Sports 12-21-2016

December 23, 2016
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RhS sports Roundup

RHS HOCKEY TEAM WINS SEASON-OPENERS

The Revere High hockey team came from behind in both of its contests in its season-opening week to post victories over East Boston and Everett.

The Patriots trailed for almost the entire game in both encounters, but refused to fold and battled back before eventually emerging with the lead by the time the final horn sounded.

In Saturday’s thrilling win over Everett, Mike Giordano banged home the game-winning tally amidst a scramble for the puck in front of the Everett net with just 16 seconds to play to give the Patriots a 6-5 victory.

Giordano’s game-winner, his third goal of the contest, was the final tally of a wild third period. The teams entered the final frame deadlocked at 2-2, but proceeded to take turns lighting the lamp.

Everett forged ahead on three occasions (3-2, 4-3, and 5-4), but Revere responded every time with a counter-punch to notch the equalizer.

Giordano then came through with the knockout punch that gave Revere its first lead of the game since the opening period when the Patriots grabbed a 1-0 advantage.

In addition to Giordano’s hat trick, linemates Mike Goroshko (two goals) and Anthony Cecca (one goal) also lit up the back of the Everett net.

“It was not our best game, but we didn’t quit and we fought back every time to keep ourselves in a position from where we eventually were able to pull out the win,” said RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello.

The Everett victory mirrored Revere’s season-opening success last Wednesday, a 5-3 triumph over East Boston. The Patriots likewise trailed for much of the game, but never allowed Eastie to get more than one-goal leads.

Revere knotted matters at 3-3 before the end of the second period and then scored two unanswered goals in the final frame for a 5-3 victory.

“Our defense really came together in the third period,” said Ciccarello, who praised the play of captain Chris Anderson and sophomore blue-liners Marc Giordano, Cam Mazza, and Matt Cravotta.  “They shut Eastie down and enabled us to score two unanswered goals to get the win.”

Cecca and Giordano both potted a pair of goals and Rick Briana lit the lamp once.

“Both Eastie and Everett were big rivalry games for us,” noted Ciccarello. “Players on our team played youth hockey with boys from Everett and East Boston and both our coaches and players have connections with the coaches on the East Boston team. It was a lot of fun to play them and even nicer to win.”

Trevor Ristaino earned the win in goal in the Eastie contest and Ken Uminski picked up the “W” between the pipes vs. Everett.

The Patriots are set to host Lynn this evening (Wednesday) at 6:30 at Cronin Rink. They will play in a tournament fundraiser for cancer over the vacation Monday and Tuesday in East Boston, starting Monday evening at 6:00 against Ashland.

MUJAN WINS TWO EVENTS AS BOYS DEFEAT DANVERS

Edi Mujan captured two events to lead the Revere High boys indoor track team to a 46-40 victory over Danvers last Wednesday at Merullo Fieldhouse.

Edi won the high jump with a leap of 5’-8” and then raced to victory in the 300 dash in a time of 39.6 to post 10 points onto the Revere side of the scoresheet.

David Sinatra also had a big day for the Patriots, contributing eight points to the Revere cause with a first-place finish in his specialty, the 50 yard hurdles, in 7.3 seconds, and a second place in the high jump with a leap of 5’-6”.

Other Patriots who took first place in their respective events were: Morris Toglan with a dominating shot-put throw of 44’-10”, a toss that was fully five feet further than Morris’s closest competitor; Zach Gentile in the 600 dash in 1:35.1; and Sebastian Mejia in the mile with a clocking of 5:15.8.

Yussuf Buda grabbed second place in the 50 yard dash with a sprint of 5.9 seconds and Jonathan Hysenaj took second in the 300 dash in 41.1.

Revere’s depth pushed the Patriots over the top, with seven Revere competitors adding valuable points with their third-place performances: Anthony DeStefano with a shot-put heave of 38’-4”; Andy Em in the hurdles in 7.7; Sebastian Rendon in the 50 dash in 6.3; Wesley Zambrano in the 300 dash in 43.1; Christian Molina in the 600 in 1:39.3; Jonathan Nushi in the two-mile run in 11:58; and Cristian Acuna in the 1000 in 3:13.3.

The Patriots, who are 2-0 on the season, were set to face Marblehead today (Wednesday) and then are off until January 12 when they will take on Saugus.

RHS BOYS FALL IN OT TO BEVERLY

The Revere High boys basketball team opened its season with a 64-58 loss in overtime at Beverly this past Friday.

Sophomore guard Scott Montefusco drained a three-pointer with two seconds to play in regulation to knot matters at 56-56, but the Patriots were unable to sustain their momentum in the OT session.

“We drew up a sideline inbounds play for Scott and he delivered with a huge three-point shot,” said new RHS head coach David Leary, who was making his debut at the helm of the Patriots. “However, our offense struggled to make anything happen in the overtime and we were forced to foul down the stretch to try extend the game. But give Beverly credit — they made the big free throws.”

The Patriots endured a poor shooting performance in the opening half (7-for-28 fro the field) thanks to hard work and hustle that kept Revere within striking distance, 26-23, at the intermission.

The teams then played cat-and-mouse in the final two quarters, with each team making small runs to forge ahead, only to have the other counter-punch to retake the lead.

Revere trailed by seven late in the final period, but rallied to slice the Beverly lead to three with nine seconds to go, setting the stage for Montefusco’s heroics.

Senior guards Curtis High (17 points) and Gerald Jean-Charles (11 points and five assists) and senior forward Marvin Urdaneta (12 points, 10 rebounds) paced the Revere offense.

The Patriots also received nice contributions from senior Brendan Hayes (five points) and sophomore Marcus Brunson-Perez (six points).

Revere was set to host Lynn classical this past Monday and will entertain Lynn English tomorrow evening (Thursday). Tip-off is set for 7:00.

VAZQUEZ WINS TWO AS RHS GIRLS TRACK EDGED BY DANVERS

The Revere High girls indoor track team dropped a closely-contested, 48.5-37.5 decision to Danvers last Wednesday at the Merullo Fieldhouse.

Claritza Vazquez was a double-wnner for the Lady Patriots, scoring 10 points for the Revere cause. Claritza captured the high jump with a leap of 4’-6” (which led a near-sweep for RHS in that event) and then sped to victory in the 300 dash in 48.6 seconds.

Other first-place finishers for Revere were Rachel Shanbar, who won the shot-put with a toss of 29’-3” (a distance that was more than five feet further than the closest Danvers girl), and Helen Perez, who captured the 600 dash in 1:54, which was 12 seconds faster than her closest Danvers competitor.

Second-place performers for Revere who added three points to the Lady Patriot side of the scoresheet were: Hannah Fitzpatrick with a high jump of 4’-2” and a mile run of 5:52.1 to score six points; Janine So with a shot-put throw of 24’-2”; Giana Berkowitz in the 50 hurdles in 9.4; and Monica Posada in the 1000 with a clocking of 3:38.3.

Third-place finishers for Revere who contributed single points to the RHS cause were Rania Bensadok in the 50 hurdles in 9.5 and Allegra Penn in the 50 dash in 7.3.

Azra Lakacha tied for third in the high jump with her leap of 4’-2” to split a point with a Danvers rival.

The RHS mile relay quartet of Claritza Vasquez, Helen Perez, Monica Posada, and Hannah Fitzpatrick put up a strong fight, but fell short by a scant 0.8 seconds with their time of 4:46.4, compared to 4:45.6 for their Danvers counterparts.

“The meet was definitely a tough loss,” said RHS head coach Antonia LaBruna. “It was back and forth throughout, but ultimately came down to the depth that Danvers had in the mid-distance and distance events.

“We outscored them 15.5-2.5 in the field events, led by Rachel Shanbar in shot-put and Claritza Vasquez in high jump,” added LaBruna. “Rachel is one of the best throwers in the conference and has qualified for the D-2 State Meet in each of the past two seasons. She hasn’t really been tested yet this season, but will come  up against some tough competition in the next couple of meets. I’m hoping that she will step up and make the qualifying throw soon.

“Claritza is still fairly new to the high jump, but matched her personal record (PR) jump of 4’-6” against Danvers,” continued the coach. “We will be working on her form while clearing the bar these next couple of days and we’re hoping that a 4’-8” or 4’-10” jump can be achieved by season’s end.”

The Lady Patriots host Marblehead this evening (Wednesday) and have the NEC Freshmen/Sophomore Meet this Saturday at Beverly High School.

“Marblehead always is tough, but I am hoping that we can we continue to improve and run faster times with each passing meet,” said LaBruna. Revere’s next dual meet after Marblehead will not be until January 12.

Revere goes fourth

Pepic, Napolitano key late surge for Patriots in win over Classical

By Cary Shuman

The Lynn Classical girls basketball team looked like it might pull off an upset against Revere High Monday night, but Valentina Pepic and Company put it all together in the fourth quarter to stave off the Lady Rams on their homecourt and remain unbeaten through three games.

Pepic, a 6-foot-2-inch junior, scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help Revere overtake Classical in the fourth quarter on its way to a 55-43 victory.

Revere trailed, 40-36, after three quarters before sophomore guard Kiana Napolitano gave her team an immediate boost with a three-pointer. Napolitano later added a key free throw after retrieving a rebound of her own shot and drawing a foul on her subsequent attempt.

Tatianna Iacoviello (12 points) made her fourth 3-pointer in the final quarter and delivered an inbound pass to Pepic for a layup.

Junior guard Pamela Gonzalez (5 points), coming off a solid 17-point effort in a 50-25 win over Beverly last Friday, had a steal and a layup as Revere outscored Classical, 19-3, in the final eight minutes.

Meaghan Gotham (4 points), Emily DiGiulio (3), and Erica Cheever (3) also scored for the 3-0 Patriots.

The biggest story was Valentina Pepic, who scored 10 of her game-high 24 points in the decisive final stanza. A representative from Division 1 UMass/Lowell was in the audience to scout Classical junior Paris Wilkey, but it’s a certainty that Pepic also drew the coach’s attention.

“There’s a reason she (Pepic) was the conference’s player of the year last year,” said Classical coach Tom Sawyer. “She’s 6-foot-2 and has a soft touch around the basket. Unfortunately we didn’t execute our game plan on her and she took advantage of it.”

Revere coach Lianne O’Hara also lauded Pepic’s big-time performance in the paint.

“Valentina was just amazing with 24 points, four  offensive and six defensive rebounds,” said O’Hara. “She’s off to a great start to the season.”

Pepic credited her teammates for finding her in the right spot on the court.

“I couldn’t do this without my team – they looked for me when I was open and got me the passes,” said Pepic. “We were pumped for this game. We’ve always had close games with Classical and we knew this game would be a tough one.”

O’Hara implored her team in the pre-fourth quarter huddle to step up its defensive intensity.

“We wanted to make some defensive stops – that’s been my goal, good, hard defense. We get a little overly aggressive and foul sometimes, but I thought we played excellent defense tonight. We had 10 steals and seven deflections.”

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

O’Hara had to come up with different combinations with some early foul trouble and her reserves delivered with Samantha Woodman (4 rebounds), Elizabeth Lake, Erica Cheever, and Kiana Napolitano providing valuable minutes off the bench. Cheever contributed eight points in the win over Beverly.

“I have confidence in all my players,” said O’Hara. “They all work hard in practice. The difference between a good player and a great player is that they take what you tell them to do and they incorporate it in to their game and it become a part of their repertoire.”

Star in the Making: Emily DiGiulio continues to impress with her ballhandling and playmaking abilities. The sophomore guard had made a smooth transition in to the starting lineup and really has a grasp of how to play the position at both ends of the floor.

The Boston Herald has ranked Revere as the No. 1 team in Division 1 North. Pepic and Gonzalez are two of the “players to watch” in the division.

Pepic has received correspondences from Merrimack College, Hofstra, and Assumption.

Coach O’Hara talked about the high expectations surrounding her team. “It’s been a lot of pressure, since Day One,” O’Hara said candidly. “Coming in to a really good program and a team that lost in the Division 1 North finals, that’s a lot to live up to, so Day One, I felt the pressure but that’s a good thing. It’s an exciting thing to have.”

Adanna Hector, a starting guard on last year’s team, was in attendance at the Revere-Classical game.

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