RHS Boys Basketball comes up short in tourney

The Revere High boys basketball team traveled to Waltham High last Tuesday night to play in a first-round contest of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional of the State Basketball Tournament.
The Patriots, who were riding a six-game winning streak that had carried them into the tournament, had hoped to keep their momentum going into the tourney. Waltham (16-4) was the Dual County Small League Champions and had a very experienced team, returning seven seniors from their state tournament team the year prior. 
The home court advantage and experience for the Hawks was evident from the outset, as Waltham jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. Revere showed some early game jitters, missing some easy baskets around the rim that they normally execute. 
Senior guard and co-captain Amara Bockarie (six points) came up with a steal and a basket to put Revere on the board. The Patriots were able to string together some stops on defense and then junior guard Crisrael Lithgow (13 points) nailed a pull-up jump shot to put the score at 12-4 with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.
However, Waltham continued to heat up from both the perimeter and inside to push their advantage to 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Patriots came out of the stoppage and scored two quick baskets by junior forward Calvin Boudreau and sophomore forward John Capozzi (four points, 10 rebounds) to cut the Waltham lead to 21-11 early in the second quarter, but that would prove to be as close as Revere would get against a Waltham team that had an historic night shooting the basketball. 
The Hawks hit on five-of-five three-point attempts in the period. Despite two baskets by junior forward Dillan Day (six points), Lithgow draining a pair of treys, and senior co-captain Robert Raduazzo (nine points) also sinking a corner three- pointer, Waltham took a commanding 48-28 lead at the intermission.
 “I thought both teams played extremely hard in front of a massive and loud crowd, but obviously their shooting was the difference,” said RHS head coach David Leary of the first half deficit that faced his squad. “They only missed four shots in the half and made all of their threes.” 
Unfortunately for Revere, any halftime adjustments that were made did not slow down Waltham and their offensive output, as the Hawks continued their hot shooting and increased their lead to 58-32 midway through the third quarter. Leary used two more timeouts in the frame to try to slow Waltham’s momentum, but it was to no avail, as the Hawks continued to add to their lead and took a 73-36 bulge into the final quarter.
The Revere coaching staff at that point made the decision to play out the last quarter of the season with the six seniors, who were playing in the last game of their RHS careers. 
Senior Center Lewiss Garcia-Martinez (four points, 12 rebounds) had two nice put-backs. Senior co-captain Amara Bockarie set up senior guard Derek Avery for a nice fast break layup and then senior guard Michael Hayes had a nice drive and kick assist to senior forward Bobby Kjersgard, who nailed a three-pointer from the wing.
Senior co-captain Robert Raduazzo scored Revere’s last basket of the game and season on a pull-up jump shot, but Waltham got the win, 90-49, and moved on to the next round of the tourney.
Coach Leary, speaking with mixed emotions, put things in perspective for his team’s fine 2020 season.
”Waltham was a machine,” said Leary. “We got blitzed early and never really had a chance. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team. They shot 76 percent from the field. It didn’t matter what defense we tried, they just had it going. 
“We are so proud of these guys,” Leary continued. “We basically have been playing state tournament games these past three weeks during our six-game winning streak to give ourselves a chance to qualify. We have no reason to hang our heads and we will tell the kids that. 
“We will miss our six seniors,” Leary added. “They have been great for this program and should be proud of what they have accomplished.”
Revere finished the season with a winning record of 11-10.

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