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Revere girls’ basketball team soars to 11-5, secures spot in tournament

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By Dom Nicastro


The Revere High School girls’ basketball team keeps delivering good news. That’s what happens when you win a lot. The Patriots qualified for the tournament over the past week and stand at 11-5 overall. The team has won four straight games.

And some more good news. Revere’s five seniors — Bella Stamatopolous, Haley Belloise, Rocio Gonzalez, Julianna Bolton and Alisha Jean — will be honored Thursday, Feb. 1 against Everett on Senior Night.

That victory came in the form of a 50-30 decision over Greater Lowell Tech, a non-conference tilt. On the strength of five steals apiece from Shayna Smith and Belloise, Revere got its 11th win of the season. Belma Velic led the way with 15 points and eight rebounds. Smith added 10 points and 9 rebounds.

“We’ve had a solid effort from our starters the last couple of games,” Revere first-year coach Ariana Rivera said. “Belma Velic stepping up more on the boards and her outside game. Rocio Gonzalez coming off the bench with some great minutes and being an asset on the offensive end for us. Collectively, we’ve found our rhythm on offense the past few games. Defensively, we’ve upped our tempo and have been able to find success in our length and urgency for the basketball.”

Earlier, on the strength of 17 steals and 16 assists as a team, Revere moved within one game of being tournament-eligible when they beat Chelsea, 61-23, in Revere. The team put on a balanced buzzer-to-buzzer performance against Chelsea High to secure their ninth win of the season on that night. Revere scored 61 points and hit a season-high five 3-pointers. A telling statistic for the chemistry of the Patriots was the 16 assists that they accumulated over those 61 points. If there was any shortfall, it may have been the performance from the free throw line, where the girls finished 4-for-9 for 44%.

Junior captain Velic finished with 15 points, followed closely by junior Nisrin Sekkat with 10 (including two 3-pointers), sophomore Smith with nine (one 3-pointer) and freshman Sarah Lechheb with eight (including two 3-pointers). Senior captain Belloise dropped five dimes to her eager teammates, and Velic cleaned the glass for a team-leading six boards. A plethora of Patriots saw significant action for the first time this year, including Destiny Borges-Kelly, Zohra Benkreira and Kesley Morales.

Chelsea was led by sophomores Melize Siliro and Monica Cespedes-Cruz, who finished with nine and 12 points, respectively.

The Patriots next faced Malden, looking to lock up a postseason berth with their 10th win and got the job done, 35-32, in a well-fought, defensive battle. Velic led the Patriots with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Alisha Jean added 7 points and 8 rebounds. Revere got a big game from Gonzalez, who chipped in off the bench with 7 points.

Revere is ranked 46th out of 55 teams in the MIAA Division 1 latest power rankings. Why so low with a solid 11-5 record? Revere has one of the lowest opponent ratings in the division because it plays in the low-rated Greater Boston League. Ratings are determined by adding average margin of victory with opponent rating. Revere’s opponent rating is negative 1.7. The highest-ranked team in the division is Bishop Feehan, which has a 15.6 opponent rating.

Opponent rating is determined by the state based on a variety of competitive factors. The MIAA dives into more specifics here: https://miaa.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Information-Sheet-for-Power-rating-system.pdf

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