It may have been a slow week for the RHS boys basketball team with only one game in eight days, but it was an exciting and winning one, as Patriot Mike Dreeszen drained a clutch three-pointer with 30 seconds to play to cap a late-game comeback that propelled the Revere High boys basketball team to a 66-62 triumph over Swampscott Friday evening at Merullo Fieldhouse.
Revere jumped out to a double-digit lead at the half, 35-21, and appeared to have things well in-hand. The Patriots had clamped down on Swampscott’s high scorer, Chad Nelson, limiting him to just three points by the intermission. However, the visitors’ point guard, Joe Ragusa, had burned the Patriots for a trio of treys, prompting Revere to alter its defensive strategy to start the second half.
“We played a great first half,” said RHS head coach Adam Rizzo. “Our defense played very well and we got a huge lift off the bench from Camilo Gomez in the first half, scoring all eight of his points in the first 16 minutes of the game. We were very patient on offense, rotating the ball against their zone and making them pay when they decided to go man. Our focus at half time was to keep Ragusa from getting open looks. Unfortunately, we fell asleep early on him and had to switch to a box-and-one to make him work for his points. It was the first time we had used this defense all year and while it stopped Ragusa, it allowed Nelson to go off, scoring 21 of his game-high 24 points against us. We did a poor job rotating out of the box-and-one and gave up too many open looks.”
By the end of the third frame, Revere’s lead had been sliced to eight, 53-45, and with 3:30 to go, Swampscott had forged ahead by five. However, the resilient Patriots refused to fold and staunched the Swampscott run thanks to three huge three-pointers from Dreeszen, the last of which pushed Revere back into a two-point lead lead with 30 seconds to go.
Ravi Ryland then forced a big turnover by tipping a pass, corralling it, and sending it downcourt to Jason Seigal for the uncontested layup to give Revere a four-point lead that sealed the game.
“We like to make things very interesting, but it was great to see us make winning plays when we needed them most,” said Rizzo. “I tell the kids we are in the business of winning games and with a five point deficit with under four minutes to play, they went out and won that game.”
Dreeszen led the Pats with 17 points, followed by Seigal and Mike Ciambelli with 11 each, Ryland with nine, Gomez with eight, and Ben DiGiulio and Doug Zingali with five apiece
Rizzo and his Patriots, who now stand at 5-7 on the season, have a big and busy week ahead. They were set to face their two biggest rivals, at Winthrop yesterday (Tuesday) and hosting Chelsea tonight (Wednesday). They then will entertain Peabody Friday and travel to Lynn Classical next Tuesday. Tip-off for all games is 7:00.
RHS girls basketball team tops Swampscott
The Revere High girls basketball team has been on a bit of a roll of late with three victories in their past four games, the latest conquest being a 43-38 come-from-behind triumph at Swampscott Friday evening.
The Lady Patriots found themselves in a big hole early in the contest. Swampscott came out firing on all cylinders against Revere’s zone defense and jumped out to a 16-2 advantage in the opening minutes.
However, when Revere switched to a man-to-man defense, the Lady Patriots sliced the Swampscott advantage to 18-9 at the first buzzer.
The Lady Patriots continued to play an aggressive man-to-man in the second frame while also utilizing their height advantage at the offensive end. By the halftime break Revere had made it all the way back, holding Swampscott scoreless in the period, to take a 19-18 advantage as the teams headed into the locker room.
The defenses dominated in a back-and-forth third period, with Swampscott forging ahead, 28-26, as the teams prepared for the final eight minutes of the game.
Revere seized the initiative to start the fourth quarter, with Tiphani Harris hitting a jumper to tie and Angela Curtis sinking a hoop to give Revere a lead that the Lady Pats never would relinquish. Still, Revere could not shake their Swampscott rivals, who managed to pull within a point with 1:30 to go. But that’s when Lady Patriot Meaghan Gotham stepped up and twice put back offensive rebounds to boost Revere into a five point lead. Harris sealed the deal for Revere with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to make it 43-36 and a meaningless bucket by Swampscott at the end accounted for the 43-38 finale.
Harris was a force all game, leading the Lady Patriots with 13 points and 18 rebounds for a powerful double-double. Gotham almost achieved that feat with nine points and 10 rebounds. Jen Fajardo turned in a fine all-around effort with four points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Adanna Hector scored three points and dished out three assists. Ivonne Zapata chipped in five points, Cassandra DiBella and Logan DiCarlo added three points apiece, Angela Curtis added two, and Ally Hinojosa sank a free throw.
“This was another game where our girls did not quit,” said RHS head coach Katelyn Leonard. “Swampscott came out to a fast start, and most teams looking at a 14 point deficit might pack it in. But these girls hunkered down on defense and played it one possession at a time to crawl back into the game.”
Leonard and her crew, who now stand at 5-7 on the season, have a big week on tap, taking on two of the Northeastern Conference’s powerhouses. The Lady Patriots were set to host Winthrop last night (Tuesday) and will travel to Peabody Friday before returning home to entertain Lynn Classical net Tuesday. Tip-off for all games is 7:00.
Hockey team tops Swampscott, 4-2
The Revere High hockey team overcame all kinds of adversity — a paperwork snafu, a long layoff, and a slow start — to skate away with a come-from-behind 4-2 triumph over Northeastern Conference South Division rival Swampscott Saturday evening in Cronin Rink.
The technical part of the advesrity equation is the now well-publicized ineligibility of a Patriot player that literally has turned the Patriots’ season upside down from what had been a promising 6-3-2 start into an 0-11 record, at least for the present time.
The irony of that situation is that the MIAA (the governing body of high school sports in the state) granted the waiver for the player Friday, allowing him to play for the rest of the year, and Revere now is going through the appeals process to have his eligibility declared effective nunc pro tunc to the beginning of the season in the hopes that their record will revert to the 6-3-2 mark that the Patriots have earned on the ice.
“A school needs to obtain a waiver in a situation such as this for a fifth-year player to be eligible,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello. “It was just one of those things where the entire school administration has changed since this player was a freshman and no one knew about his situation. If we had known about the issue, we would have filled out the necessary paperwork and we would have obtained the waiver, as we now have done. There was no intent to deceive anyone — in fact, as soon as we discovered the problem, we reported it immediately to the MIAA — it was simply an administrative oversight.”
The Patriots also had to contend with an 11 day layoff, which is anything but ideal for a team in any sport in the middle of the season, thanks to two postponements because of the recent severe weather. The effects of the extended downtime were evident as Swampscott jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the contest. However, these Patriots have proven themselves to be a resilient bunch and they soon battled back to knot matters at 2-2 thanks to goals by Marco Mazzarelli and Anthony Cecca before the period ended.
Revere then asserted control of the game in the middle frame on a pair of lamplighters by Brandon Mastropietro that held up for the 4-2 finale.
“It took us a little while to get going, but then our defense clamped down after we gave up those first two goals and we scored some goals ourselves,” said Ciccarello.
“We’re taking things one game at a time and hoping our appeal will be successful,” said Ciccarello, whose squad now stands at 7-3-2 on-ice. “This has been a tough situation for the team, but they’re fighting through it very well.”
Ciccarello and his crew were set to play Northeast Regional this past Monday in a make-up of one of those postponed games and will host Lynn tonight (Wednesday) at Cronin for a 6:10 face-off. The Patriots will travel to Winthrop next Wednesday.