Valentina Pepic scored 22 points for Revere in the 57-30 win over Saugus.
By HAROLD RIVERA
SAUGUS — Last week the Saugus girls basketball team downed undefeated Danvers, handing the Falcons their first loss of the season. History often repeats itself, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for the Sachems on Thursday night.
The Sachems fell to Revere, 57-30, at Saugus High. With the win, the Patriots (11-0) clinched a spot in the state tournament and remained undefeated.
Although the score indicates an easy road to victory for the Patriots, the game didn’t start that way. Revere’s Valentina Pepic had the hot hand in the early stages, scoring eight points in the opening quarter. The Sachems kept pace thanks to Taylor Bogdanski, who nailed a three with 12 seconds to play in the quarter. Revere led 10-9 after one.
Saugus committed a number of costly turnovers in the second quarter and fell into an offensive funk.
“Revere’s length bothered us,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “They got into our passing lanes. There were plays where it seemed like momentum wasn’t on our side and we’re a momentum team.”
Revere opened the second quarter on an 8-1 run led by a three from Pamela Gonzalez and a pair of buckets knocked down by Pepic and Emily DiGiulio. The Patriots carried a 24-14 advantage into the half.
“I think we came out strong defensively,” Revere coach Lianne O’Hara said of the team’s performance in the second quarter. “We got a bunch of stops and scores and that opened up our lead. We work really hard on our defense.”
With a new half of basketball left to play, the Sachems looked to climb back into the game but Revere didn’t slow down. The Patriots opened up a 20-point lead after three quarters and remained hot through the fourth. Revere’s biggest advantage was a 28-point lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Aside from turnovers the Sachems were also outrebounded, and it cost them.
“I have to coach better,” Schruender said. “We didn’t work on boxing out on hard crashes from the perimeter, and that’s my fault. Revere made a lot of perimeter rebounds. Sometimes we’d get the rebound and we’d lose it on a deflection, luck wasn’t on our side.”
For Revere, Pepic led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds.
“She (Pepic) works hard to finish,” O’Hara said. “She grabs rebounds and keeps the ball over her head where guards can’t get it and she’s able to finish her shots.”
Gonzalez scored 11 points with five rebounds. Elizabeth Lake added five points.
Olivia Valente led Saugus with six points while Bogdanski and Allie Kotowski each scored five.
The Sachems (9-3) will attempt to bounce back on Tuesday at Beverly.
“We’re a game-to-game, day-to-day team,” Schruender said. “We’ll get it after it on Sunday at practice.”
Revere aims to stay undefeated on Tuesday when the team hosts Gloucester.
“We’re looking to improve defensively,” O’Hara said. “If we can limit teams from scoring, winning is a little bit easier.”
Harold Rivera can be reached at email@example.com.