By Cary Shuman
When the 2010-11 Revere High School girls basketball team gathers at the awards banquet on April 10, it will celebrate and look back at one of the greatest seasons in the entire athletic program’s history.
The team, under the direction of Northeastern Conference Coach of the Year Diana DeCristoforo won all 20 of its regular season games, leaving no doubt who the best team in the league was this year. The No. 1-seeded Lady Patriots won a state tournament game and its two home games drew some of the largest crowds in recent memory to the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
And the honors are still pouring in for the Revere players. Morgan Jenkins, who scored her 1,000th career point this season and was the conference MVP, will add All-Scholastic honors to her resume in the coming weeks.
Jenkins and seniors Marisa Parent, Ashley DiFraia, Melissa Adreani, Kathleen Prince, and Cassandra Zullo have left their mark on the program, setting a great example for the underclassmen with their work ethic, teamwork, sportsmanship, spirit, and academic achievements.
Opposing teams will be looking to knock Revere off its championship perch next season, but it will not be easy. For the Lady Patriots’ future looks very bright.
All-Star guard Gena Restiano averaged 13 points and four assists this season as the starting point guard. Restiano showed game in and game out why she’s one of the best players on the North Shore and a solid college basketball prospect. Restiano will have to take charge of the offense with the graduation of Parent, her speedy and athletic partner in the Revere backcourt.
Sophomore Caitlyn Caramello took her game up a notch this season and earned a nomination for the NEC All-Star team. Caramello (8 points, 6 rebounds per game) will be counted upon to replace some of the points and rebounding that Jenkins, DiFraia, and Adreani provided this season.
“Caitlyn is a two-year starter and I think she is an All-Star caliber player already,” said DeCristoforo. “Caitlyn and Gena are two of the hardest-working players we’ve had for two years now so our expectations for them as leaders and players is very high.”
Several returning players will join the Big Two (Restiano and Caramello) in reestablishing Revere as a contender for the conference title.
Juniors Michaela Maguire and sophomore Amy Rotger will likely have larger roles next season. Juniors Alex Ambrosino, Racquel MacDonald, and Samantha Harris will also contend for extensive playing time for the varsity.
“There are kids on the junior varsity team that are really X factors right now,” said DeCristoforo. “If they put some time in to the game, they’ll be in the mix for key roles on our team.
DeCristoforo mentioned freshman Jennifer Fajardo and sophomore Gianna Bua as players who have demonstrated good skills and should help the Lady Patriots next season.
There are freshman and middle school players who could make the jump to the varsity next season. “There are some really talented eighth graders coming up, so I’m not afraid to make moves like that if they’re the best players,” said DeCristoforo.
The junior varsity team had a strong 15-4 record this season while the freshman team was 15-2.
DeCristoforo realizes that coming off a record-breaking season, the expectations will be high for the 2011-12 Lady Patriots.
“Undoubtedly we’re losing some talent and leadership, but we’re looking for people to step up in those roles,” said DeCristoforo.
With 37 wins in the last two years, DeCristoforo and assistant coaches Ben Murphy, Stephanie DeCristoforo, and Amy Chamberlin have the RHS girls basketball program rolling in the right direction.