Sports 02-07-2018

February 9, 2018
By

RhS sports Roundup

RHS boys basketball rolls past Saugus, 71-24

The Revere High boys basketball team put it all together last Wednesday to earn a runaway 71-24 victory over Saugus at the Merullo Fieldhouse for their first win of the season.

Their ball movement on offense and their aggressive play pushed the Patriots out to a big, first-quarter lead, 20-2. The Revere sharpshooting was contagious throughout the evening, as juniors Sebastian Vanegas, Scott Montefusco, and John Leone all chipped in with 12 points.

The offensive onslaught continued in the second quarter and the Patriots held a 39-5 lead going into halftime.

“It was the most complete game we have played all year, which was nice to see,” said RHS head coach David Leary. “It’s tough to make the kids understand that there have been improvements, even though we hadn’t won until that game. We just need to continue to work hard and keep building trust.”

The second half was more of the same as senior guard George Quintana (five points) and junior forward Eric Bua (eight points) played well off the bench. Revere continued to move the ball and set each other up for good shots, which was reflected on the stat sheet, as the Patriots recorded a season-high 18 assists.

The big win was sandwiched between a pair of losses at Lynn English last Tuesday and back home against Salem on Friday.

Although the final score at English showed the Patriots coming up on the short end of an 80-52 decision, the final score was not indicative of how hard and well the Patriots played.

Trailing 14-13 after one quarter and 36-28 at the half against one of the better teams in the NEC and the state, the young Patriots continued to show signs of what Leary termed “improvement every night.”

Sophomore guard EJ Leone led the way with 16 points, including four three- pointers, while junior forwards Omar Bendjahene (12 points) and Johnny Leone (nine points) also chipped in with valuable contributions for the Patriots.

In Friday night’s encounter with the Salem Witches, the Patriots seemed to carry over some momentum from their win on Wednesday against Saugus.

Revere bolted to an early first quarter lead of 14-12. Junior guard Marcus Brunson-Perez (17 points) got it going early, scoring eight points in the frame. Salem made some nice adjustments and slowed down the Patriots in the second quarter, giving the Witches a 26-23 lead heading into the break.

The third quarter was back and forth. Leone (13 points, eight rebounds) began to find his touch, making some tough shots in the lane. The final minutes of the quarter went Salem’s way as they closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to lead 47-39 heading to the final period.

“We just did not defend the three-point line the way we needed to and there was a four minute stretch where they pushed the lead up,” noted Leary.

The Patriots continued to battle hard, but in the end the Witches made their shots and held on to a 66-54 victory.

Leary and his crew trekked to Gloucester this past Tuesday and will host Medford Friday evening.

 

RHS hockey team battles Lynn to tie

The Revere High hockey team earned a crucial point in its quest to qualify for a post-season state tourney berth with a 4-4 tie with Lynn Saturday evening at Cronin Rink.

RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello had exhorted his squad to play with “a sense of urgency” before the contest and the Patriots responded with one of their best performances of the season against a Lynn squad, which is in second place in the South Division of the Northeastern Conference with an overall record of 8-4-3, that handily had defeated the Patriots 7-2 in the teams’ initial encounter three weeks ago.

Revere shook off an inauspicious opening minute — Lynn’s Brian Clougherty  scored the first of his four goals on the night for a quick 1-0 Lynn lead — but the Patriots lit the lamp three times on goals by Mark Girodano, Mike Goroshko, and Wayne Cintolo before Clougherty struck again with less than a minute remaining in the period to make it 3-2 at the first intermission.

Lynn (i.e., Clougherty) opened the middle period with a pair of tallies to retake the lead, but RHS defenseman Cam Mazza made a beautiful rush from the defensive end that ended with Cam beating the Lynn goal for the equalizer to bring the teams back to level.

The third period provided multiple opportunities for both teams to break the deadlock, but RHS goalie Trevor Ristino and his Lynn counterpart proved equaled to the task to leave matters at 4-4 at the final horn.

“We need to work together as a team, and that’s what we did,” said Ciccarello. “When we play selfishly, we are not effective. But against Lynn we were selfless and played hard-fought, heart-and-guts hockey.”

Ciccarello cited in particular the play of Ricky Briana. “Ricky epitomized the kind of team player that we are looking for,” said the coach. “He was our best player on the ice.”

Thanks to a quirk in the schedule, the Patriots, who now stand at 7-6-3 on the season, will not play again until next Wednesday, February 14, a layoff of 10 days between games.

With four games left on their schedule, the Patriots need three points to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney. They will travel to Bourque Arena at Endicott College to play Beverly next Wednesday and will close out their schedule with home games against Essex Tech, Amesbury, and Peabody.

Gonzalez reaches 1,000-point milestone

By Cary Shuman

The play on which St. Mary’s guard Pamela Gonzalez of Revere scored the 1000th point of her basketball career illustrated why she’s considered one of the best players in the state.

The 5-foot-9-inch junior accelerated with the basketball past midcourt, drove down the lane past her defender, and hit a lay-up while in traffic, also drawing a foul on the play.

After the game was stopped with 5:41 left in the third quarter and Gonzalez had received congratulations and a special poster from her teammates and coaches (and a warm ovation from the fans), she swished a free throw for Point No. 1,001.

Gonzalez’s  best moment of the St. Mary’s-Cathedral game was a spectacular assist on a fast break to teammate Nicole D’Itria (7 points), a fantastic freshman, also from Revere, who has become a starting player and key contributor for the Spartans.

Gonzalez completed her milestone night with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists but the Spartans fell to No-1-ranked Cathedral, 63-58, on the Lady Panthers’ home court.

Gonzalez, who played for the Revere High School team before transferring to St. Mary’s, had needed 17 points to reach the milestone. She scored nine points in the first half and hit a three-pointer early in the second half. She quickly followed with free throws and baskets to reach the milestone.

Following Gonzalez talked with reporters about her achievement following the game.

“It feels really good – I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something in life, which is good,” said Gonzalez.  “Basketball means a lot to me so it’s very excited to get 1000 points. “I can’t wait for the season to continue and the tournament to start, if we get one more win.”

Gonzalez played three seasons in Revere, where she helped the team soar to a No. 1 ranking in the state last year.

“Revere helped me a lot but I enjoyed doing it here at St. Mary’s,” said Gonzalez. “Coach Newhall has helped me a lot and I love my team. He’s helped me improve as a basketball player.”

St. Mary’s has an 11-6 record and Gonzalez leads the team in points (17.5 ppg) and assists (5 ppg).

St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall said Gonzalez has been an offensive tear over the past 10 games.

“She’s a great scorer and does a lot of other things very well for us,” said Newhall. “She’s a great player and brings a lot to the table for us. She’s been a positive influence on our team. She plays the game the right way. Scoring 1000 points as a high school basketball player is a tremendous accomplishment.”

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