RHS Sports Roundup

February 19, 2014
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RHS hockey team wins appeal; to play in tourney

“All’s well that ends well,” is a truism that was never more aptly-applied than in the outcome last week of the Revere High hockey team’s appeal to the MIAA regarding a player eligibility issue that had threatened to deprive the Patriots of their hard-earned chance to play in the post-season state tournament.

After a 30 minute presentation to the MIAA board last Wednesday at the MIAA’s headquarters in Franklin by RHS principal Dr. Lorenco Garcia, Athletic Director Shaun Hart, and hockey coach Joe Ciccarello, the Patriots received the good news later that afternoon that their appeal had been successful and that they’ll be able to play in the post-season.

The issue first came to light three weeks ago when Revere officials were made aware that a player technically was ineligible because of a paperwork oversight. The school brought the matter immediately to the attention of the MIAA and applied for a waiver, which is a standard procedure and one that routinely is granted. The MIAA quickly granted the waiver, but did not do so retroactively, thus causing Revere to forfeit al of the games it had played to that point. Revere officials then filed for an appeal of that decision.

Although the Revere victories still will be counted in the official record as forfeits (which will benefit the Patriots’ opponents), the MIAA board said that those games will be deemed as victories for purposes of determining the team’s eligibility to qualify for the state tourney. Inasmuch as Revere sports a 10-5-3 record (counting the now-official forfeits as victories), the Patriots thus will be able to play in the state tourney, which requires that schools earn a .500 record. (Ed. Note: For the record, the Journal always will publish the team’s on-ice record, rather than the “official record.”)

“Dr. Garcia and Athletic Director Hart made a very strong case for us,” said Ciccarello. “The MIAA said the biggest factor in acting favorably on our appeal was that there was no intent on the school’s part to deceive anybody and that we brought the matter to the MIAA’s attention as soon as we found out about it. I think a life-lesson for our team is that honesty is the best policy and that being straightforward and admitting your mistakes always is the right thing to do.”

Prior to receiving the good news, the Patriots turned in one of their best all-around performances of the season with a 4-0 blanking of Salem last Monday. “This was our best defensive effort of the year,” lauded Ciccarello of his blue line corps pairings of Brandon Mastropietro & Kevin Chiles and Anthony Matos & Michael Martorelli. “They did a great job all game and Adam Comeau played a fine game in net for the shutout.’

Two days later, the Patriots pulled out a dramatic 5-5 tie with Somerville on a goal by Cam Whalen with 38 seconds to play. Revere had trailed for most of the way, including a 4-2 deficit midway through the third period, before knotting matters at 4-4 with four minutes to go. However, Somerville regained the lead a minute later, setting the stage for Whalen’s tying tally, a slap shot from the point that was assisted by Brandon Mastropietro with Comeau pulled from the goal in favor of a sixth skater.

Other goal scorers for Revere were Marco Mazzarelli with a pair of lamplighters  and Steve Noel and Rich Pollignone with a goal apiece.

The Patriots will close out their season this week, traveling to Lowell this afternoon (Wednesday)  and hosting Everett Friday afternoon (2:30 face off) in the season finale at Cronin. The Pats then will await word of their seeding and opening round pairing in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA tournament. That announcement is expected to come Sunday.

“This team’s objective all season has been to qualify for the state tournament,” said Ciccarello. “It obviously was very disheartening when we first leaned about the eligibility issue, but the team has shown resilience all year long and continued to play hard even when we were in limbo awaiting word on our appeal. They deserve to play in the tourney and we’ll be looking forward to it.”

Maddrey wins D-2 state high jump crown

Revere High senior Tarik Maddrey captured the Division 2 State Indoor high jump championship Friday afternoon in dramatic fashion at the Reggie Lewis Center. Tarik’s winning leap of  6′-4″ came on the final jump of the competition, after his two remaining competitors had missed all three of their efforts at the 6-4 level and he had missed his initial two attempts. Maddrey needed to clear the 6-4 mark to win the title because he was in second place on misses to that point.

“We knew going into this meet that Tarik had a shot to win and it would probably come down to his last jumps,” said RHS boys’ coach Sam Ros. “Three jumpers cleared 6-2 including Tarik, Somerville’s Jaoa Baptista and King Philip’s John Berdos.  Going into 6-4, Tarik was sitting in second place on misses.  Because of his higher seed coming into the meet, Tarik was able to watch the other two jumpers attempt 6-4 first. All three jumpers hit the bar on their first two attempts.  Baptista and Berdos then hit the bar on their final attempt.

“Tarik came over to me and we discussed what needed to be done,” continued Ros. “I told him he’s jumping well and to not overthink the jump.  As Tarik started his approach, everything was looking great. He planted his takeoff foot and as he was in the air, I knew he had enough height to clear the bar. At that point we had a state champion.  That 6-4 clearance would have been good for a 6-6.”

Maddrey now will compete in the All-State Meet this Saturday. “Tarik should be seeded in the top five with a chance to finish in the top three,” added Ros. “We have a week to fine-tune things some more and hopefully present a real challenge for a state title.”

Lady Patriot trio named NEC all-stars

Three members of the Revere High girls indoor track team  have been named to the Northeastern Conference all-star team.

Leading the way was shot-putter Janice DeStefano who was named to the All-Conference team. Teammates  Comfort Toglan (300 dash) and Brenda Rudecindo (high jump) were also named as league All-Stars.

In addition, Coach Antonio LaBruna’s squad was given the NEC Sportsmanship Award as voted by the coaches.

Last Friday, DeStefano and Toglan competed in the Division 2 State Meet in their specialties. Janice’s toss of 30′-3.50″ earned her 12th place among the field of 17 competitors. Comfort’s 300 time of 43.47 also earned her a 12th place finish in the field of 23 runners.

Patriot basketball team concludes season

The Revere High boys basketball team concluded its season this past week, dropping three hard-fought games to two of the top teams in the area. The Patriots fell twice to Beverly, ranked 25th in the state, and once to 13th-ranked Lynn English.

Last Tuesday’s contest with Beverly saw the Patriots play one of their best games of the season, only to come up short in the final seconds. The teams battled each other evenly through all four periods (35-34 in favor of Beverly at the half and 52-50 in favor of Beverly after three frames) with Revere holding a 68-64 lead and with the ball with 35 seconds to play. However, a pair of turnovers that led to consecutive three-pointers by the Panthers resulted in a sudden reversal of fortune for Revere. The Patriots had two shots at a win or tie in the final 10 seconds, but both came up short.

“It was one of the better basketball games we have been involved in all year,” said RHS head coach Adam Rizzo. “The game was tight throughout with neither team coming close to holding a double-digit lead at any point of the game. Whenever one team made a run, the other would either get a big stop or knock down a huge bucket. It was a quality basketball game played between two good teams.

“After they took the lead in the final 10 seconds, we drew up a play to get Jason Seigal into the lane for either his own look at a two or a couple of kick-out options for a game-winning three,” said Rizzo. “The team executed beautifully with Seigal getting Ravi Ryland an open look from the corner for three, but it rimmed in and out. Mike Ciambelli hauled in an offensive rebound with about three seconds left from the free throw line and put up a shot at the buzzer, but  it hit the back rim and bounced out.”

Ciambelli, Seigal, and Tommy Chea led the Pats with 15 points each. Mike Dreeszen hit for nine points, followed by Doug Zingali with six, Ravi Ryland and Dante Lauria with three apiece, and Steve Selevitch with two.

Revere engaged the Panthers four days later on Saturday in the season finale that was a make-up of a previously snowed-out contest. Once again the teams battled each other from the opening tap to the final buzzer.  Beverly held a 29-25 advantage at the half and a 44-40 edge after three quarters en route to a 60-55 victory.

“The first game was a physical basketball game and this one was no different,” said Rizzo. “We were looking for revenge after losing against them on Tuesday night and once again the game was close throughout, with neither team ever breaking away by more than five or six points. At times, we did a poor job of protecting the ball or making the extra pass, leading to turnovers or forced shots that did us no good. Regardless, we were always in the game.”

However, a key difference in the rematch came via the refs’ whistles. Beverly went to the line 42 times compared to just 10 for the Patriots.

“In a five-point game, that’s a huge difference,” noted Rizzo. “It was a tough way to watch my team go out. We had pride on the line and we played our hearts out knowing that this was going to be the final go in a Revere uniform for most of them.”

Ciambelli (12 points) and Chea (11 points) paced the Pats in the scoring department. Seigal added nine, followed by Zingali with eight, Ryland with six, Selevitch with three, and the trio of Camilo Gomez, Lauria, and Dreeszen with two each.

In between the Beverly encounters, the Patriots hosted Northeastern Conference powerhouse Lynn English Thursday on an evening that was highlighted by Senior Night festivities. The eight seniors on this year’s squad, tri-captains Jason Seigal, Michael Dreeszen, and Michael Ciambelli, along with classmates Ravi Ryland, Doug Zingali, Dante Lauria, Ben DiGiulio, and Steven Selevitch were recognized for their contributions to the Patriot basketball program.

Revere stunned the high-flying Rams in the opening period, jumping out to a 20-11 advantage at the first buzzer. “Everything we did offensively was working with Ravi Ryland the big benefactor as he scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the first quarter alone,” said Rizzo. “At the other end, we were able to keep English’s trio of guards out of the lane and their two talented big men off  the glass.”

However, English made a run just before the half ended. With Seigal on the bench saddled with three fouls, English put on a full court press in the final three minutes before the intermission that led to five RHS turnovers, erasing what had been a nine point RHS lead and moving English ahead, 33-31. A three point shot by Chea at the buzzer stemmed the English surge and allowed the Pats to leave the floor with a 34-33 advantage.

However, the second half was all English. The visiting Bulldogs, led by junior big man Johnny Hilaire, who poured in 25 of his game-high 32 points in the final two quarters, outscored Revere 31-15 in the third frame to coast to a 91-66 victory. Ryland led Revere with 19 points. Ciambelli reached double figures with 17 points as did Seigal with 15.

“English wore us down and used their supreme height, strength, and athleticism to kill us on the glass,” noted Rizzo. “Doug Zingali was assigned to play Hilaire down low and he did a great job on the initial defense, but it was impossible to keep him off the glass and that’s what really killed us. In their last home game, the seniors fought and clawed and gave it everything they had. We didn’t get that signature senior night win we were looking for, but I know they gave it their all in their final home game of their careers.  It was emotional for my players and me since we had been through so much together and weren’t ready to see it end. It all dated back to when I was their freshmen coach three years ago and we went a perfect 20-0.”

With a record of 7-13 on the season, Revere will not qualify for the state tournament, but the Pats’ final record belies their talent and toughness. “Some may look at the record and think that this wasn’t a good team, but when you dive deeper into the schedule, you will see that they played one of the tougher schedules in all of Eastern Massachusetts,” said Rizzo. “Of their 20 games, nine of them came against top-25 teams in the state and we showed we could play with all of them.”

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