RHS Sports Roundup

December 31, 2013
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RHS boys hoop team defeats Bedford, 68-63

The Revere High boys basketball team broke into the win column with a 68-63 triumph over Bedford Friday evening at Merullo Fieldhouse. The victory avenged a loss to Bedford two weeks earlier in the season-opener and gave new head coach Adam Rizzo his first win at the helm of the RHS boys basketball program.

The Patriots came out firing on all cylinders, building a 23-13 lead in the first quarter and extending it to 45-26 at the half. Senior Mike Ciambelli carried the scoring load for the Pats, netting 16 of his team-high 20 points in the first 16 minutes of play. Senior point guard Jason Seigal, who hit for 15 points and dished out nine assists on the night (which were career-bests in both categories for Jason), played a key role in the Patriot offense, making some superb passes to Ciambelli and his other teammates.

“The ball movement was infectious for us in the first half,” said Rizzo, who noted that all 10 of his Patriot players had scored by the intermission.

The Revere defense was equally impressive, stifling Bedford to just 14 points by the midway point of the second period. The Patriot lead stood at 26 as the end of the half neared, but a brief flurry of Revere miscues resulted in turnovers that allowed Bedford to slice the lead to 19 at the break.

“We had a real chance to push the lead to 30 at halftime, but I think my team got too excited and was playing too fast at a time when we could have slowed it down, used some clock, and gotten a good look in the half-court set,” noted Rizzo.

Revere faced some of the same problems after the intermission. Turnovers allowed Bedford to change the game’s momentum and to creep back into the game. Still, the Patriots held a healthy 17 point advantage, 57-40, entering the fourth quarter. However, that final frame saw Ciambelli foul out with five minutes to play and Bedford’s top player, Williams, put on a show, with 25 of his game-high 31 points (thanks to four three-pointers, two layups, and nine free throws) coming over the last two periods.

“Coming out of the break, we knew they were going to come out and try to cut into the lead.” said Rizzo. “My coaching staff and I stressed ball security, playing under control, and rebounding. We figured if we could contest their jump shots and minimize the offensive rebounds, we would be in a good spot. Unfortunately, our shots weren’t falling like they were in the first half and the turnover bug bit us in the second half.”

Fortunately for the Pats, veteran point-guard Seigal stepped to the fore, settling his team down and scoring some key buckets.

“Jason broke his defender down at the top of the key time and time again, setting up his teammates for good looks all game long,” said Rizzo. “But what I really loved about his play was when it mattered the most, he decided to take the game into his own hands and get his offense going. In the fourth quarter alone Jason scored eight points, all of which were big buckets that killed a couple of Bedford runs. With Ciambelli having fouled out of the game, Seigal was the man for us in the fourth period.”

The Revere scoresheet saw Ciambelli on top with 20 points and Seigal also in double figures with 15. Steven Selevitch was next with nine points, followed by Mike Dreeszen with six, Dante Lauria with five, Ravi Ryland with four, Camilo Gomez with three, and Tommy Chea, Nermin Ibreljic, and Doug Zingali with two apiece.

Last Monday saw the Pats come out on the short end of an 81-44 decision to Salem. Ciambelli was the high scorer for Revere with 10 points. Dreeszen added nine, followed by Gomez with seven, Seigal with five, Lauria and Selevitch with three, Zingali, Ryland, and Chea with two, and Ibrejic with a free throw.

“Although we trailed by nine after the first quarter and were not playing particularly well at that point, we still felt like we had a chance to get into the game,” said Rizzo. However, Salem’s point guard, Dominguez, who isn’t known as a shooter, buried five treys in the second quarter to balloon the Salem lead to 20 at the break.

“We went under the screens at the top to force him to shoot,” said Rizzo. “After he hit two, we started going over the top, but even with a hand in his face it didn’t matter. He was just in one of those zones that players always die to be in and we couldn’t get him out of it. He finished with seven threes on the game, most of which were contested, so all we could do was tip our hat to him and try to get it back on the other end.”

However, the Revere offense could not get it going against their Salem rivals. “Salem’s length disrupted our inside scoring” noted Rizzo. “We like to play inside-out with our two big men, Mike Ciambelli and Doug Zingali, since they are capable and more than willing passers, but Salem’s defense was stifling. We also like to attack the rim as much as possible, but our guards couldn’t get any clean looks in the paint. It’s going to happen against a team that is as long and athletic as Salem.”

Rizzo and his crew were set to play a non-league contest at Winchester this past Monday afternoon and will return home to host Beverly this Friday for a 7:00 tip-off. They will journey to Lynn English this coming Monday and will entertain Marblehead next Wednesday.

RHS hockey team wins two of three

The Revere High hockey team enjoyed a successful vacation break, winning two of its three contests to raise its record to a fine 4-1-1 mark at the quarter pole of the season.

The Patriots opened the week with a 5-1 triumph over former long-time Greater Boston rival Everett on the latter’s home ice at Allied Veterans Rink last Monday afternoon.

After a scoreless opening period, the Patriots exploded for four goals in the middle frame. Joe Ristaino lit the lamp twice and teammates Mike Martorelli and Kevin Chiles added solo tallies. Cam Whalen potted a goal in the third period for a 5-0 Revere lead before Everett foiled RHS goalie Adam Comeau’s shutout bid with a late tally.

Two days later the Patriots hit the road for a long trek to Bourne in another non-league contest. Revere once again skated to an early lead. Marco Mazzarelli gave the Patriots a 1-0 edge in the first period and goals in the middle stanza by Steve Noel, Anthony Cecca, and Chiles increased the Revere advantage to 4-1 by the second horn.

However, the Pats rested on their laurels to start the final 15 minutes, allowing Bourne to fight back and eventually notch the equalizer with about three minutes to go. RHS head coach Joe Cicarello in called a time out to regroup his troops.

“I told them this now had come down to a three minute game and that we had to win it,” said Ciccarello.

His team took their coach’s words to heart and resumed the style of play that had been successful in the first two periods. With less than a minute to go, Noel fought for the puck along the boards and slid a centering pass that was taken in by Cecca. The freshman wasted little time snapping off a shot that beat the Bourne goalie for the game-winner.

“Anthony had to play on the first line when one of our players got sick on the bus,” noted Cicarello. “He stepped in and did a great job for us.”

The Patriots’ lone setback of the week, their first of the season, came at the hands of Lowell Saturday night at Cronin Rink. After trailing 1-0 after the first period, Noel notched the equalizer in the second frame. However, Lowell responded with three unanswered goals to close out the period and then added another in the third frame for a 5-1 finale.

“We didn’t play with the kind of energy that we need to have if we are to be successful,” noted Cicarello, whose Patriots were playing their fourth game in eight days. “Admittedly, it was the last game of a long stretch, but the effort was not there. We were standing around when Lowell scored those three goals to close out the second period and that proved the difference.”

Cicarello and his crew host former GBL foe Somerville Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) for a 3:30 afternoon face-off and then travel to Salem Saturday. They will play at Swampscott next Wednesday.

Trio of Patriot trackmen are NEC Fr.-Soph champs

Three members of the Revere High boys indoor track team, Anthony DeStefano, Joseph Gonzalez, and Daniel Murphy, captured individual championships at Saturday’s Northeastern Conference Freshman-Sophomore Meet that was held in Gloucester.

DeStefano was the winner of the shotput event with a toss of 38 feet, 10 inches; Gonzalez sped to victory in the 55 meter hurdles in a time of 8.8 seconds; and Murphy outsprinted the field in the 55 meter dash in a clocking of 6.9.

Gonzalez also earned a medal with a fourth place finish in the high jump with a leap of 4-5. In addition, he was a member of the 4 x 400 relay team that captured fourth place with a clocking of 4:09.7 The other three members of that quartet were Murphy, Martin Keuchkerian, and David Sinatra.

Keuchkerian enjoyed a fine meet. In addition to his relay medal, Martin won an individual medal with a second place toss of 37-3 in the shotput behind only teammate DeStefano.

Sebastian Mejia also brought home a medal for his sixth place performance in the 1000 meter run in a time of 3:11.5.

“This is definitely a rebuilding year for us and it is promising to have our younger boys performing so well,” said RHS head coach Sam Ros. “Going into the meet I knew that a few of the boys had legitimate shots at winning their events.  I told them this beforehand to give them a little more motivation.

“Daniel Murphy was one of them.  When the season started he was afraid he would have to quit the team due to work and outside activities.  We had a chat about things and figured a way for him to do everything plus track.  I couldn’t be any happier that he won the 55 meter dash.  It just reaffirmed my intuition that he has a lot of potential and could be one of the better sprinters in the league as he gains more experience.

“Joseph Gonzalez won the 55 meter hurdles last year as a freshman, but went unnoticed with all the talent we had last year,” continued Ros. “During the first couple weeks of practice, I carefully watched his hurdling and was able to help fix his form and improve his speed between the hurdles.  He too, will be one of the better hurdlers in the league in the coming years. If there was an MVP of the meet, I would give it to Joseph.  Not only did he win the hurdles, but he placed fourth in the high jump and relay respectively.

“Our two throwers who went first and second are both first-timers on the team.  Anthony DeStefano is a freshman and Martin Keuchkerian is a sophomore.  Both were important members of the football team.  Both are just throwing on raw talent.  With more work to improve their technique, they should be a force as they grow.

“Sebastian Mejia ran a smart race in the 1000. He listened to my advice as the race progressed and put himself in position to score at the end.

“As for our 4 x 400 team, which consisted of Joseph Gonzalez, Daniel Murphy, Martin Keuchkerian, and David Sinatra, we were unsure of what to expect scoring-wise, but we felt that leading off with Joseph and Daniel would put us in contention.  Martin is very versatile, being a thrower and a decent sprinter. He kept us in position and David brought us home in fourth.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the boys’ performance.  If they continue to work hard the next couple of years, it bodes well for the program,” said Ros.

On the girls’ side, two Lady Patriots earned medals. Suellen Guerreiro took fifth place in the mile in 6:25 and Dakota DeLuca grabbed sixth spot in the shot with a throw of 19-10.

RHS girls defeat Pope John in tourney

It was a mixed week for the Revere High girls basketball team, as the Lady Patriots defeated Pope John in the opening round of the Revere Winter Classic Tourney, but dropped contests to Salem and Bedford, the latter in the tourney championship contest.

The encounter with Pope John proved to be a tough battle, with the Lady Patriots holding a  slim 21-19 advantage at the half. Although the Revere zone defense held the PJ offense at bay, the Lady Patriots were unable to make a breakout run and clung to a three point lead after three frames.

“This was another game where even when we went on scoring droughts, our defense helped us hold onto the lead, something we’ve learned from previous games,” said RHS head coach Katelyn Leonard. “We are trying to teach these girls that no matter what happens on the offensive end, you can always play good, hard defense. And that is what kept us in the game with Pope John.”

The Lady Patriots finally found the scoring range in the final period, putting up 16 points on the board while maintaining their tough defense, limiting Pope John to just seven points in the final eight minutes for an eventual 43-33 victory.

Ally Hinojosa sank a pair of huge three-pointers and Jen Fajardo hit another bucket from three-point land that proved to be daggers that put the game away. Tiphani Harris also contributed to the victory run in a major way with six fourth-quarter points.

Hinojosa led the point parade with a career-high 17 points, of which 15 came on five treys. Fajardo chipped in with nine points and Harris contributed seven to go with her game-high 12 rebounds. Meaghan Gotham and Trisha Cheever added four points apiece and Angela Curtis scored two.

In the tournament title tilt Sunday, the Lady Patriots tangled with Bedford, the 12th-ranked team in the state which had defeated Wilmington in its preliminary round encounter, and came out on the short end of a 54-29 decision.

The Lady Patriots battled tenaciously throughout the first half, trailing by 13, 30-17.  However, Bedford’s pair of power forwards began to take control of the paint in the second period, setting the stage for Bedford to pull away after the intermission. Revere also missed some easy scoring chances in the opening periods that could have kept the game closer

“Bedford was a really tough match-up for us,” said Leonard. “We fought really hard in the first half. Our defense in the first quarter was great, but we missed a lot of bunnies we should be hitting that can allow us to stay in these games.

“We need to work on finishing consistently. We are getting good shots, crashing the offensive boards, we just need to put the ball in the basket,” added Leonard

Although Bedford pulled away for good in a third quarter in which the Lady Patriots managed only a bucket, Leonard was proud of her team’s effort to the very end. “We didn’t quit and we kept battling, and I’m proud of these guys for that,” said the coach. “We kept defending, pushing the ball, and trying to play one possession at a time. We have a lot to improve on, but I think with each game we are getting tougher and tougher.”

Harris, who scored five points and pulled down 12 rebounds against Bedford,  was named to the all-tournament team. Other point scorers for Revere were Fajardo with 10 points, Adanna Hector and Natasha Iacoviello with four each, and Cheever and Hinojosa with three apiece.

Last Monday the Lady Patriots dropped a 51-41 encounter with Northeastern Conference rival Salem.

After an evenly-played first half, the Revere offense struggled, while Salem sank three three-pointers from three different girls to move out to a 29-20 advantage after three periods.

The Lady Patriots, sparked by a pair of treys by Adanna Hector, drew as close as six points in the final frame, but it proved too little, too late. Revere was forced to foul down the stretch, but Salem (which was 16-of-23 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter) hit its free throws to seal the victory.

«Salem is a methodical team,» noted Leonard. «The third quarter killed us with their three-point shots and our scoring drought. We turned it on in the fourth, scoring 19 points, but Salem was clutch from the free throw line, never allowing us to get closer than six.»

Fajardo with 11 points and Harris with 10 reached double figures for the Lady Pats. Hector had eight, Meaghan Gotham added six, and the trio of Logan DiCarlo, Iacoviello, and Cheever scored two points apiece.

Leonard and her crew, who now stand at 2-3 on the season, travel to Beverly Friday, host Lynn English Monday, and trek to Marblehead next Wednesday.

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