RHS juniors Pepic, Gonzalez, Iacoviello spark Revere in opener
By Cary Shuman
Valentina Pepic said the seniors on the Revere High girls basketball team – Meaghan Gotham, Samantha Woodman, and Elizabeth Lake -want their final season to last as long as possible.
Pepic, a 6-foot-2-inch junior, and her classmates, Pamela Gonzalez and Tatianna Iacoviello, made sure the seniors would have at least one more home game in the State Tournament.
The three members of the Class of 2018 combined for 46 points in the 65-35 win over Medford in Monday’s tournament opener.
“We had two losses in the Comcast Tournament and it’s hard to bounce back, but we’ve been working hard at practice and we have bounced back,” said Pepic.
The Northeastern Conference MVP wants to reward the seniors with a lengthy post-season run.
“The seniors tell us every day that they don’t want it to be their last game,” said Pepic. “We still have to practice a lot because Central Catholic is really good.”
A representative from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) talked with coach Lianne O’Hara after the game about Pamela Gonzalez. SNHU (formerly New Hampshire College) plays in a very good Division 2 conference throughout New England. Gonzalez has been attracting much interest from college programs. There is no doubt that Gonzalez can play at the next level and the fact that SNHU sees her potential is a high compliment. A full scholarship to SNHU is worth more than $30,000 per year.
Bruce Harrison, who coached Gonzalez in the Chelsea youth league, is not surprised that she’s become a top high school player. “You could see her skill and talent back then,” said Harrison. “She’s probably the best player we’ve ever had in our league.”
Erika Cheever swished a three-pointer in the game. Coach O’Hara gave the talented freshman a lot of minutes and the 5-foot-4-inch guard excelled in her first-ever tournament game.
The play of the game was a swift passing exchange from Meghan Gotham to Pepic to Gonzalez, who finished it off for a conventional three-point (basket and free throw) play.
Peter DiGiulio did a great job introducing the starting lineups, saving his best intro for last: that of his daughter, sophomore guard Emily DiGiulio, one of the most fundamentally sound players you’ll ever see.
Yes, sophomore guard Jenna Wells is the niece of former Revere High softball great Jennifer Wells, who authored one of the greatest victories in RHS sports history. Wells pitched the Patriots to an upset of Bishop Fenwick in a state tournament game at Hill Park (which is now home to the Hill School). Fenwick went on to win the next seven state titles in a row. There was a massive crowd at Hill Park that day just as there should be when Jenna and her teammates play Central Catholic Friday night at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
It was nice to see Revere boys coach David Leary and several of his players rooting on the Lady Patriots in their game Monday night.
The Revere Patriot mascot and the Medford Mustang mascot were in attendance.
RhS sports Through the Years
10 years ago
February 28, 2007
The Revere High hockey team, the champion of the Northeastern Conference, has received the number one seed among the 17 teams in the North Sectional of the Division 2 state tournament. Coach Jim Palumbo’s squad then met the winner of the Lynnfield-Watertown game in a first round contest, but were upset, 3-2, by Lynnfield in overtime. Anthony DelloIacono and Anthony Morico scored the goals for Revere. Nick DiMare played an outstanding game in goal for the Patriots. Palumbo was named the NEC’s Coach of the Year and senior defenseman Eric Noel was named the co-MVP of the league. Teammates Anthony Morico and Anthony DelloIacono were named to the all-conference team and Chris Mastropietro and Shane Doyle were chosen as division all-stars.
Former Revere High track star Merzudin Ibric, a freshman at Wheaton College, won the 400 meter dash at the All New England Championship this weekend at the B.U. Track Center. Ibric’s time of 48.24 qualifies him for the national meet.
20 years ago
March 5, 1997
Revere ace hurdler Nick Piscitelli took fourth place in the 55 meter hurdles at the state indoor track and field championship meet held this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center.
The Revere police department defeated the fire department in a recent charity hockey game.
30 years ago
March 4, 1987
Kim Kelley dashed the length of the floor to toss in a game-tying bucket at the buzzer, but the RHS girls basketball team dropped a 54-45 decision to Acton-Boxboro in overtime of their first-round contest in the state tourney. Kelley led Revere with 17 points, followed by Diane Odoardi with 13, and Patrice Misiano with nine. The game marked the first-ever state tourney appearance by an RHS girls basketball team.
RHS head hockey coach Paul Cronin, a former star for Revere High, announced this week that he will not be returning as head coach next season. Cronin has been at the helm of the Patriot program for the past three years.
RHS senior Rich Casoli placed fifth in the finals of the 60 yard dash at the Eastern States Championship held at Princeton Univ. Monday evening.
40 years ago
March 2, 1977
The Revere high hockey team, under the direction of head coach Richard Champa, dropped a 5-3 decision to defending state champ Winthrop in the opening round of the Division 1 state hockey tournament.
Revere girls begin title quest in style with win over Medford, 65-35
By Cary Shuman
Medford had thoughts of a major upset after three quarters but coach Lianne O’Hara’s Revere contingent put on a show in the fourth quarter to pull away to a 65-35 victory in the MIAA Tournament opener Monday night at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
As has been her specialty, junior guard Tatianna Iacoviello started the fourth quarter by connecting on a three-pointer. Juniors Valentina Pepic and Pam Gonzalez then combined on a perfectly executed give-and-go play to send Revere on its away to a 23-point fourth quarter.
Pepic again showed why she’s the Northeastern Conference’s most valuable player with a solid 20-point-11-rebound effort. Gonzalez, who was being scouted by Southern New Hampshire University, scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and made five steals.
Iacoviello found her shooting touch in the second half and contributed 13 points to go along with 7 assists and four steals. Iacoviello can dazzle with behind-the-back dribbles and crossovers and has the ability to find teammates with crisp passes.
Senior Meaghan Gotham was another standout in victory with six points and 11 rebounds before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Senior Samantha Woodman (2 points) played very well and was a big part of the Patriots’ fourth-quarter takeover.
Elizabeth Lake, Erica Cheever, and Jenna Wells each scored three points while sophomore starting guard Emily DiGiulio had two points and three steals. DiGiulio scored the first basket of game on a steal and layup.
Revere led 13-7 after one period and 30-14 at the half. The two teams each scored 12 points in the third period but Revere was at its best in the decisive final frame.
Medford coach Leo Burke felt his team was a little tense against the powerful Patriots.
“I thought we played hard but we were very tentative at the start and that may be because the girls were a little intimidated by Revere’s record (18-2),” said Burke. Revere is one of the better teams we’ve seen all year and I wish them good luck the rest of the way.”
Burke felt Pepic’s superb play in the frontcourt and Iacoviello’s outside shooting and control of the offense were pivotal in Revere’s victory.
Lianne O’Hara liked what she saw from her team who gave its coach a victory in her post-season coaching debut.
“I think we were aggressive on defense which was good,” said O’Hara. “Teams have been double-teaming Pepic and we’ve been having a hard time getting her the ball but we were able to do that and Valentina scored 20 points. Pamela and Tatianna gave us huge contributions. I thought we played well and had a big victory and now we just have to get ready for Central Catholic.”
Revere hosts Central Catholic in the Division 1 North quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m.
RhS sports Roundup
RHS boys ready for state tourney
The Revere High boys basketball team, which qualified for the state tourney for the first time for the boys’ hoop program since 2001, for the boys’ hoop was set to take on St. John’s Prep last night (Tuesday) in a first round contest of the Division 1 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament. The Patriots entered the tourney as the 12th seed of the 15 teams in the D-1 North with a 13-9 record. St. John’s is the fifth seed and sports a 15-5 mark.
The winner will meet the victor of the contest between Lowell and Charlestown later this week.
Coach Dave Leary and his crew tuned up for the tourney with a pair of contests in the General George C. Patton Tournament at Hamilton-Wenham High during the vacation week.
In the opening round, Revere defeated Arlington Catholic, 69-60. After a competitive first period in which the Patriots grabbed a 16-12 advantage with two buckets at the end of the quarter, Revere was able to extend the lead before halftime with some sharp shooting from three-point land by sophomore guards Scott Montefusco and Marcus Brunson-Perez to take a 33-24 lead at the break.
However, Arlington Catholic fought back after the intermission and sliced the Patriot edge to three points toward the end of the third period.
But that’s when RHS senior center Mass Joof (14 points, 10 rebounds) began to establish himself around the basket on both ends and helped boost the Revere lead back to a more-comfortable 50-42 margin at the third buzzer.
The Patriots maintained their advantage down the stretch thanks to some big hoops and clutch free throws from senior guard Curtis High (28 points, seven rebounds) and junior guard George Quintana (4-for-4 from the stripe).
“We did not defend as well as we had the last few games, but our seniors carried us today and our young guys were huge at the line down the stretch,” said Leary . “Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes and keep improving heading into tournament play.”
After taking the tourney opener, the Pats earned a match in the championship game against Winchester Wednesday evening.
The teams engaged in an exciting, up-tempo contest in the opening period, making runs and counter-runs, with Winchester firing the last volley with six unanswered points to take a 19-14 lead after one period.
The second quarter was just as rapid-paced, as the two foes continued to exchange runs. Revere was carried by the offensive onslaught of High (an immense 24 points on 9-for-9 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the half).
Although Winchester maintained its advantage, Brunson-Perez hit a 3/4 court buzzer-beater to close the gap to 35-33 at the intermission.
Revere exploded for 24 points in the third quarter, but Winchester proved almost-equal in firepower, putting up 22 points, leaving the teams at level, 57-57, after three periods.
The final quarter was tightly-contested and the Patriot defense picked up iota intensity to grab a five point lead with under two minutes remaining. The Sachems would not go away, applying pressure and forcing Revere to turn the ball over.
After two Sachem baskets and Revere’s inability to secure a defensive rebound, Winchester inbounded tyne ball under their own hoop with 13 seconds left and made a basket to go ahead, 72-71.
Revere pushed the ball up to half-court and called a timeout with 1.2 seconds left on the clock, but a desperation shot would not fall. Joof turned in another strong game with nine points and 12 rebounds. Curtis High turned in on of the most memorable nights ever by an RHS boys basketball player, going 14-for-20 from the floor and 9-for-9 at the line for 40 points to go along with seven rebounds, two steals, three assists, and three blocked shots.
“We lost to a very good team,” said Leary afterwards. “Our turnovers and inability to get stops and rebounds late really hurt us. Obviously Curtis was immense offensively, but we win and lose as a team. Our defense and ability to take care of the ball will dictate how far we can go in the tournament,
“I’m very proud of this group, bouncing back and winning eight of their last 10 games after starting 3-7,” added Leary. “They should be proud, but we have more goals to accomplish.”
Full details of the Patriots’ Journey to the Tourney will appear in next week’s Journal.
RHS hockey team wraps up season
The Revere High hockey team wrapped up its season last week with a contest that head coach Joe Ciccarello termed “our best game of the year,” a 6-4 triumph over Northeastern Conference South Division rival Gloucester last Wednesday at Cronin Rink.
The Patriots’ victory not only avenged a 6-0 loss to the Fishermen in the teams’ first meeting this season, but it deprived Gloucester of berth in the state tourney. The Fishermen finished at 8-9-1 on the season, leaving them shy of a tourney spot by a single point.
“The entire team played a great game,” said Ciccarello. “This is our first victory over Gloucester in quite a few years for our program.”
Revere took a 2-1 lead after one period and the teams were level at 3-3 after two stanzas and at 4-4 well into the third. However, Patriot Jim Pandolfo lit the lamp for the eventual game-winner. Matt Cravotta added a empty-netter to seal the triumph.
Mike Giordano scored two goals for the Pats and teammates Mike Goroshko and Anthony Cecca both reached the back of the Gloucester net.
Revere hosted Lexington in the season finale Friday afternoon. Although the Pats fell short by a final score of 6-1, Ciccarello was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We led 1-0 after one period and trailed 2-1 after two against a very good Division 1 team,” noted the coach. “They added some goals late in the game, but overall we played very well.”
Looking back on the season, in which Revere finished with a 7-13-1 mark, Ciccarello lauded his squad’s overall attitude. “We had our ups and downs, but we never quit. The team never gave up and gave it their all to the very end,” said the coach
Giordano and Cravotta represented Revere in the NEC all-star game Saturday, with Giordano scoring a goal for his team.
The Patriots will hold their break-up dinner Sunday, March 12, at 4:00 at the VFW Hall in Beachmont.
Shanbar, Fitzpatrick compete in D-2 Meet
Two members of the Revere High girls indoor track & field team, Hannah Fitzpatrick and Rachel Shanbar, competed in the recent Division 2 State Meet held at the Reggie Lewis Athletic and Track Center in Boston.
Shanbar missed the finals, which would have earned her three more throws, by just three inches, with a toss of 32′-3″. “Rachel is very competitive, so not scoring definitely did not sit well with her,” said RHS head coach Antonio LaBruna. “But 32′-3” is the second best throw of her track career, so while the result was disappointing, her performance was not.
“Hannah didn’t have a great race,” noted the coach. “Her goal was to break the 3:16.34 that she ran in late January, but she just didn’t have the legs in this one and finished in 3:22.56. She’ll be back in this meet again next season and I’m sure she’ll remember this race and use it as motivation.”
Both Shanbar and Fityzpatrick are expected to play major roles for the Lady Patriot outdoor track team this spring.