RhS sports Roundup
Exciting win for boys basketball at Gloucester
The Revere High boys basketball team overcame an early deficit and then held on at the buzzer to post an exciting 53-51 victory at Gloucester last Tuesday night.
Gloucester came out on fire to start the game and jumped out to a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, after a challenge from the coaching staff, the Patriots tightened up their defense in the second period, limiting Gloucester to nine points.
With Revere’s junior guard, Marcus Brunson-Perez, (22 points) lighting up the scoreboard, the Patriots sliced the Gloucester margin to a manageable 30-25 by halftime.
The teams traded buckets after the intermission, but Revere got a huge scoring boost from junior forward Omar Bendjahene (12 points, all in the second half) and some great defense and hustle by junior Eric Bua and senior George Quintana.
The Patriots led 42-41 heading into the final quarter and expanded their margin to seven with 2:24 to go. The Fishermen rallied and made a strong effort to steal the victory, eventually cutting the Revere lead to just two points, with possession of the ball, in the closing seconds.
Gloucester ran a nice offensive set to get a three-point shot, but Patriot junior forward John Leone put pressure on the shooter and hustled back underneath to secure the final rebound.
“I was really proud of how we competed,” said RHS head coach David Leary. “After going through the Peabody game the night before, our morale was really low. Marcus really kept us in the game in the first half and Omar helped us get ahead, but our team defense was the difference. We took pride and made stops, which has not been a strength of ours, but it has improved.”
The night before, the Patriots hosted Peabody and never were in it. The visiting Tanners grabbed a 23-12 lead at the first buzzer and kept their foot on the gas pedal, zooming out to a 49-25 advantage at the half, en route to an 84-52 victory.
“Peabody is another good team in a very tough league,” noted Leary. “We just never got it going on either end of the floor and they pounced on us.”
There were a few bright spots for the Pats in the otherwise rough night. Bendjahene led Revere with 17 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Scott Montefusco sank a pair of three-pointers and chipped in with 10 points.
This past Friday, the Patriots hosted a red-hot Medford squad (five wins in a row) in a contest highlighted by Senior Night festivities on the occasion of the last home game of the season.
After a nice ceremony to honor seniors George Quintana and captain Devon Avery and their families, the action was fast and furious from the opening tap.
Medford jumped out to a quick 6-0 edge, but Revere answered with a seven-point spurt of their own. The teams would exchange baskets before Avery hit a jump shot to end the quarter with a slight 12-11 lead for Revere.
The Patriots then caught fire in the second quarter, as junior guard Brunson-Perez (17 points) and senior guard Quintana (17 points) swished back-to-back three-pointers that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
The Patriots continued to score, as junior forwards Eric Bua and Bendjahene (13 points, five rebounds) made a few baskets and pushed Revere to a 31-23 halftime lead.
“The energy in the first half by our team and the crowd was fantastic,” noted Leary. “It was like a tournament game. I was so happy for George. For him to play his best game of the season on his Senior Night is a memory he will always cherish.” Unfortunately the halftime break did just that — it broke up the Patriots’ momentum. Medford came out very aggressively and quickly seized control, opening the quarter on a 12-0 run.
“Medford extended defensively and got to the basket,” said Leary. “They were the aggressors.”
Revere trailed 44-38 after three quarters, which segued into a very physical final eight minutes. The Patriots took advantage of Medford’s foul troubles, making 15-of-16 free throws in the frame, but after falling behind by 12 points early in the quarter, they were only able to cut the lead to four on an Avery put-back with two minutes remaining. Medford then held on for the win, 71-62.
“That’s a good team we lost to,” observed Leary. “They do all of the little things it takes to win games. We are still trying to learn that. We knew tonight would be tough. They had just beaten Classical and Beverly before us. I am very proud of our team, they fought hard for their seniors tonight and just came up a few baskets short.”
The Patriots were set to play at arch-rival Chelsea this past Monday and at Beverly yesterday (Tuesday). They will trek to Danvers Friday and then wrap up their season when they compete in the Hamilton-Wenham Tournament Monday and Tuesday.
Fitzpatrick takes second place in 1000 at NEC Meet
Revere indoor track captain Hannah Fitzpatrick brought home a second place medal in the 1000 meter run at Sunday’s Northeastern Conference Meet that was held at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.
Hannah crossed the line in a time of 3:09.37, which was just 1.17 seconds behind the winner.
Hannah also helped the Lady Patriots earn a point (and her second medal of the day) by running a leg of the 4 x 800 Revere relay quartet that finished in sixth place in a clocking of 11:52.95.
The other three members of the foursome were Olivia Novoselsky, Yulissa Santana, and Ghizlaine Guissier.
Barbosa is fourth in hurdles at NEC
Lucas Barbosa was the lone individual point-scorer for the Revere High boys indoor track team at Sunday’s Northeastern Conference Meet. Lucas came across the line in 8.35 seconds in the 55 meter hurdles event to capture a fourth-place medal.
The Patriots also scored points with top-6 finishes in two relay events.
In the 4 x 400 race, the quartet of Abu Aldarazy, Jose Agudelo, Arthur LaCerda, and Sebastian Rendon brought home a fourth-place medal with a time of 3:46.79.
In the 4 x 800 relay, the foursome of Cristian Acuna, Amine Maihouane, Jonathan Nushi, and Christian Madrid earned sixth place honors with a clocking of 9:30.95.
Girls basketball team clinches berth in state tournament
By Cary Shuman
The Revere High girls basketball team clinched a state tournament berth and then showed its offensive firepower in two impressive victories over Gloucester (71-39) and Medford (59-35) last week.
The Lady Patriots’ officially gained their state tournament invitation with a 65-45 win over Malden in a continuation of a previous game that been suspended in the second quarter.
“We’re happy to earn a state tournament berth – that was one of our goals,” said head coach Lianne O’Hara, whose team is 13-3.
O’Hara has done a great coaching job this season – and has her team in contention for the Northeastern Conference North title. Revere can secure a share of the title with wins over Beverly and Danvers coupled with a Classical loss in its final two games of the season. Classical still has to play Division 1 state-tournament bound Everett.
O’Hara is pleased with her team’s overall performance. Senior center Valentina Pepic continues to be the NEC’s most outstanding player, scoring 30 points in the win over Gloucester and 26 in the victory over Medford.
Sophomore guard Erika Cheever had 17 points versus Medford, hitting four-of-5 two-pointers and three-of-five three-pointers.
Senior co-captain Tatianna Iacoviello contributed 10 points to the win over Gloucester. “Tatianna is not only scoring points but she’s generating a lot of assists,” said O’Hara, noting Iacoviello’s 10-assist game versus Medford.
Junior guard Emily DiGiulio is earning plaudits for her strong defensive play. “Emily is playing awesome defense, getting a ton of steals,” said O’Hara.
The Revere coach also singled out the play of freshmen Aya Harper (17 points in the Gloucester game) and Caroline Stasio, a starting player. “The freshmen have stepped up in a huge way,” said O’Hara.
Revere will be playing Arlington Sunday at 11 a.m. in the opening round of the Spartan Classic at St. Mary’s High School. The winner of that game will play in the winner of the Lincoln-Sudbury-Billerica game on Monday.
Valentina Pepic enjoying a superb senior season
By Cary Shuman
Revere High girls basketball standout Valentina Pepic is averaging a double-double this season – which is anything but average.
The 6-foot-2-inch senior center is among the state’s leading scorers at 22.4 points per game while also averaging 11 rebounds. Pepic is a reigning All-Scholastic and Northeastern Conference MVP.
“Valentina is obviously a strong candidate to repeat as an All-Scholastic and MVP,” said Revere coach Lianne O’Hara. ‘When you average a double-double, that’s really impressive. She’s worked really hard to get to this high level of performance.”
Pepic, who has received a scholarship to Division 1 Niagara University, has been a force for the Patriots who have a 13-3 record, and will compete in the Division 1 State Tournament.
“It’s really good knowing that we’ll be playing in the tournament,” said Pepic. “It’s one of the goals we had and we did it as a team.”
Asked about her noteworthy, double-double points and rebounds statistics, Pepic responded, “I feel like I can always do better no matter what. I’m just doing what it takes to win. I’m trying to help the team as best as I can. I’m a senior and it’s my last year and I really want the team to go far it can as a team. I’m really excited about the State Tournament. Everyone is working hard and I think we have a chance to get to the Garden.”
Pepic also noted the stellar contributions of two freshmen, guard Ayah Harper and forward Caroline Stasio. “Ayah is really stepping up this year and Caroline is having an excellent season,: said Pepic. “Caroline is tall for a freshman, so it’s good to have her helping me out on the boards. Caroline definitely wants to win and wants to get better and I see in Caroline some of the things I saw in myself as a freshman. I knew I could do more. I keep telling Caroline to keep working hard and eventually everything will fall in to place.”
Niagara University is keeping a watchful eye on its prized recruit. One of the Niagara coaches was at the Revere-Medford game where Pepic had 26 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-35 victory.