Important point keeps Revere-Malden hockey team hunting for playoff berth
By Julian Cardillo
Joe Ciccarello has known all along his Revere-Malden hockey team has true raw talent. The key, he sensed, was bringing it all together so individual skill would turn into full-team momentum. Cashing in on that formula may be right around the corner for the Patriots, who maintain their post-season hopes after notching an important 4-4 tie against Lynn on Saturday.
“They beat us pretty good earlier in the season, 7-1,” said Ciccarello, “so for us to come back and battle is huge. It’s an important point for us … I always knew we had the talent to do good things, but the story of this season has been forgetting about doing things individually and getting caught up in ourselves. It’s about the team and doing things together.”
Lynn opened the scoring in the first minute of the game on Saturday, but Revere-Malden roared back with three unanswered goals. Lynn, down 3-1 with only a few minutes left in the first, pulled a goal back to make it 3-2. Lynn scored one more time in the second, and both teams scored in the third to bring it to 4-4. Revere-Malden’s goals came from Mike Goroshko, Mike Giordano, Cam Marza and Wayne Santoro.
The Patriots only need three points to make the state tournament. Ciccarello certainly doesn’t feel as though making the postseason is in the bag, but said, “Oh, it’s definitely doable. I think momentum is a big part of it. I told the guys we’d need momentum come February and it had to be by doing the right things: teamwork, focus, execution, positive mentality. It wouldn’t matter as much if we got it right in January and December. It’s all about now.”
Revere-Malden’s next game is against Beverly on Wednesday.
Leone, Brunson-Perez lead Revere past Gloucester
By Julian Cardillo
Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Pats basketball team, but good performances have not. That said, Patriots coach David Leary has had his team earning a combination of the two as of late. Revere’s latest triumph came on Tuesday night in a tight, buzzer-beating victory against Gloucester on the road, 53-5-1.
“It was really a close, back-and-forth game,” said Leary, whose team has shown excellent competitiveness this season despite struggling to finish games on top. “I liked the way we hung in and battled. Just a really exciting and important win for our team.”
In a game this close, every play was important. But John Leone may have had the contribution of the night as time ticked away with his team up by just two points. With a handful of seconds ticking off the game clock and the score 53-51, Gloucester executed an excellent play that put one of their shooters in place to score an open three-pointer. Leone raced into position and applied pressure to the shooter, his effort banking off the rim. Leone then tracked down the loose ball and came up with the rebound, his control of possession allowing time to run out on the game with Revere still in the lead.
“That was huge for us, because for John that was really two plays in one,” Leary said. “It was amazing how he kind of came out of nowhere to put pressure on that shooter, then race to the end line to collect that rebound.”
Though the game was close throughout, Gloucester had the edge in the first half. They outscored the Patriots, 21-11, in the first quarter and took a 30-25 lead into halftime. Revere got some momentum in the second quarter and carried it into the second half.
Marcus Brunson-Perez led Patriots scoring with 22 points, nine of which came from three-point shots. “He shot very well for us,” said Leary. “I think he was three of five from the field when shooting three. Overall he was accurate pretty much everywhere on the court, plus on free throws. It was a really good game for him.”
Omar Bendjahene had 12 points and six rebounds, while Leone – the late-game hero – had seven points and seven rebounds. The combination of those efforts enabled Revere to turn the tables. A five-point halftime deficit turned into a 42-41 lead after three. With Leone’s rebound at the end of the game, Revere’s advantage held.
Revere’s next game is at home tonight against Medford with a 7 p.m. tip-off. “That’s another big game for us,” said Leary. “It will be a tough test even though we’ve been playing very well. Medford has been one of the NEC’s toughest and most in-form teams lately.”
Lady Pats hoops team’s firepower too much for Gloucester
By Julian Cardillo
Three different players hit double-digits in the Revere girls’ basketball team’s dominant, 71-43 victory over Gloucester on Tuesday night. Valentina Pepic led the way again with 30 points, but Ayah Harper (17) and Tatiana Iacoviello (10) had excellent performances, too, as their team improved to 12-3 on the season.
“These girls worked hard for those points, and it definitely is a confidence booster,” said Revere coach Lianne O’Hara. “We’ve talked a lot about having a positive mindset and using previous successes as fodder for confidence. In terms of team confidence, it definitely helps to know that their teammates are able to contribute when necessary.”
Despite the stellar offensive showing, Revere only got out to a 16-14 lead in the first quarter. The focus was more on shoring up the defensive side than piling on more points. Fixing up on defense in turn contributed to more offense, evidenced by Revere’s 22 total points in the third quarter. Overall, the Patriots had 19 steals and 22 defensive rebounds. “Those defensive stops created offensive momentum,” O’Hara added. “I want to single out Emily DiGiulio, who did a great job anticipating passes and was able to steal the ball five times and make six defensive rebounds.”
With their improvement throughout the game on both sides of the ball, Revere ended up out-gunning the Fisherman 2-1. It also allowed O’Hara to rotate her bench into the game. “It’s a great opportunity to get more kids in the game and give the younger players more varsity experience,” O’Hara explained. “It definitely helps with player confidence as well.”
Revere’s next game is on Friday against Medford, who only have one win on the season. Revere are clearly the favorites in that contest, but O’Hara is looking for her team to remain competitive and take nothing for granted. Though Friday’s game may be an opportunity to cycle in more players, earning a victory will be key as the Patriots look to improve their seeding for the state tournament. “It’s a great opportunity to get some of our younger kids in there,” said O’Hara. “We want them to get more varsity experience.”