Caramello, Harris spark Revere to 45-42 win over Danvers
The Revere High girls basketball team had a tough assignment Friday night, playing a hungry Danvers contingent that is trying to grind out wins for a trip to the State Tournament.
The host Falcons made things interesting to the very end, but clutch baskets by Revere’s Caitlyn Caramello and Tiphani Harris in the final 90 seconds proved to be the difference in an exciting 45-42 victory.
Danvers (7-6) ran a potential game-tying play in the final 3.6 seconds, but the Patriots defended it well and denied Kasey Sherry (18 points, 5 three-pointers) a final shot attempt as the buzzer sounded.
Caramello, who had been immense on the boards with 89 caroms in the previous five games, led the Patriots with 12 points and nine rebounds. Caramello hit successive three-pointers early in the fourth quarter but her biggest hoop came with 1:30 left after Danvers had tied the game at 41-41.
“Catelyn has been reliable all year, just getting rebounds and hitting big shots and that’s what I expect from her,” said Revere coach Katelyn Leonard.
Harris (5 points) scored Revere’s final basket of the game with 50 seconds left, nailing a jumper from the left of the foul line.
“That was a huge host by Tiphani,” said Leonard. “She has the confidence and it helped seal the game for us.”
Harris also joined Caramello in a strong game-long effort of boxing out Danvers’ forwards.
Senior guard Gena Restiano scored 11 points, including a key three-point early in the second half. An adept ballhandler and true point guard, Restiano handled Danvers’ tenacious defensive pressure well and got others involved in the Revere offense.
Junior guard Jen Fajardo had nine points while senior forward Amy Rotger contributed eight points.
The unsung hero was senior guard Jacqui Noel, who drew a starting assignment and held Danvers’ All-Star guard Sherry in check for the entire first half. Noel is an excellent athlete and she used her speed and quickness to defend Sherry well.
“Jacqui is a gnat on defense,” said Leonard. “She loves to play defense and she wants that assignment. She takes it personally and wants to win that battle.”
Danvers coach Pat Veilleux knew his team was facing a difficult test. “We needed everyone to do a little bit to be competitive against a very good Revere team,” said Veilleux. “That’s a heck of a squad. They’re very talented. You can’t take anything away from them. They’re not 9-4 because they’re lucky. They deserved it and made the plays at the end.”
Revere improved its record to 9-4 and needs two wins to qualify for the State Tournament on a 22-game schedule.
“We haven’t had too much luck on the road this year so this was something we wanted to accomplish and we end up gutting out a win,” said Leonard.
Gena Restiano is advancing closer to the 1,000-point milestone. The 5-5 guard would have easily entered the club had she not been sidelined with a serious injury last season. She’s been steadily regaining the form that made her one of the area’s top players. “Gena’s been playing strong,” said coach Leonard. “She has to do so much for us with her ballhandling and her passing and setting up our plays. She really gets the team going.”
Katelyn Leonard herself is a member of the 1,000-point club, netting more than 1,300 points in a phenomenal Hall of Fame career at Swampscott High School. She led the Big Blue to the state semifinals at the Boston Garden and then starred at Stonehill College. Leonard could do it all on the court.
And speaking of great high school players, Richie Harris was on hand to watch his daughter Tiphani, a rapidly improving 5 feet-10-inch sophomore. The 6-feet- 6-inch Harris was a dominating center for Chelsea High, leading the Red Devils to their last Greater Boston League championship. Richie likely could have played major college basketball but like other kids at that time, he competed in multiple sports (he was a very good baseball player as well) instead of the AAU specialization that occurs today. Harris knows how to play the center position and his daughter will no doubt benefit from his knowledge.
Junior guard Logan DiCarlo gave the Patriots some valuable minutes off the bench. DiCarlo went inside and grabbed a couple of key rebounds and also played good, tough defense.
Leonard was pleased with the contributions of starters Fajardo and Rotger, who combined for 17 points and worked hard at the defensive end.
Revere has a rematch with Lynn English Friday night and let’s just say the Bulldogs have been waiting for this game since Revere handed English its only conference loss of the season in the opener. The game will be a good barometer of where Revere stands in relation to other Division 1 State Tournament-contending teams. The Catherine Stinson-Gena Restiano backcourt match-up should be something special.
RHS boys basketball team hangs on for win vs. Chelsea
To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” for the Revere High boys basketball team in their encounter with Broadway rival Chelsea last Wednesday. Indeed, had Dickens been writing this story, he aptly could have titled it, “A Tale of Two Halves.”
The first half of the contest saw Revere come out smoking and pull out to a commanding 31-11 advantage against a Chelsea squad that had won three of its past four encounters coming into Wednesday evening’s tilt at Merullo Fieldhouse.
“We did everything right,” said RHS head coach Rick Hayes. “We ran the ball at them and played great defense. It was as complete a half of basketball as we’ve played all season.”
But after the intermission it proved to be a different story. Revere could barely hit a basket, while the visiting Red Devils began to find their scoring touch. The final minute proved to be a nightmarish sequence for the Patriots and their fans. Revere’s seemingly safe 45-39 advantage was cut to 45-43 with 10 seconds to play thanks to successive Patriot misses on 1-and-1 attempts from the free throw line and two buckets by Chelsea.
That left the ball in the Red Devils’ hands for a last chance to win (with a trey) or send the game into OT. Revere’s man-to-man defense appeared to work well, but a cut to the basket by a Chelsea player and a nice bounce pass set up what seemed to be the tying hoop only fortunately for Revere, the Red Devil missed his bunny.
“We couldn’t hit the ocean in the second half,” said Hayes of his team’s 14-point output in the final 16 minutes. “I told the team in the locker room that we had to keep the pressure on, but we seemed to take our foot off the pedal. But give Chelsea credit. They never gave up and grabbed the momentum and made a game of it.”
Geo Gomez led the RHS scoring output with 17 points. Dom Boyce also hit for double figures with 10 points. Mike Ciambelli added seven points, followed by Tom Sor with four, Sean Leonard with three, and Doug Zingali and Ravi Ryland with two each.
On Friday, the Patriots took on one of the top teams in the state in Danvers, the only undefeated team in the Northeastern Conference. Although the Pats came out on the short end of a 70-51 final count, Hayes saw a lot of positive signs in his team’s performance.
“Danvers has a bunch of guys who can shoot and we were successful in taking away their outside game,” said Hayes. “However, they also have a powerful inside game and it was tough to defense that. On offense, we were able to move the ball against their full court press.”
Gomez was top gun for Revere with 12 points. Ciambelli added nine, Jason Seigal struck for five, Boyce, Ryland, Mike Dreeszen, and Zingali hit for four each, Sor chipped in with three, Paul Beckford and Chris Hinajosa had two each, and Dante Lauria sank a free throw.
Hayes and his crew now stand at 8-6 on the season and need two wins in their final six games to reach the post-season state tourney. They took on Saugus last night (Tuesday) and will host Lynn English Friday evening. They travel to Lynn Classical Tuesday.
Comfort Toglan sets new RHS mark in 300
Revere High junior long sprinter Comfort Toglan broke her own RHS record in the 300 meter dash at Saturday’s State Coaches Invitational Meet at the Reggie Lewis Track Center.
Comfort’s time of 45.10 eclipsed her old school record of 45.52 that she had set last year.
“Comfort has worked hard and continues to improve as the season progresses,” said RHS girls coach Sam Ros. “I truly believe that she can run even faster than that 45.10. She looked real strong during the race and could improve her start even more. A few more tweaks in her racing strategy and I can see her running in the 44s.”
Toglan will have two chances to lower her school record with the Northeastern Conference Meet set for tomorrow (Thursday) and the Last Chance to Qualify meet this Sunday.
“Hopefully, Comfort will qualify for the Division 1 State Meet in one of those two meets,” added Ros.
Ritchie sets school record in long jump
Revere High boys track team Captain Joey Ritchie broke his own two-year school record in the long jump at Saturday’s State Coaches Invitational Meet at the Reggie Lewis Track Center.
Joey broke his previous mark of 20-.75 on two occasions during the meet with jumps of 20-1 and then what is now the new mark of 20- 2.
Boys track team falls short to Peabody
Although the Revere High boys track team came up on the short end of a 61-25 decision to Peabody last week, a number of Patriots turned in winning performances against their Tanner rivals.
Tarik Maddrey took first place in the high jump with a leap of 6-0; Omar Morales claimed the top spot in the shotput with a toss of 48-0; and Bobby Rose outsprinted the field in the 300 dash in 35.6.
Other point scorers for the Pats were: Karim Sahila with a second in the 45 yard hurdles in 6.1; Joe Ritchie with a second in the 45 yard dash in 5.2; Zack Primo with a second in the 600 in 1:23.3; Johnny Lopes with a third in the 300 in 36.1; and Kristi Nushi with a third in the mile in 4:57.1.
Toglan wins for girls vs. Peabody
Junior Comfort Toglan was the lone first place finisher for the Revere High girls indoor track team in their meet last week against a powerful Peabody squad. Comfort outraced the field in the 300 yard dash in a time of 41.7 seconds to bring home the first place honors.
Other Revere girls who scored points on the day were Lindsay Gurska with a second place finish in the 45 yard hurdles in 7.3; Raychel Adreani with a second in the 45 yard dash in 6.3; and Jennifer Dandrow with a third in the hurdles in 7.5.
RHS hockey team still seeking a win
The numbers 6 and 1 proved unlucky for the Revere High hockey team this past week, as the Patriots dropped both of their contests by identical margins of 6-1 to Lowell last Wednesday and Beverly on Saturday.
Cam Whalen gave Revere a 1-1 deadlock in the opening period with a lamplighter at Lowell, assisted by Joe Ristino. However, Lowell scored thrice in the middle period, two of which came near the end of the frame, to take control of the contest.
In the encounter with Beverly, one of the top-ranked teams in the state, Marco Mazzarelli potted the Revere goal, assisted by Brandon Mastropietro. Goalie Jon Papasadora played a fine game in the net for the Patriots.
“We gave Beverly two power play goals in the opening period and they took a 4-0 lead on us,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “But we toughened up the rest of the way and played much better.”
Ciccarello and his crew host Lowell tonight (Wednesday) for a rematch at Cronin. Face off time is 6:30. The Pats will travel to Marblehead Saturday.