The boys beat Lynn English to qualify for the tournament
The boys’ basketball team at Revere High had been on a roll going into the final quarter of the season. The Patriots had won four straight games to improve to 9-6 on aggregate and move into third place in the Greater Boston League.
With five games remaining on their schedule, the Pats only needed one more win to clinch their ticket to a playoff trip. The odds seemed to be heavily in Revere’s favor, with contests against two opponents (Hamilton-Wenham and Lynn Classical) that the Patriots had defeated in their first meetings and a third, a .500 East Boston team, that had been beaten. easily by Chelsea. , an enemy of GBL with whom the Pats had shared their two games.
However, Revere’s one-season roller coaster continued, as the Pats dropped their next four games to fall to 9-10, with their final fight looming against the Lynn English Bulldogs, the GBL’s second-best team. (11-2 in the league and 13-6 overall) whose only league defeats had been to undefeated Everett.
Moreover, the Bulldogs had taken a bite out of the Patriots in their first meeting, a 65-44 victory for the English.
So when the teams lined up for the opener last Thursday at Merullo Fieldhouse, the Patriots’ state tournament hopes weren’t bright.
However, it was obvious from the start that the Patriots were ready to jump on the Bulldogs and give it their all.
Junior guard Domenic Boudreau scored a basket on the first possession. Lynn English would respond with a three-pointer from their star guard, Tyrese Melo-Garcia, to go ahead, 3-2, but that would be the only time the Bulldogs would lead for the rest of the game.
Revere responded with buckets from senior forward Ramadan Barry (seven points, five rebounds, four steals) and sophomore center Deivis Cruceta; a three-pointer from senior tri-captain Jack D’Ambrosio (12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks); and a hoop from fellow senior tri-captain James Clauto (24 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals).
Plus, Boudreau was on fire, scoring 11 points in the quarter, to give Revere a 22-12 lead at the first buzzer.
The Revere defense was history in the second period. The Patriots continued to pressure Melo-Garcia and force other England players to beat them. Barry made a good steal and lay-up; Clauto had two great drives, plus four free throws and a three-pointer; and Boudreau, with a three-pointer and a floater down the hall, helped push Revere’s lead to 39-24 at halftime.
RHS head coach David Leary attributed his team’s first spark to having their backs against the wall.
“We talked about competing on every possession at both ends of the court. It was win or go home and the kids reacted,” Leary said.
Half-time adjustments were made and both teams emerged from the locker room with clear focus. Revere senior center Hamza Ghoul (four points, eight rebounds) sank two free throws, captains Clauto and D’Ambrosio made two hoops apiece, and Boudreau made a smooth mid-range jump to give the Patriots their biggest lead of the game, 48-26, midway through the third quarter.
The Bulldogs came out of a timeout and began to make their presence felt on both sides with pressure defense and getting to the basket. The English ended the period with a 10-3 streak to keep things close enough, 51-36, to have a chance in the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was all Lynn English to begin with, as All-Star Bulldog guard Melo-Garcia started scoring at will and from all angles. Melo-Garcia would finish with 37 points on the night, including 16 points in the final quarter, including the first 11 points.
Revere eventually started with baskets from D’Ambrosio, Ghoul and Clauto to keep Revere ahead, 62-54, with 3:20 remaining.
But the Bulldogs weren’t ready to go and responded with a 4-0 run to cut it to 62-58 with 2:04 to play.
Leary called a timeout to weather the storm and the brief respite appeared to play a crucial role in the outcome of the game.
“We (the coaches) really challenged them in the timeout,” Leary said. “They had played so well up until then, it would have been a shame to let it slip away and end our season.”
Boudreau (24 points, six rebounds) rose to the challenge with back-to-back field goals, including a smooth right-handed to left-handed pass on a layup to give the Patriots an eight-point lead. After a free throw from Lynn English, Barry sank a massive three-pointer from the corner – the kind of long-range dagger Larry Bird was famous for – to put Revere ahead, 69-59, with 56 seconds left.
Clauto and D’Ambrosio closed out the game at the free throw line and Revere held on to win, 74-63, to punch his ticket to a Journey to the Tourney with a 10-10 record.
“We’re so proud of this group,” Leary said the day after the big win. “We didn’t know how the day was going to go after our struggles the last two weeks and it would have been easy to just fold, but this group has been fighting all year. They had goals and this was one of them. “They just didn’t want it to end today and wanted to practice on Sunday. We’ll just keep grinding – that’s how we’ve approached the whole season.
Revere is seeded 45th in the Division 2 state tournament and was scheduled to make the long trip to Springfield High School of Science & Technology, which is the 20th seed, last night (Tuesday) night in a trick contest preliminary.
Although the first reconnaissance report on Springfield was not exhaustive, Leary and his team were cautiously optimistic.
“We know they play in a very tough league and we have a two hour bus ride ahead of us but the way these kids have come together and collected all year I know Sci-Tech will get our best shot,” Leary said. “I hope it’s enough to survive and progress. The goal every year is to play in March and that’s what this band wanted.
If the Patriots are successful, they will advance to the Round of 16 where they will go to No. 13 Scituate. This competition is scheduled for this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Scituate High School.
Revere Girls ready for state tournament
The Revere High women’s basketball team was scheduled to open play in the Division 2 State Tournament last night (Tuesday) at Tewksbury.
The Lady Patriots, who finished 12-8 overall this season and claimed third place in the Greater Boston League with an 11-3 record, are ranked 42nd in D-2. Tewksbury is seeded 23rd.
“We are looking forward to playing Tewksbury in the state tournament,” said RHS head coach Chris Porrazzo. “It’s going to be a fun and intense atmosphere. Our team is looking forward to the challenge.
Although Revere wrapped up his regular season schedule two weeks ago, Porrazzo kept his charges going through the holiday week with multiple practices and scrimmages with Georgetown and Lynn Classical.
“I’m so proud of our team for the work they did over the February break,” Porrazzo said. “They spent their well deserved break from school in the gym working on their game. Their efforts throughout the season have been top notch. Regardless of the result against Tewksbury, these players have much to be proud of.
If the Lady Patriots were successful last night, they would advance to the Round of 16 to play 10th-seeded Canton High School in D-2 on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.