It is a time proven adage that in tournament time, there can be only one team left standing who tastes the ecstasy of victory. For everybody else, there is nothing but the agony of defeat.
The young Revere High girls basketball team learned the hard truth of that axiom in the opening round of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional tourney as they dropped a 57-36 decision to Lowell last Tuesday evening at the Merullo Fieldhouse before a crowd of about 450 fans.
“Lowell has an older and more experienced team who has been there before,” said RHS head coach Diana DeCristoforo. “They responded to the pressure and executed their game plan better than we did.”
Lowell, the 12th seed in the tourney with a 10-6 record, got off to a quick start thanks to a barrage of three point field goals in the opening quarter and never looked back. Lowell also featured a 6-2 center, and the combination of a good inside game and a good outside game proved more than Revere could handle.
Although the Lady Patriots, who came into the game as the fifth seed in the 15 team North sectional, eventually settled down, they never got into the sort of groove that enabled them to compile an outstanding 16-4 record in the regular season, including a big win over Peabody in the season finale.
Ironically, Peabody, the fourth seed in the North which drew a weak Everett team in its first round contest, handily dispatched with Lowell four nights later, 60-48, in the quarterfinals. The Lady Tanners were set to play No. 1 seed Central Catholic in the semifinals last night.
“We missed 17 free throws,” noted DeCristoforo. “You cannot win a tourney game with that sort of free throw shooting.” Morgan Jenkins ended up as the top producer for the Lady Pats with a double/double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite the loss, DeCristoforo acknowledged that it did not diminish the team’s achievements this season, which saw them dramatically turn around the Revere girls hoop program.
“To be sure, it was a disappointing end to our season,” said the coach, “but we had a great year and we’ll learn from this game.”
The contest marked the final game of the RHS careers for seniors Nicole Kjersgard, Julie Lu, and Paige Licata, the latter of whom missed the entire season with an ACL tear, though Paige did come out for pre game warmups in the last game of the season. “They have been a big part of the program’s development and success,” noted DeCristoforo. “We will miss their leadership both on and off the court.”
The team’s awards and break up banquet will be held at the end of the month (date ad place to be determined), but surely will be a celebration of both this season’s accomplishments and next season’s promise.