Patriots defeat Pope John, Lynnfield; Ciambelli is MVP
The Revere High boys basketball team enjoyed an outstanding holiday week, capturing the Pope John XXIII Christmas Tournament with victories over the host team in the opening round and Lynnfield in the championship encounter.
“The team played well throughout the tourney,” said RHS head coach Rick Hayes. “We got the job done at both ends of the floor.”
In addition to winning the team title, three Patriots were singled out for selection to the tourney all-star team, led by Mike Ciambelli, who was named the tournament MVP. Teammates Dom Boyce and Geo Gomez joined Ciambelli in earning all-tourney accolades.
The opening contest with Pope John proved to be a battle to the wire, with Ciambelli making two key plays down the stretch to push Revere into the win column.
The Patriots led by nine at the half, but a third quarter surge by Pope John left Revere trailing 49-48 at the third horn. The teams battled ferociously over the ensuing 7:20 of the final frame, with Pope John holding a 62-61 advantage with about 40 seconds to play. That’s when Ciambelli stepped to the forefront, snaring the offensive rebound off a teammate’s missed shot and putting it back to give Revere a 63-62 lead.
Mike then stepped up, literally, on PJ’s next possession by drawing an offensive foul to give the ball back to Revere. Pope John was forced to foul, with Tom Sor being the Patriot who went to the line with 0:11 to play. Tommy calmly sank both shots from the charity stripe to make it a 65-62 contest.
Pope John tried to set up for a three point shot to tie, but Revere denied the ball to PJ’s top shooters from behind the arc, with the final shot an airball as time expired.
“We played with a lot of poise down the stretch and both Mike and Tommy really came through for us,” said Hayes, who noted that Ciambelli combined with Gomez to do an outstanding job all game on PJ’s 6-6 center (despite giving away four inches of height) and that Sor likely could have been an all-tourney choice given that he was the only Patriot to reach double figures in both games with 11 and 12 points respectively.
Revere took 30 attempts from three point land in the face of the Pope John zone and made good on nine of them. The Pats also shot well from the free throw line with a 10-for-14 effort.
Boyce was high scorer with 17 points, including three treys. Mike Dreeszen also drained a trio of threes to finish with 11 points. Ciambelli and Gomez (who had 13 rebounds) hit for seven points each, followed by Mike Hinajosa with five (including a trey), Doug Zingali with four, and Jason Seigal with three (which came via trey).
The championship match with Lynnfield, which had defeated Saugus in its preliminary game, was not quite as close as the final 65-59 score might indicate. Revere held a 12 point advantage with 12 seconds to play, but a pair of three pointers by Saugus in the waning seconds accounted for the narrower gap.
The contest had been evenly-fought early on, with Saugus taking a 30-25 lead at the half. However, the Patriots came out firing on all cylinders after the intermission, outscoring the Sachems 24-11 in the third period, to take control of the game.
“We moved the ball around on offense to get good shots and we played tough on defense,” said Hayes. “It was one of our best periods of basketball of the season.”
Ciambelli and Gomez shared scoring honors with 14 points apiece. Dreeszen struck for nine (with one trey) and Ravi Ryland added seven with a trey. Boyce chipped in five (with a trey), followed by Zingali and Hinojosa with two points each.
The Pats, who now are 4-2 on the season, will return to their Northeastern Conference schedule starting Friday when they host a powerhouse Beverly team that is undefeated. Hayes and his crew hit the road for three games next week, traveling to Peabody on Monday, to Gloucester on Wednesday, and to Swampscott on Friday.
Lady Patriots beat Pope John, Lynnfield; Restiano named MVP
The Revere High girls basketball team grabbed all of the Christmas gifts under the tree at the Pope John XXIII High School Tiger Classic Holiday Tournament, capturing the championship and receiving the top individual accolade with the naming of senior guard Gena Restiano as the tourney MVP.
“I’m really proud of the way we played in this tournament,” said RHS head coach Katelyn Leonard. “We bounced back from a tough loss at Salem (52-48), and I think each game we are getting better as a team, learning from our mistakes and taking better advantage of opportunities.”
The Lady Patriots got off to a fast start in the opening game against Pope John. Leonard had her team come out in a full-court press that bedeviled the host Lady Tigers and propelled the Lady Patriots to a 17-4 first quarter lead.
Pope John made a run in the second period, cutting the margin to 10 at the half, 29-19. However, the Revere girls came out fast and furious after the intermission with their full court press and never looked back en route to a 58-42 triumph.
“Everyone got into the game and contributed,” said Leonard. “We were balanced across the board..”
Restiano topped the scoring chart with 14 points and added four steals and five assists. Fellow senior captain Caitlyn Caramello hit for double figures with 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Amy Rotger also had a nice night with nine points and eight boards. Both Caitlyn and Amy joined Restiano on the all-tourney team.
Jen Fajardo added six points, followed by Cassandra DiBella with five points, Ally Hinajosa with four, Logan DiCarlo with two, and Jacqui Noel with one.
In the championship game with Lynn on Friday, strong foul shooting proved to be a key for the Lady Patriots, who sank 20-of-26 from the charity stripe, en route to a 53-42 victory.
“We knew Lynnfield was going to be a tough team,” said Leonard. “We came out defensively in a half-court man to try and slow down their fast break and force them into a half-court set. Our defense did a great job of disrupting their rhythm.”
Offensive rebounding also was a big factor in the victory, as the Lady Patriots dominated the offensive boards, collecting 20 for the game. Caramello alone snared nine offensive caroms.
“Lynnfield put the pressure on us defensively in the second half, but our girls gutted it out and held onto the lead,” noted Leonard. “Our foul shooting (77% for the night) kept Lynnfield at arm’s length.”
Restiano once again led the point parade with 16 points, plus five rebounds and five steals. Caramello came through with a nice double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Contributing seven points each were Fajardo, Rotger (6-6 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter), and Tiphani Harris (7 rebounds). Noel chipped in with four points.
The Lady Patriots, who stand at 4-2, travel to Beverly Friday and then play three homes games next week Peabody on Monday; Gloucester on Wednesday; and Swampscott on Friday.
RHS 4 x 200 relay sets new school mark
Just two weeks after setting a new Revere High school indoor record in the 4 x 200 relay, the quartet of Joe Ritchie, Younes Hartout, Bobby Rose, and Johnny Lopes did it again over the weekend in the Holiday Qualifier Meet.
When the quartet first set the new mark, they did so in a time of 1:34.84. But Saturday they bettered that clocking by 0.43 seconds for a new standard of 1:34.41.
Patriot skaters tie Salem, 2-2
Although the Revere High hockey team still is searching for its first win of the season, RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello said he is pleased with the progress his team has been making.
“We came out flat and stayed that way in our loss to Marblehead (6-0 on December 19),” said Ciccarello. “But we had a hard week of practice after that and emphasized to the team that they needed to play with emotion and grit every moment they are on the ice.”
Ciccarello’s tough love approach paid immediate dividends in a 2-2 tie with Salem last Wednesday. Goals by Cam Whalen and Shane Cambria in the second period gave Revere a 2-0 lead that stood until the final 3:30, when Salem took advantage of some mistakes by the Pats to light the lamp twice to earn the deadlock.
“It was a game we should have won, but the team played with more intensity than we had shown all season,” said Ciccarello. That mind-set continued this past Saturday against a highly-rated Watertown team that easily had handled Revere, 6-0, two weeks earlier in a pre-season meeting.
However, this time around proved to be an encounter of a different kind. Freshman Joel Ristino, assisted by Chris Curtis, gave the Pats an early 1-0 lead, though Watertown knotted matters with a shorthanded goal before the end of the first period.
Watertown took a 2-1 advantage with 3:30 to play in the second stanza, but the Patriots bore down and played tough the rest of the way. Although Ciccarello’s Patriots were unable to notch the equalizer, the coach was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We showed a lot of fight and heart against Watertown. and now we have to keep our momentum and continue to maintain that level of play,” said Ciccarello. “We need to get tough along the boards and win every little battle for the puck.”
Ciccarello noted that the Patriots received fine goaltending efforts in all three games from Capt. Jon Papasadero against Marblehead (in which Jon made 55 saves) and Salem and from junior Adam Comeaue in the Watertown tilt.
The Patriots play at Northeast Vocational tonight (Wednesday) and host Swampscott Saturday at Cronin with a face-off time of 5:10.
RHS boys, girls compete in NEC Fr-So. Meet
A contingent of freshman and sophomore members of the Revere High boys and girls indoor track teams competed in the Northeastern Conference Freshman-Sophomore Meet held at Gloucester Saturday.
On the boys’ side, Lionel Forbes scored in two events, placing fifth in the high jump with a leap of 4-10 and fifth in the 600 in a time of 1:47.42. Chea Bourlainge grabbed fourth place in the 50 yard dash in 6.5. Able Alcanter took sixth in the 1000 in 3:07.6.
Two Lady Patriots earned ribbons in the meet. Cristina Martinez came home in fourth place in the 1000 in 3:45.1. Danielle Fortuna tied for sixth place in the 600 in 2:00.5.