Patriots within one win of clinching at least a tie for first place with Cambridge in the GBL.
The boys basketball team, still winless at 0-17, dropped two more contests this week, 99-55 to Waltham and 75-46 to Everett.
30 years ago
February 11, 1987
The RHS girls basketball team won two more games this week to improve to 9-1 in the GBL and stay just one game behind unbeaten Peabody. The teams will meet this week with first place on the line. Peabody edged the Lady Patriots by just two points in their first meeting. In Revere’s two wins this week, 73-38 over Malden and 50-47 over Somerville, Diane Odoardi poured in 26 points in the Malden contest.
Jeff Pitzi turned in the fastest time this season in the GBL in the 300, 35.2 seconds, to lead the RHS boys track team to a 50-36 win over Peabody. Rich Casoli tied the RHS school record in the 50 dash with his clocking of 5.6. Joe Lochiatto recorded the top time in the GBL this season in the 50 yard hurdles with a performance of 6.7 seconds
The RHS girls track team completed the best season ever for an RHS girls track squad with a 3-2-1 record. In this week’s meet with Peabody, Deanna Correia tied the RHS school mark in the 50 yard dash with a time of 6.8.
The RHS hockey team’s winless streak reached 56 games with two more losses this week.
The RHS boys gymnastics team, led by Phi Che, will be among five schools competing for the state championship this weekend.
The School Committee has voted to interview all six candidates for the football coaching position. Present head coach John Miller, whose contract has expired, is among those to be interviewed.
40 years ago
February 9, 1977
For the second time this season, the RHS hockey team suffered a heartbreaking loss to defeated Arlington, this time by a score of 5-4. The Patriots were playing without the services of their leading scorer, Steve DiCarlo, who has withdrawn from the team for personal reasons.
The RHS basketball team dropped a 79-61 decision to Peabody and then was dismantled by perennial GBL powerhouse Somerville, 83-39. Tim Countie scored 12 points vs. Somerville and Danny Anderson hit for 20 vs. Peabody.