valentina pepic

Rams celebrate season at team banquet

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Classical coaches Tom Sawyer, left, and Helen Ridley, right, gave seniors Soneta Srey, second from left, and Priscill Alouidor a gift at the Rams’ girls basketball banquet Tuesday.

By KATIE MORRISON 

LYNN — The Lynn Classical girls basketball team had a season to remember in 2016-17. The Rams won 17 games, the highest win total for Classical since the 2003-04 season. They not only got the chance to host a state tournament game, but were able to win in their home gym, beating North Andover, 59-47, before falling to Billerica in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.

The Rams celebrated their impressive season on Tuesday night at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine in Lynn at the team’s annual banquet.

It was an emotional evening as Classical said farewell to a pair of seniors in Soneta Srey and Priscill Alouidor. Srey, a Northeastern Conference All-Star, was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. The senior scored a career-high 33 points against Everett in a season filled with highlights for both her and the Rams.

“We always put her (Srey) on the other team’s most important player,” Classical head coach Tom Sawyer said. “She always came through. She’s an unbelievable athlete.”

Alouidor received the Academic Achievement Award, as she holds a 4.18 grade point average and is 20th in her class.

The two seniors gave their own speeches at the end of the evening.

“Playing basketball isn’t just about winning, but about the memories you make and the fun you have, and I just realized that,” Srey said. “What you learn on the court, you apply to life as well.”

“I’m grateful for all the memories. There are times when I questioned playing this year, but I’m glad I did,” Alouidor said. “Even though I won’t be playing basketball in college, I will always tell people about the wonderful times I had at Classical.”

Paris Wilkey was honored as the team’s Best Offensive Player. The junior, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, averaged 17 points per game, scored 35 percent of the Rams’ points, and reached double figures in 20 of 22 games this season. She, along with Revere’s Valentina Pepic, was named co-Player of the Year in the NEC.

Irianis Delgado was named the Rookie of the Year for the Rams. Delgado became a large part of Classical’s offense as the season progressed, and scored 16 points in a 23-point victory over Saugus.

“She’s grown by leaps and bounds,” Sawyer said.

Jeylly Medrano, the team’s other NEC all-star selection, was named the Most Improved Player. Medrano had the tall task of taking over for 2016 Classical graduate Chenysse Hill at point guard, and Sawyer said she “did everything we asked of her and alleviated those concerns.”

Tyarah Horton received the Lady Ram Award for her hard work, dedication and hustle.

“We never have to coach her effort,” said Rams assistant coach Helen Ridley. “She’s our unsung hero.”

Also receiving awards for the sub-varsity teams were Izzy McGaughey (freshmen team’s Most Improved Player), Amber Crayton (freshmen Most Valuable Player), Jean Gupton (JV Most Improved Player), Jasmin Masse (JV Offensive Player of the Year) and Rebecca Walker (JV Coaches Award).

Sawyer thanked his coaching staff, which includes Ridley, junior varsity coach Rob Smith and freshmen coach Frank DeLuca. Ridley had kinds words of her own to share about Sawyer.

“This team has the best coach in the city. He could be a college coach,” Ridley said. “Your daughters are in great hands.”

Morrison: Elementary School Tournament is top-notch

FILE PHOTO
Denzel Guillen gets ready to shoot a free throw. 

By KATIE MORRISON

One of my favorite events of the year is the Lynn Elementary School Basketball Tournament. It may be because I’m a sucker for cute kids playing sports, especially when that comes in the form of a peanut-sized fourth-grader using all the strength she can muster to hit the backboard. But that’s not all of it.

I have to give due recognition to tournament organizer Sean Morris and the rest of the staff and coaches that make the tournament run. The first time I covered the event last year, I was shocked at how smoothly everything ran. Any tournament that size (with 32 teams) is bound to have its hiccups. But if it says on the schedule a game will start at 5:15, you better believe tip-off is going to be at 5:15. There are uniforms with names and numbers, and even — this is my favorite part, as a photographer — full rosters for every team. I cannot stress how rare that is. Even high school teams struggle to assemble an up-to-date roster for a game at times.

And then there are the games themselves. Some are blowouts; some teams struggle to even score a basket. But there are plenty of tight contests. I watched one of those Wednesday evening, as the Washington boys beat Shoemaker, 25-23. I love how into the game the fans, players and coaches were. You would have thought you were watching a high school tournament game, just in a smaller gym with less people and pocket-sized players.

Washington held the advantage for most of the game, but Shoemaker clawed back into it, taking the lead as time was winding down in the second half. But free throws from Donel Kabongo and Denzell Guillen iced the victory for Washington.

The tournament is special because it brings people from all over the city together to watch games that are competitive, yet fun for both teams, winners and losers. It’s not always the best basketball; I’ve seen more jump balls and kids wrestling on the ground for possession in the first few days of the tournament than I saw all of the high school season, but it’s a really fun brand of basketball that’s entertaining for everyone. If you’re around Pickering Middle School over the next few days, it’s worth it to stop in and watch a game or two. They go pretty quick, even with the 20-minute halves, and admission is only a dollar. And chances are, especially as the field narrows and the stronger teams start clashing, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.

Congratulations to Paris Wilkey for earning Northeastern Conference co-Player of the Year honors, along with Revere’s Valentina Pepic. I was thrilled not only that Wilkey was recognized for her efforts, but also that her teammates, Soneta Srey and Jeylly Medrano, as well as English’s Dorathy Ezemba, were also named to the all-star team. All four of these girls are such fun players to watch. When Wilkey is on (and not double or triple-teamed), she can take over a game. The same goes for Ezemba, who is just an all-around tough player. She was a force for the Bulldogs this year. Medrano is a strong point guard for Classical with a lot of talent.

But I really want to talk about the only senior in that group, Srey. She’s been so much fun to watch over the past couple of years. She’s one of the scrappiest players I’ve seen, always diving for loose balls and playing lockdown defense. Srey isn’t one of the most naturally talented shooters, but she’s so athletic, it doesn’t matter. She drives through the paint and gets to the hoop. And if you’ve ever seen her play volleyball, you know that even though she’s not tall, she can compete with anyone for rebounds thanks to her jumping abilities. Srey is always all smiles; she looks like she’s having a great time on the court. And that makes her so much fun to watch.

The beginning of the spring season has to be a challenging time for coaches. The games are coming up quick; many baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track teams play the first week of April. And the majority of those teams will only have maybe a week of outdoor practices under their belts by then. Coaches can work on fundamentals and conditioning while cooped up inside, but for baseball and softball especially, you just can’t replicate being outside.

For example, at English, baseball coach Joe Caponigro was itching to get on the field to work on fly balls, since it’s impossible to track them in the gym. At Tech, the softball team has to split the gym with track, meaning that it can’t set up a batting cage or find a good spot for pitchers to practice.

But then again, most schools in the area are dealing with the same issues. It might take a while for these teams to find their rhythm once the season starts.

NEC Basketball All-Stars Announced

FILE PHOTO
Paris Wilkey (right), a star player for the Rams, was named NEC co-player of the year. 

Lynn Classical’s Paris Wilkey was named co-player of the year for Northeastern Conference girls basketball along with Revere’s Valentina Pepic.

At last week’s meeting of coaches for both girls and boys, Patrick Bugler of Marblehead was named the boys player of the year and Mike Giardi, also of Marblehead, was named coach of the year. The Magicians were seeded second in the Division 2 boys North tournament before losing a quarterfinal game to Malden Catholic.
Mark Schruender, who directed Saugus to its best season in more than 30 years, was named the girls coach of the year. The Sachems finished the regular season at 16-6 before falling to Bishop Fenwick in first round the state tournament.
Making the boys all-conference team were Pat Gavin, center, Beverly; Bugler; and Jaylen Johnson, Lynn Classical, guards; and Evan Mason, Gloucester; Junior Estrella, Peabody; and Edwin Solis, Classical, forwards.
The girls all-conference team consisted of Wilkey, Melissa Gray, Peabody; Pamela Gonzalez, Revere; and Nicole White, Danvers, guards; and Pepic and Olivia Valente, Saugus, forwards.
Saugus won the sportsmanship award for the boys while Beverly received it for the girls.

Boys all-stars were Hugh Calice, Luigi Derrane and Justin Roberto, Beverly; Marc Smith and Ben Oliver, Gloucester; Ivy Lopes and Javonte Edwards, English; Erick Solis, Dyrrell Rucker and Gilbert Minaya, Classical; Bo Millett, Derek Marino and Justin Faia, Marblehead; Matt D’Amato and Moisse Irizarry, Peabody; Curtis High and Marvin Urdaneta, Revere; Matthew Waggett, Saugus; Nate Lebron, Salem; Jake McIntyre, Swampscott; Tayjaun McKenzie and Devin Pulsifer, Winthrop.

Girls all-stars are Natalie Mellinger and Tia Bernard, Beverly; Sarah Unczur and Elizabeth Montanari, Danvers; Megan Manning and Jenna Muniz, Gloucester; Lindsay Walker and Ashley Styles, Marblehead; Jeylly Medrano and Soneta Srey, Classical; Dorathy Ezamba, English; Katie Wallace and Chinenye Onwuogu, Peabody; Tatiana Iacoviello and Meaghan Gotham, Revere; Krissy Italiano and Alessia Salzillo, Saugus; Emily Fabre, Salem; Jaymie Caponigro and Nikki Rosa, Swampscott; Allie Love, Winthrop.

Revere rolls past Medford

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Revere’s Elizabeth Lake breaks toward the basket, chased by Medford’s Sam Morin. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

REVERE – It didn’t take long for Revere’s Lianne O’Hara to get her first state tournament win as a head coach. In her first crack at it, O’Hara and the No. 2 Revere girls basketball team rolled to a 65-35 win over No. 15 Medford on Monday night at Roland Merullo Field House in the first round of the Division 1 North tournament.

“It’s exciting,” O’Hara said. “But it’s also nerve wracking because I know we still have work to do. It’s exciting but I know there’s a challenge yet to come.”

Valentina Pepic led the Patriots with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Pamela Gonzalez scored 13 points and swiped five steals. Tatianna Iacoviello added 13 points and dished out seven assists. Meaghan Gotham finished with six points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Medford hung tough in the first quarter, bouncing back after the Patriots opened the game on an 8-0 run. Gonzalez and Emily DiGiulio converted on a pair of steals and Pepic added two buckets to give the Patriots the early advantage.

The Mustangs closed the quarter on a 7-5 run and trailed 13-7 after the first.

“I think we felt that we haven’t played in a while, and we haven’t played,” O’Hara said. “We got a scrimmage in on Friday but it’s still not the same setting. It’s really loud in here, so I think we were a little bit nervous.”

The second quarter was all Revere. Erika Cheever swished the game’s first three-pointer and Iacoviello followed with a pair of free throws, putting Revere up by double-digits at 21-11. Iacoviello knocked in a three in the final seconds of the quarter and the Patriots led 30-14 at halftime.

“We got a little more patient on offense and let things happen instead of trying to force the ball into the middle,” O’Hara said. “Pamela and some of the other girls started shooting a little bit more.

“We got a lot of steals as well,” O’Hara said. “We had 22 steals in the game, 14 in the first half.”

Medford captain Destiny Fitzgerald (14 points) led the Mustangs comeback efforts in the third quarter, finishing the period with nine points. Revere maintained the comfortable lead after three, 42-26.

The Patriots ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. Revere’s lead reached 30 when Elizabeth Lake drained a three to put the Patriots up 65-35. From there, the win was in the bag and the Patriots coasted to the victory.

Revere featured nine different scorers in the win.

“It’s a nice thing to happen,” O’Hara said. “In the first half we couldn’t finish. We were getting rebounds under the basket but we couldn’t score. We’ll be working on that in practice.”

The Patriots outrebounded the Mustangs 45-32, and were also stingier on the defensive end. While Revere totalled 22 steals on the night, Medford couldn’t swipe any.

Up next, Revere will host No. 7 Central Catholic on Friday night.

“Seeing Central Catholic will be tough because they’re a good program,” O’Hara said. “We have to really prepare for them.”

 

Saugus, Fenwick to battle it out in state tourney

FILE PHOTO
Olivia Valente and No. 3 Saugus will host No. 6 Bishop Fenwick on Thursday night. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Saugus girls basketball team battled its way to a 16-6 record this season, earning the No. 3 seed in the MIAA Division 3 North tournament and a home game in the first round. But that first round game will be anything but easy, as the Sachems will take on the defending Division 3 state champion Bishop Fenwick Crusaders.

“They’re a model team for sure,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said of Fenwick. “We saw their run last year and when we watched them play, our coaching staff collectively said that we want to play like them. They played fast and aggressive every minute, and we modeled ourselves after that style.”

It appears that the Sachems have learned well from the Crusaders, at least according to Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis.

“They’re a much-improved team this year,” he said. “They’re aggressive, quick and well-coached just to name a few things. They’re going to be a tough out this year.”

The Sachems have a solid group of players led by the likes of Olivia Valente and Alessia Salzillo. But if there’s one thing that Saugus lacks, it’s postseason experience.

“The experience factor is certainly in Fenwick’s favor, but we’ve been preparing for this all year,” Schruender said. “I think the big thing we need to push on the players is that it’s okay to make mistakes early from nerves or whatever, but we need to be able to settle down and execute. It’s still basketball, and we’ll be in our gym, so I think we can try to counter the experience factor.”

Fenwick may not be the powerhouse team that won it all last year when they went 23-4 and won the Div. 3 state title, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with. The Crusaders finished the year with a 14-8 record, good enough for a No. 6 seed on the bracket.

In terms of experience, the Crusaders may be more loaded than anyone despite losing multiple four-year starters to graduation. Senior captain Sam Mancinelli has played in 10 career postseason games, while juniors Fredi DeGuglielmo and Jennie Meagher have each played in eight career postseason games.

“Obviously the experience is a big factor because there are plenty of girls out there who will never play in that many postseason games,” said DeBaggis. “But at the end of the day we still have to execute against a really good team on the road.”

Adding to that veteran lineup is sophomore Jaxson Nadeau, who has emerged from a core of young players as a crucial cog in the machine.

“This has been a much different season for us,” DeBaggis said. “We lost several four-year players, two of them four-year starters, so we had a totally different look this year. But a lot of the younger girls have stepped up and our upperclassmen have provided the leadership we needed to have a successful regular season.”

Championship pedigree or not, DeBaggis knows his team will be in for a battle in Saugus.

“It won’t be easy,” he said. “They’re going to be fired up over there and the crowd will be going nuts. We anticipate that they’ll come out with plenty of energy, and we’re going to have to stay focused and execute our gameplan.”

The Crusaders and Sachems will meet on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Saugus High.

Elsewhere around the NEC, a number of local teams are preparing for tournament runs of their own. The Revere Patriots nearly had an undefeated regular season, winning their first 18 games before dropping the final two to earn the No. 2 seed in the Division 1 North tournament.

A big part of the Patriots’ success this year has been the play of their two bigs inside, Valentina Pepic and Meaghan Gotham. The two have been able to score from the post and dominate the glass, perfectly complementing the play of guards Pamela Gonzalez and Tatiana Iacoviello.

Revere draws a home game against No. 15 Medford (10-10) in the first round on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Also in Division 1 North, the Peabody Tanners closed out the year with a 13-7 record and secured the No. 11 seed. Seniors Melissa Gray and Katie Wallace have paced the Peabody offense this year, while Nene Onwuogo has had a great season at the forward spot.

The Tanners travel on the road to take on No. 6 Waltham (14-6) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Two teams from the NEC also made it into the Division 2 North bracket. The Swampscott Big Blue earned the No. 11 seed in Division 2 North after closing out the regular season with an even 10-10 record. The Big Blue will travel to take on No. 6 Hamilton-Wenham (12-8) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The Danvers Falcons also closed out the year at 10-10 and earned the No. 12 seed. The Falcons will play No. 5 Arlington Catholic (14-6) on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Peabody gives Revere a battle, Patriots get the win

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez goes in for a layup past the outstretched arm of Peabody’s Catherine Manning.

By JOYCE EREKSON 

REVERE — Like a dinner guest who doesn’t know when to go home, the Peabody High girls basketball team hung around all night before Revere could finally turn off the lights and go to bed.

The Patriots defeated the Tanners 61-55 Thursday night at Revere High and doing so, they managed to go undefeated in the Northeastern Conference under first-year coach Lianne O’Hara. They’re also undefeated overall (18-0) with two non-league games remaining.

“I consider myself lucky because I walked into a program that was already successful,” O’Hara said. “It’s hard work and luck. These girls are really determined. Really, the motivation is from them.”

Peabody finished 12-4 in the Northeastern Conference and is 12-6 overall heading in the final two non-league games of the season.

Neither team really seemed to click in the early going, but the Tanners struggled the most, scoring only two points in the first quarter. The lack of offensive production would come back to haunt them when they made a run at the Patriots late in the game, but didn’t have the juice to overcome such a slow start.

Revere led 13-2 after the first quarter and 26-14 at the half. The Patriots kept the Tanners at a healthy distance 10-12 points most of the way, but things got a little interesting in the fourth quarter when Peabody senior Melissa Gray, who only had two points in the first half, started to heat up. She scored 15 points in a fourth quarter, including a three that trimmed the deficit to four at 59-55 with less than 15 seconds to go. She finished with a game-high 20 points.  Revere’s Valentina Pepic, who finished with 13 points (12 in the second half), hit two free throws near the end to ice the win.

“The first quarter killed us,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “They led by 10, 12, 14 points the whole game. We were down by 12 going into the fourth quarter.”
Although not happy with the loss, McKeen loved that his team kept fighting.
“They  haven’t quit all year,” McKeen said. “They scrapped and and fought. I wish we had played as tough in that first quarter as we did in that final quarter and and half.”

Gray had taken a hit to the nose early in the game and was “stone cold” in that first half, McKeen said. In the second half, she had four threes.

“When she finds her range, when she can hit a shot twice in a row, she’s deadly,” McKeen said.

O’Hara was impressed by Gray as well.
“She had an excellent shooting game,” O’Hara said. “I give her credit for that. She had something to prove. Her shots were going. She was getting contested shots. That’s a good player.”

The Tanners also had big games offensively from senior forward Chinenye Onwuogu (11 points), Catherine Manning (8 points) and senior captain Katie Wallace (7 points).

Revere had three players in double figures. Guard Tatiana Iacoviello had 16 points and the Patriots to bigs, Meaghan Gotham and Valentina Pepic, had 11 points and 13 points, respectively. Guard Pamela Gonzalez had nine points.

School Roundup: Peabody girls clinch tournament bid

FILE PHOTO
Melissa Gray and the Tanners clinched a spot in the state tournament with Tuesday’s win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

After missing out on a chance at the state tournament last year, the Peabody girls basketball team punched its ticket to the state tournament with a 44-42 win over Northeastern Conference opponent Beverly on Tuesday night.

“We talked about it a little before the game tonight,” said Peabody coach Stan McKeen. “Last year, we had nine wins and lost our final two games to miss the tournament. So this year, we wanted to get it done as soon as possible, and we were able to do it with five games left in the season. It feels great and I’m very proud of all the work the girls have done.”

Melissa Gray led the way in this one, almost notching a rare triple-double with 25 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. Alyssa Alperen had seven points and Catherine Manning played a great defensive game.

The Tanners will face a tough test on Friday night when they take on a 14-4 Saugus team at home.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Revere 65, English 33

The Patriots continued their strong season Tuesday night at home, cruising to a win over the Bulldogs. Revere had three players score in double-figures, as Valentina Pepic led with 14 points, Pamela Gonzalez added 12 and  Meghan Gotham chipped in 10.

Saugus 45, Marblehead 26

Olivia Valente had 14 points to lead the way for the Sachems, who improved to 14-4 with the win. Krissy Italiano added 10 points, while Rachel Nazzaro had six assists in the win.

“I think the key for us was having a great defensive performance,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender. “That really helped us gain a lead and then hold onto it for the rest of the game.”

Saugus will take on Peabody on the road Friday night.

Cambridge Comm. Charter 42, KIPP 38

KIPP senior Favour Ofuokwu just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds as the Panthers fell to 9-3 on the year. Junior Nayeli Germosen had seven points and rebounds, while senior Krystal Campbell and sophomore Naudia Resnek both played well defensively.

KIPP will play a road game against Foxborough Regional Charter on Wednesday night.

Archbishop Williams 59, Bishop Fenwick 31

With the loss, the Crusaders drop to 10-6 on the season.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Marblehead 77, Saugus 37

The Magicians had 12 players score in their big victory at home on Tuesday night, led by Derek Marino’s 14 points and three steals. Bo Millett added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Marblehead got off to a hot start on the defensive end, forcing turnovers and getting Saugus out of rhythm early on.

“Our focus was to put a lot of pressure on them defensively, and it worked out well,” said Marblehead coach Mike Giardi. “We got them off their game pretty early and then were able to take control from there.”

The Magicians (15-2) now have a huge Northeastern Conference matchup with Lynn Classical on Friday night.

For Saugus (6-11), Cam Williamson led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Keyshawn Redden-Lee had nine points. The Sachems will travel to Peabody to face the Tanners on Friday.

Peabody 66, Beverly 60

Peabody improved to 11-6 with a close win over Beverly on Tuesday, led by Matt D’Amato’s 16 points and four assists. Moise Irizarry had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Jake Irvine had 12 points. Chubukem Onwuogo contributed eight points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

The Tanners will take on Saugus at home on Friday night.

For Beverly (9-6), Pat Gavin had a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Luigi Derrane had 14 points, while Hugh Calice had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Bishop Fenwick 77, Archbishop Williams 63

It was a big night for Fenwick senior captain Ryan Veguilla, who finished with 26 points in the win. Klaus Llanaj also had a great night, finishing with 19 points. The Crusaders will take on Arlington Catholic on the road on Friday night.

Salem 70, Winthrop 64

The Witches earned a state tournament berth with a close win over Winthrop on Tuesday night. Anthony Pena led the way with 21 points, while Vinnie Gaskins added 18 points and five rebounds. Henny Vlaun had 10 points in the win.

Salem will take on Beverly on Friday night.

Cheever’s late heroics keep Revere undefeated

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez drives around Classical’s Soneta Srey to the basket.

By HAROLD RIVERA

REVERE — In a clash between two powerhouse teams, sometimes the unexpected players are the ones who become the heroes. Malcolm Butler served as a prime example when his game winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX sealed the deal for the New England Patriots.

Friday night, freshman Erika Cheever was the hero in the Revere girls basketball team’s 55-53 win over Classical at Roland Merullo Field House.

With the game tied at 53-53, Cheever drew a foul with 1.6 seconds left in the game and swished both free throws to keep the Patriots undefeated at 15-0.

“She’s (Cheever) a solid foul shooter,” Revere coach Lianne O’Hara said. “I’m glad that she got fouled at the right time.”

“It was an exciting game,” O’Hara added. “I think we tend to get a little comfortable when we have a big lead and it’s easy to lose it.”

Classical overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took its first lead of the game at 53-52 after Tyarah Horton hit a free throw with 10 seconds remaining.

Although the Rams suffered a tough loss, coach Tom Sawyer was proud of his team’s effort. Classical was 10 seconds away from defeating Revere, the top-ranked team in the state.

“I was extremely proud of how they fought,” Sawyer said. “We took the No. 1 team in the state to the final whistle.”

After an uneventful first quarter that ended in a 5-5 tie, the Patriots offense began to heat up in the second period. Valentina Pepic hit a trio of jumpers in the early minutes of the quarter and Tatianna Iacoviello followed her teammate’s lead, knocking in a pair of threes and jump shot to give Revere a ten-point lead at 19-9.

With the game slipping away, Sawyer called a timeout and the Rams responded with a 10-4 run. Paris Wilkey, who led all scorers with 25 points, nailed a three at the buzzer and Classical was back in the game, down 23-19.

“We changed our defense a little bit and I think that helped,” Sawyer said. “We made some shots. That’s all it comes down to, you have to make some shots.”

The Patriots came out firing in the third quarter, with an 11-4 spurt to start the period. Samantha Woodman led the rally with a pair of buckets and Emily DiGiulio added a three, giving the Patriots 34-23 lead midway through the third. Revere maintained its 11-point advantage at the end of the quarter as the Patriots led 40-29.

Iacoviello hit a jumper to start the fourth quarter, giving Revere its largest lead of the night at 42-30. That’s when the Rams woke up and clawed back in.

Down 52-49, the Rams leaned to their top scorer, Wilkey, who knocked in a three to tie the game with three minutes to play.

“She (Wilkey) has ice water in her veins,” Sawyer said. “She just knocked it down.”

“She competed,” Sawyer added. “She went after everything. She shot the ball well in spurts but the biggest thing is she competed. Paris wanted to win this game bad for her and her teammates.”

Horton’s make from the charity stripe gave the Rams a 53-52 lead, but the advantage was short lived as Cheever’s late heroics gave the Patriots the win.

“We knew that to beat this team we had to score points,” Sawyer said. “We knew we weren’t going to hold them to stay in the 40’s, or even the 30’s. We scored 53, we just needed 56.”

Pepic led the way for Revere with a double-double at 22 points and 10 rebounds.

“She had some good range-shooting,” O’Hara said. “She’s usually more in the post, but she showed her range tonight and she made her shots.”

Iacoviello scored ten points and dished four assists. Cheever scored five points, including the game-winners.

For Classical, Irianis Delgado scored 14 points and Soneta Srey added eight.

“I give Classical a lot of credit,” O’Hara said. “Those girls worked really hard, and they didn’t quit.”

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday when Revere hosts English and Classical hosts Danvers.

 

School Roundup: Falayi hits the game-winner for St. Mary’s

FILE PHOTO
Temi Falayi hit the game-winner for the Spartans on Friday night. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The St. Mary’s girls basketball team was able to avenge an early-season loss to Catholic Central League foe Arlington Catholic on Friday night, scoring the final nine points of the game to squeeze out a thrilling win, 38-35, on the road in Arlington.

Trailing 35-29 with 1:17 left in the game, Mashayla Johnson hit a three-pointer to make it 35-32. After a few unsuccessful trips down the court, the Spartans got the ball back and Mia Nowicki (17 points) hit a three to tie the game at 35-35 with 17 seconds left. Arlington Catholic had a chance to ice the game but missed, and St. Mary’s grabbed the rebound and quickly called timeout to draw up a play. With 4.7 seconds left, the Spartans got the ball in to Temi Falayi, who put up a prayer of a three-pointer to go for the win. The ball bounced off the back rim, off the top of the backboard and then fell through the net, and after a quick conference by the referees the basket was called good and the Spartans (9-5) took home the win.

“Arlington is a very difficult place to play, and obviously they’re the top-ranked Division 2 team right now, so we knew this would be tough,” said St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall. “But I think the key for us tonight was the fact that we stayed together even though we struggled on offense and we played incredible defense. That kept us in the game and gave us a chance at the end.”

The Spartans are back in action on Monday night when they host Chelmsford.

Chelsea 46, Tech 37

The Tigers (7-7) struggled in the first half, but a second-half surge made it a close game in the end. Arianna Anaya led Tech with 14 points, Jamila Constantine added nine and Alondra Sanchez added seven.

Tech has some time to regroup as it doesn’t play until Thursday.

“We’re going to regroup and refocus,” Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler said.

Classical 48, Beverly 35

The Rams improved to 13-3 behind big nights from Paris Wilkey, who led all scorers with 23 points, and Irianis Delgado, who added 12. Classical is back in action Tuesday as it hosts Peabody.

Revere 52, Danvers 36

Valentina Pepic had a huge night, putting up 23 points for Revere in the victory. Tatianna Iacoviello contributed 11 points for the Patriots.

Bishop Fenwick 55, Cathedral 45

Senior captain Sam Mancinelli had 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to help Fenwick to a big win in a conference matchup on Friday. Sophomore Jaxson Nadeau had 13 points, while sophomore Sammi Gallant contributed 12 points.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Bishop Fenwick 58, Cathedral 53

The Crusaders had three players finish in double-figures to help take down Cathedral in a Catholic Central League matchup on Friday night in Peabody. Nick Pignone led the way for Fenwick with 19 points, while senior captain Ryan Veguilla had 17 points and junior captain Isaiah Cashwell-Doe had 16 points.

Fenwick (5-8) will continue its CCL schedule with another conference game against Cardinal Spellman on Tuesday night.

Lynn Classical 68, Beverly 65

Classical had four players in double-figures as the Rams grabbed a Northeastern Conference win and improved to 12-4.

Erick Solis led the way with 19 points, while Deontae Plouffe contributed 16 points off the bench. Dyrrell Rucker and Edwin Solis each had 13 points.

The Rams have another NEC game on Tuesday when they travel to Peabody to face the Tanners.

Pat Gavin led the way for Beverly (8-3), notching a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Luigi Derrane had 17 points.

Lynnfield 52, Triton 46

Junior guard William Arsenault scored a game-high 22 points, including a pair of three-pointers, as the Pioneers (11-1) picked up a road victory and extended their winning streak to eight games.
Senior captain forward Louis Ellis dropped 15 points, with six coming from beyond the arc, while senior captain forward Michael Carangelo also reached double figures with 11 points.
Junior Colin Brennan led the Vikings with a team-high 16 points and drilled a game-high four three-pointers.

Marblehead 68, Salem 62

Patrick Bugler scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone to help lift the Magicians to a big win over Salem. Bugler finished with 23 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Derek Marino contributed 18 points and eight rebounds. Marblehead (12-2) will play another Northeastern Conference matchup on Tuesday when they host Gloucester.

Anthony Pena led the way for Salem (6-5), putting up 20 points. Nate Lebron added 18 points and five rebounds for the Witches, while Vinnie Gaskins added 12 points and five rebounds.

St. John’s Prep 67, New Mission 64

Junior captain Tommy O’Neil had a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds to help the Eagles improve to 10-3. Nate Hobbs had 13 points.

St. John’s will take on Catholic Memorial on Tuesday night.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Bishop Fenwick 2, Peabody 2

Amanda Blanchette scored both goals for the Crusaders as they battled back to force a tie against the cross-town rival Tanners. Down 2-0 entering the third period, Blanchette got Fenwick on the board halfway through the period to cut the deficit in half. The Crusaders pulled their goalie with 1:27 left, and Blanchette notched the tying goal with just 11 seconds on the clock to earn the tie.

Meghan Carney had two assists on the night, while Ally Charette and Ally Giguere each had one assist.

SWIMMING

Lynn Tech 88, Minuteman Tech 65

The Tigers closed out their regular season with a win behind great performances from Coral Gonzalez and Jin Purdy, among others. Gonzalez won the diving event with a score of 124.5 and was also a member of the winning 200-yard medley relay team along with Purdy, Alyssa Shaw and Jacob Lejuene (2:36.9). Purdy also won the 100 breaststroke (1:25.37). The 200 freestyle relay team of Dustin Bloom, Brian Nolasco, Antonio Morales and Jose Gomez took first place with a time of 2:15.65.

Next up for Tech is the conference championship meet next Tuesday and Wednesday, then the Lynn City Meet next weekend.

 

Revere stays undefeated, clinches tournament berth

FILE PHOTO
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 hrivera@itemlive.com. 

School Roundup: Milestone night for St. Mary’s Falayi

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Temi Falayi scored a career-high 23 points in Friday’s win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

After a tough start to the season for the St. Mary’s girls basketball team, the Spartans have now rattled off five wins in a row after a 65-49 win over the Austin Prep Cougars to move to 6-4 on the season. Coach Jeff Newhall says the team is still working to get better, but they are starting to hit their stride.

“I think tonight was one of the better games we’ve played this year, especially in the first half,” he said. “We played the way we’re capable of playing, and I just told them that if we continue to do that, we will be okay.”

Temi Falayi scored a career-high 23 points and added 14 rebounds and six blocks to lead the way for St. Mary’s.

“She was a force all night,” said Newhall. “She did a great job in the paint, she broke their press, she played great defense. She really did it all tonight.”

Gabby Torres scored 12 points and Olivia Nazaire scored 10 points.

The Spartans have a quick turnaround with a home game today at 5 p.m. against Fontbonne.

“This is a big one coming up for us, and it’s the halfway point of the season,” said Newhall. “But if we can get to 7-4 at the halfway mark after starting the year 1-4, that’ll be a great place to be.”

Tech 36, Minuteman 26

The Tigers rolled to a win at home to inch closer to .500 at 4-5. Arianna Anaya had a big game, putting up 11 points, while Alondra Sanchez and Annmarie Teixeira added eight apiece and Jamila Constantine scored six.

Malvelis Hernandez and Jailene Rivera provided excellent defense for Tech.

“We’re really clicking right now,” said Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler, who added that her team has worked hard on offense to prepare for different defenses, and that they’re working together well.

Peabody 72, Winthrop 34

Melissa Gray had 14 points and five steals and Alyssa Alperen had 12 points to help lead the Tanners to a big win. Serena Laro just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Nene Onwuogu had eight points and nine rebounds.

Peabody (4-3) will take on Bishop Fenwick on Sunday.

Arlington Catholic 48, Bishop Fenwick 35

After falling behind early, the Crusaders rallied to tie the game entering the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback on the road Friday night. Sam Mancinelli had eight points and four assists, Sammi Gallant had six points and six rebounds and Jaxson Nadeau had six points and three steals.

Fenwick (6-3) has a home game against Peabody on Sunday afternoon.

Saugus 54, Danvers 44

The Sachems continued their strong start to the season with a 10-point win at home on Friday, moving their record to 8-2 and handing Danvers its first loss. Olivia Valente had a team-high 14 points, while Molly Granara had 10 points and Rachel Nazzaro had eight points. Krissy Italiano contributed seven points and Alessia Salzillo had five points.

Saugus will travel to Wakefield for a game against Northeast Tech on Monday.

For Danvers (7-1), Sarah Unczur had 15 points and nine rebounds, Lily Montanari had nine points and Nicole White had seven points, nine assists and six steals.

The Falcons will have a full week off before taking on Marblehead next Friday night.

Lynn Classical 53, Gloucester 37

Paris Wilkey had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Rams (8-3) to a win on the road Friday night. Classical will take on Everett in a non-league matchup on Tuesday night.

Revere 59, Salem 25

Valentina Pepic led the way for the Patriots as Revere blew out Salem. Pamela Gonzalez and Tatianna Iacoviello scored 10 points each in the win.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Bishop Fenwick 49, Arlington Catholic 46

Junior captain Isaiah Cashwell-Doe led Fenwick (4-5) with 26 points and six rebounds, but it was senior captain Ryan Veguilla (14 points) who came up with the shot of the game, hitting a layup with 30 seconds left to put the Crusaders up by three points and seal the win.

Fenwick is back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host the Peabody Tanners.

Peabody 83, Winthrop 69

Peabody’s Junior Estrella came up one assist shy of a triple-double at home against Winthrop on Friday night, finishing with 26 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in the win. Moise Irizarry also had a big game with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals.

The Tanners (6-2) will travel to Bishop Fenwick for a matchup with the Crusaders on Sunday.

Danvers 62, Saugus 47

Saugus (2-7) got 12 points from Haris Behremovic in the loss, while sophomore Liam Murphy contributed six points and eight rebounds in his first varsity game.

The Sachems will play Northeast Tech at home on Monday night.

Beverly 80, Swampscott 48

Pat Gavin was the top scorer for the Panthers (6-2), finishing with 17 points. Luigi Derrane was right behind with 15 points, while Duncan Moreland scored 11 points and Jack Crowley had six points.

For the Big Blue, freshmen David Coleman and Manny Psowa each scored eight points. Swampscott will take on Lynn Classical at home next Friday.

Salem 59, Revere 58

Down by two points with time winding down, Salem’s Ethan Espinal (10 points) hit the game-winning three-pointer with just three seconds left on the clock to give the Witches a close win on the road Friday night. Anthony Pena was the top scorer for Salem, finishing with 25 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals. Nate Lebron added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Salem (5-3) has a road game against Lynn English next Friday night.

Lynnfield 72, Amesbury 46

Lynnfield never trailed and held a 33-23 lead at halftime.  Louis Ellis scored a game-high 25 points with eight rebounds for the Pioneers, while Dan Jameson (9 points, 5 rebounds) and senior captain Mike Carangelo (16 points, 9 rebounds) also played well for Lynnfield. The Pioneers’ bench also factored in the win with junior Matt Mortellite (7 points, 6 rebounds) and senior Will Klotzbier (4 points, 4 rebounds) hitting timely baskets and senior Bryant Dana (5 rebounds) pulling down some key rebounds.

The Pioneers look to extend their win streak to five straight Monday at Ipswich (2 p.m.).

Shawsheen Tech 66, Lynn Tech 39

Rob Wallace led the Tigers with 13 points, while Trevon Baldwin contributed seven points. Tech has a matchup with Presentation of Mary Academy on Tuesday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: English defense steps up

FILE PHOTO
Ely Guity and the Bulldogs closed out a win over Gloucester on Tuesday. 

By HAROLD RIVERA AND MIKE ALONGI 

The Lynn English girls basketball team has struggled to close out games this season. Tuesday night, they finally finished a game the way they’d hope to. Behind a number of key stops down the stretch, English downed Gloucester, 52-46.

“They played together and they played hard,” English coach Mackenzie Charles said of his players. “We played really good defense with key stops at the end of the game. We haven’t finished a game all season, we’ve been having problems with that. We’ve been struggling with rebounds so I think the combination of those things equalled a win.”

Dorathy Ezemba led the winning efforts with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

“She (Ezemba) rebounded well,” Charles said. “She pushes the ball well and she’s very physical.”

Ely Guity scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished five assists.

“She (Guity) had a great game, five of her rebounds were on the offensive glass,” Charles said. Charles also credited Rachel Calnan and Shelya Manon for their performances in the win. English is back in action on Friday when the Bulldogs visit Marblehead. “We’ll get back to practice tomorrow and work hard,” Charles said. “We understand this in a win but Friday’s another game.”

Lynn Tech 44, Greater Lawrence 28

Alondra Sanchez had the hot hand offensively for the Tigers, putting up 17 points. Annmarie Texiera added eight and Jamila Constantine scored six. Malvelis Hernandez was solid on defense.

The Tigers (3-5) had to climb back from an early 8-0 deficit, but coach Kaitlyn Wechsler said that after a few timeouts and conversations with her team, something clicked.

“We turned up the pressure and worked very well together,” Wechsler said. “It was like a switch flipped and we started to figure it out. It was an overall great team win.”

Revere 65, Swampscott 56

A tied game after a quarter, the Patriots outscored the Big Blue 21-6 in the second quarter to pull away. Despite putting up 24 points in the third, Swampscott couldn’t claw all the way back into this one.

Valentina Pepic led Revere with 24 points, Pamela Gonzalez added 18 and Meghan Gotham chipped in with 10.

Archbishop Williams 77, Bishop Fenwick 44

Sam Mancinelli logged 15 points for the Crusaders, five assists and four steals, while Fredi DeGuglielmo added 14 points and Jaxson Nadeau had eight points and four steals.

Peabody 53, Salem 32

The Tanners (3-3) got 13 points from Melissa Gray and nine points and 14 rebounds from Nene Onwuogu. Katie Wallace had eight points.

Peabody will take on Winthrop on Friday night.

Girls test mettle in Duchane girls basketball jamboree

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Fenwick’s Sam Mancinelli gets a step on Revere’s Tatianna Iacoviello in the Duchane Jamboree Saturday at the Classical gym.

By SCOT COOPER

LYNN — The Paul Duchane Girls Basketball Jamboree is one of the first tests area teams get as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Held every year at the Classical gym, in memory of the man who taught and coached throughout the Lynn school system, the 24th annual jamboree Saturday saw English, Swampscott, Marblehead, Malden, Somerville, Medford, Saugus, Danvers, Hamilton-Wenham, Reading, Peabody, Revere, Bishop Fenwick, Georgetown and Masconomet take part.

The 16 teams each played two quarters, and the stands were filled with fans, and also quite a few area coaches, scouting and filming teams they’ll face somewhere down the line this season.

Classical came out fairly strong against Masconomet in the day’s last game, racing out to a 4-1 lead on four points by Paris Wilkey. The Chieftains took their first lead at 8-6, but a bucket by Irianis Delgado tied the score at eight apiece.

Things went south for the Rams after that, Masconomet cruised to a 29-8 lead before Skyler Creighton swished one for Classical. The Chieftains scored at the buzzer for a 31-10 final.

Rams coach Tom Sawyer said the team has to practice much harder before Tuesday night’s season opener against Everett.  

“I thought we started the game well,” he said. “The kids competed hard all night, we just didn’t finish very well after that good start.

“We’ve got to make adjustments and turn up the intensity at practice before our game with Everett. We need to practice at a much higher intensity level, and carry that high intensity level into games this season,” he said.

English scored four seconds into its game with Georgetown, Ely Guity took the tip and she floored it to the basket for an easy layup. Bulldogs coach Mackenzie Charles was coaching in his first jamboree, a 21-10 win, and he liked the effort by his club Saturday evening.

“It was a really good scrimmage for our team,” he said “I thought we played well. We’re a young team, we have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I thought we did a good job tonight,” Charles said.

“It’s early and this is a long season, but what we want to do is come out and get better every time out, and I think we did a good job in this scrimmage.

“We have a lot of things that I want to see this team get better at as the season goes on, but I liked the effort tonight from our team,” Charles said. “As long as we improve and learn something every time we step on the court, that’s what I want to see happen with this team this year.”

English senior captain Rachel Calnan was the high scorer against the Royals (9 points), and she said that hard work and communication are going to be key issues that have to be addressed by her team this winter if the Bulldogs are going to be successful.

“I thought we communicated very well on the court, and we need to keep doing that this season,” Calnan said. “We were very aggressive on the boards, and I think that’s a very good thing for our team, we have to keep playing aggressively and communicating on the court every game this season.”

Marblehead was as cold from the floor as it was outside the Classical field house early in its game against Malden. The Magicians heated up very nicely in the second quarter and rolled over the Golden Tornado, 24-10.

The Magicians were led on offense by captains Lindsay Walker and Ashley Stiles, as well as Maddie Lowi and Darcy O’Sullivan. The winners were up 9-6 after one quarter and outscored Malden 15-4 in the second quarter.  

Marblehead coach Wayne Hanscom was pleased the team kept working and broke out of its shooting slump as the game wore on.

“You only play a half, we played everyone, but we did miss a lot of bunnies,” Hanscom said. “We kept working, the girls never got frustrated, and the ball started to drop for us.”

Swampscott zipped out to a 15-1 lead over Somerville after one quarter, and Blue coach Katelyn Leonard played everybody in a 24-18 win. Swampscott’s starting five, Hannah Leahy, Katie Watts, Maggie DiGrande, Nikki Rosa and Ella Parker all scored for Swampscott early, with freshman Olivia Matella knocking down some big threes in the first quarter.

Leonard said it’s always good to have a fast start.

“We looked really strong early on, we were working really well with and without the ball,” Leonard said. “It’s all about defense with us, and I think we played a very solid game today, defensively.”

Saugus took a 15-0 lead into the break against Medford, and cruised past the Mustangs, 29-6.

Sachems coach Mark Schruender liked the high-energy game his team played.

“We started great,” he said. “Too bad we can’t save some of those points. It was a great start for our team.

“The girls were very hungry out there, I thought. You practice for a couple of weeks and see the same faces, so tonight, against another team we came out really well, we played very hard, and I’m happy about that. Let’s hope it continues.”

Peabody had a tough time in its game against Reading. The Tanners had three starters watching the game from the bench with injuries and lost 28-8. Peabody got a bucket from Catherine Manning and free throws by Liz Zaiter, Hannah Pellizzaro Alyssa Alperin and Katie Wallace. Coach Stan McKeen said there is work to do for his team.

“It was tough with three starters on the bench, but we need to get better on defense, and certainly in offense,” McKeen said. “Hopefully everyone will be back on Friday night and we can go out and play better basketball.”

Last year’s Bishop Fenwick team took the state title, and this winter seven of those players are back for coach Adam Debaggis. The Crusaders were able to spoil Revere’s Lianne O’Hara’s Duchane head coaching debut with a 20-15 win. It wasn’t O’Hara’s first Duchane game; she was an assistant for many years with Fenwick.

Revere was coming off a hard-fought, emotional win Friday night at St. Mary’s.

Samantha Mancinelli, Sammi Gallant, Olivia DiPietro and Elizabeth Pica led the way on offense for Fenwick. Valentina Pepic, Elizabeth Lake, Pamela Gonzalez and Tatiana Iacoviello had buckets for the Patriots.

“Last year was last year, it was exciting, but this year is this year,” Debaggis said. “We miss Lianne a lot, but we’re focused on a big season, and we have a lot of work to do, as long as we all work hard, we will be a tough team to beat.”

“We kind of started off a little slow (down 8-0), a little messy, so we have to work on that, come out a little better to start games,” O’Hara said. “I love this tournament, I loved it when I was at Fenwick, I love it now that I’m with Revere. We just need to come out a little better in games and we’ll got from there.”

Danvers and Hamilton-Wenham played a thriller in their game. It looked like the Generals would have an easy ballgame, going up 16-3 early in the first. The Falcons hung around, fought back and trailed by a bucket after a steal and a swish by Tina Gigli with 11 seconds to play. Hamilton-Wenham was able to run out the clock and hold on for a 29-27 win.

 

Iacoviello shoots Revere past St. Mary’s

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Tatianna Iacoviello launches a jumper over the head of St. Mary’s Toni Scearbo.

By KATIE MORRISON 

LYNN — Tatianna Iacoviello made five three-pointers as she scored 15 points for the Revere girls basketball team Friday night. But it was her final shots of the first and second halves that helped the Patriots take down St. Mary’s, 52-49, in the season opener for both teams.

Iacoviello sunk a three-pointer on a Hail Mary buzzer beater shot from well behind half court to give Revere a 31-18 lead going into halftime. And with the score knotted at 49 with time winding down, Emily DiGiulio found Iacoviello outside the arc, and the junior put the game away with another stellar shot.

“I don’t know if my heart has stopped pounding yet, it’s like pounding out of my chest,” Patriots coach Lianne O’Hara said after her first game as a head coach, and first with Revere. “It was incredibly exciting, a roller coaster of a game.”

In a matchup that saw two of the elite girls basketball teams on the North Shore clash, it was Revere that had the upper hand early, taking a 9-5 lead into the second quarter. That’s when Valentina Pepic, one of two Patriots that stand over six feet tall, turned up the heat, scoring eight points in the second quarter (four on free throws). Iacoviello netted two threes and DiGiulio added another from behind the arc early in the second to extend Revere’s lead.

The St. Mary’s offense got off to a sluggish start, but Olivia Nazaire added six points in the second half and Temi Falayi added seven, but the Spartans couldn’t find a groove early.

“It happened in the scrimmages as well, we haven’t started very well,” St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall said. “We have to try and figure out those first two quarters, because if we’re tied at halftime, then we win this thing going away.”

Then Iacoviello got the inbound with just a few seconds on the clock, and launched a jumper from behind half court.

“Last year I hit one too, everyone says it’s a once-a-year thing,” Iacoviello said. “Maybe I’ll hit one next year, too.”

But this one was far from in the bag for Revere. The Spartans came out firing in the third quarter. Nazaire kicked things into another gear, adding eight points in the quarter.

“She’s one of my favorite players at St. Mary’s,” O’Hara said of Nazaire. “She’s so good, her pivot is never-ending. We practiced for her, and she turned it on.”

Falayi came up big as well, adding eight points. The St. Mary’s defense shut down everyone but Pepic, who scored 10 points, in the third quarter to get within three, 41-38.

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair, and St. Mary’s took the lead, 47-46, on Falayi’s free throws with 1:59 to play. With 50 seconds left, two Spartans defenders knocked the ball away from Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez, and Mia Nowicki picked up the loose ball and took it straight to the hoop to give St. Mary’s a 49-46 lead.

The edge evaporated quickly though. Iacoviello hit a big three with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 49, and hit the game-winner with 3.2 seconds to play.

Both St. Mary’s Falayi (17 points, 16 rebounds) and Revere’s Pepic (20 points, 10 rebounds) logged double-doubles. Nazaire was the Spartans’ top scorer with 18 points, and Nowicki chipped in with seven points and four steals. Meghan Gotham added seven points for the Patriots.

“The way we lost is obviously a little difficult to deal with,” Newhall said. “But opening night against a very good team, the positive I take out of it is we were down 11 and didn’t play a very good half, but we fought back and probably should have won the game. At the end of it, we had four wide-open looks in the last minute and a half. But in the end, we didn’t make them and (Revere) made the last two.”


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. 

New face, same expectations at Revere

FILE PHOTO
Pamela Gonzalez is a key returner for the Patriots this season. 

By KATIE MORRISON 

After falling in the Division 1 North final to Woburn last year, the Revere High girls basketball team is back with a new look and a new face at the helm of the Patriots.

Lianne O’Hara, who took over the head coaching position after Diana Finn stepped aside, is no stranger to winning, coming off a Division 3 state championship with Bishop Fenwick as an assistant coach last season. And she has the players to make another run in 2016-17, this time in Revere.

“So far, so good,” said O’Hara, who taught many of her Revere players at Rumney Marsh Middle School, where she teaches eighth-grade science. “It’s been easy to come in because a lot of them know my expectations.”

The Patriots lost some big pieces to graduation after last year’s tournament run, including Maritza Scott, Ally Hinojosa, Adanna Hector and Natasha Iacoviello. But for the most part, the squad, which went 17-5 in the regular season, stayed intact.

Captains Meagan Gotham and Samantha Woodman have stepped up and taken on leadership roles in their senior seasons, and O’Hara expects big things from them.

“They’re acting as leaders, communicating my philosophies to the team and leading all kinds of workouts,” O’Hara said.

Pamela Gonzalez was another key piece of the puzzle in the 2015-16 season, and will be again this year.

“She’s incredibly talented,” O’Hara said. “Moving with and without the ball, scoring, rebounding…she does a lot of great stuff on offense and defense.”

Valentina Pepic, who stands over six feet tall, is also returning. O’Hara calls Pepic a “very talented post player” who can grab rebounds and score points.

The Patriots have some promising young players as well. Junior Tatiana Iacoviello has been contributing since her freshman season, and will be running the offense as the point guard.

“She’s stepped up to the challenge,” O’Hara said.

Also in the mix is Emily DiGiulio, a sophomore guard who “takes good care of the ball” and has “a lot of potential.”

While the Patriots have plenty of talent, perhaps their biggest asset is the hunger to get back to where they were last year, and claim a third-straight NEC title.

“They don’t take anything lightly,” said O’Hara. “I think their tenacity and drive towards a goal is a big strength.”

Coming from the Catholic Central League and a team that plays in Division 3 in the tournament, O’Hara said she still has a lot of learning to do about the NEC and how her team stacks up.

“I’m sort of at a disadvantage,” she said.

O’Hara will also get to see how her new team stacks up against teams that she’s more familiar with. The Patriots scrimmaged the defending D3 champs this week, and will take on another CCL power, St. Mary’s, in their first game, this Friday in Lynn.

“They’re totally motivated,” O’Hara said of her team in regards to the upcoming opener. “I think it’s a very good matchup. St. Mary’s has good post players and great guards who can drive to the net.”

For the first-year head coach, the first weeks of the season have been a learning experience.

“I think I took for granted how much the head coach had to do when I was an assistant and JV coach,” O’Hara said. “There are so many things to manage and remember, calls and emails, it’s overwhelming.”

Fortunately, the Revere basketball community has given her plenty of help.

“I’ve got tons of support,” she added. “I’ve been able to email (former Patriots coach) Diana (Finn) with questions, and the parents help…they want to provide support in any way possible.”


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. 

Rams down Bulldogs in straight sets

ITEM PHOTO BY: KATIE MORRISON.
Classical’s Skylar Crayton hits the ball over the net.

By Katie Morrison

LYNN — The Classical volleyball team celebrated its senior night in style, sweeping rival English, 3-0, at Classical on Friday evening.

The Rams (8-8), who are on the bubble for the tournament, topped English, 3-0, earlier this season. This time around, Classical was helped by the return of Soneta Srey, who missed part of the season due to an illness. Srey, who sat out the first matchup with English, returned to the team Monday, and has been making an immediate impact. Srey finished the match with seven digs and six kills.

In the first set of the evening, Classical’s Alytah Noum helped the Rams jump out to a quick lead with four service points. Jill Bowden got English on the board with a kill to stop the momentum. But a 6-0 run from Classical, led by Pamela Dias behind the line, helped create more separation, and the Rams built a 24-13 lead. An ace from Lizzie Troisi sealed the set for Classical, 25-13.

With Noum serving, the Rams jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before English coach Mike Haddad called a timeout. The talk with his team seemed to help English get back on track, as it kept a long volley going before Srey came through with a kill to put Classical up by eight. The Bulldogs trailed 12-2, but stayed in the game and made it competitive. Bowden gave English four service points late in the game, but in the end the Rams took it, 25-15.

Haddad said that one area the Bulldogs need to work on is stopping a run.

“After a server has gotten two or three points in a row, you can feel it, you can see it in the players. They get demoralized and it’s hard for them to shake it off,” Haddad said. “Then two or three points become six or seven.

“The second game, they lost a few points right in the beginning, but then they started to turn it on halfway through the game, and they had such a deficit, and I was very impressed how they were able to bring it from 2-11 to 15-25.”

The Rams had little trouble putting away the third set. Skylar Crayton turned in a big performance, with nine kills and two blocks on the night.

“Skylar just had a great game,” said Classical coach Frank DeLuca. “She’s only a sophomore. She’s been playing really well lately.”

Noum finished with six digs, as did Emma Dejoie. Maggie McHale helped facilitate the offense with seven assists.

For English, Haddad credited Bowden, who had 12 hits, Lindsey Lannon for her offense, and Lily Vu in the serving game.

“Even though the outcome was the same (as last time we played Classical), I saw a lot of improvement in my players, particularly my front line players,” Haddad said. “We had more hits this game than in most games this season, and definitely more than we had the last time we played them.”

The Rams have four games remaining; two Northeastern Conference matchups (Revere and first-place Danvers) and two Lynn City Tournament games.

“What it comes down to is a big game with Revere, which beat us the first time (by scores of 25-10, 25-21 and 25-23),” DeLuca said. “It’ll be an uphill climb. We were right in there, but they beat us in three. Hopefully we’ve improved and they didn’t. We’ll have to come up with a strategy to get past (Meaghan Gotham and Valentina Pepic, who both stand over six feet tall), but they killed us last time.”

The Rams visit Revere on Tuesday.

 

NEC basketball All-Stars named

FILE PHOTO
Alex Sanchez was named the Player of the Year in the NEC.

Alex Sanchez and Tom Doyle of the South champion Salem High School boys’ basketball team were named Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, when the Northeastern Conference coaches met last week to pick their annual All-Star team.

For the girls, Valentina Pepic of Revere was picked as the Player of the Year, while Swampscott’s Katelyn Leonard was Coach of the Year.

The boys’ all-conference team is as follows: Ricky Arias, guard; and Jhonel Roberts, forward, Salem; Devonn Allen, guard; and Rashad Francois, guard, Danvers; and Sam Traicoff, guard, Beverly.

The North All-Stars are: Danvers: Mike Nestor, Tre Crittendon, Tahg Coakley; Classical: Erick Solis, Jakeel Brown; Peabody: Junior Estrella, Moisse Irizarry; English: Iverson Lopes, Javaris Hill; Beverly: Kyle Coughlin, Ryan Garrity; Revere: Marvin Urdaneta.

The South all-stars:

Salem: Joel Nunez, Kelvin Perpetuo, Michael Kazadi; Gloucester: John Philpott, Evan Mason; Saugus: Kyle Autilio, Dan Bertrand; Marblehead: Ted Bostley, Patrick Bugler; Swampscott: Nick Scibelli; Winthrop: Devin Pulsifer.

Salem received the sportsmanship award.

The NEC girls’ all-conference team is: Meghan Hartmann, guard, Swampscott; Pamela Gonzalez, guard, Revere; Chenysse Hill, guard; and Paris Wilkey, forward, Classical; Melissa Lubas, guard, Beverly.

The girls’ North team: Revere: Adanna Hector, Maritza Scott, Ally Hinojosa; Beverly: Natalie Mellinger, Jess Cross; Danvers: Devan Walsh, Hannah Llewellyn; Peabody: Sara Hosman; Classical: Soneta Srey; English: Mashayla Johnson.

South: Salem: Brianna Rodriquez, Chanelle Camah; Swampscott: Faye Parker, Jaymie Caponigro, Hannah Leahy; Marblehead: Colby Shea, Lindsay Walker; Saugus: Mikayla Niles, Olivia Valente; Winthrop: Nina Bartlette.

Gloucester won the sportsmanship award.

Revere knocked off by Woburn

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Pamela Gonzalez puts up a shot.

By KATIE MORRISON

 

HAVERHILL — The Revere girls’ basketball team couldn’t do much to slow down point guard Marissa Gattuso and Division 1 North second seed Woburn Saturday at Whittier Tech. As a result, the Tanners topped the Patriots, 58-46, for the sectional title.

Woburn forced 22 Revere turnovers in a very physical game that, at times, was sloppy for both teams, and the Tanners never trailed.

Gattuso, a 5-foot-4 junior, weaved through No. 4 Revere’s defense and put up 28 points, including 13 free throws — eight of them in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots had trouble scoring throughout the game, and they were held to just six points in the opening quarter. Four points from Gattuso and a three from Andrea Schiavone late in the first gave Woburn a 13-6 lead after one.

Revere’s Ally Hinojosa hit her first field goal of the game, a 3-pointer, to open up the second and get the Patriots a little closer. But every time they’d close the gap, Woburn would go on a run to create some space.

“I think they’re just a mentally tough group, and they just kept digging in,” said Woburn coach Steve Sullivan. “All year long, they’ve just refused to lose.”

The Patriots got within three points at one point in the third, and refused to go away quietly. But the Tanners got timely 3-pointers from Schiavone and Kelsey Qualey to extend their lead.

Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez led the team with a double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds), hitting eight of 12 shots from the stripe. Maritza Scott put up 10 points and grabbed five rebounds, and Valentina Pepic was a presence in the paint, adding 10 points and eight rebounds. Meagan Gotham and Natasha Iacoviello each added five points.

“(The Tanners) were hitting their shots, and we were able to get to the rim, we just didn’t finish,” said Revere coach Diana Finn. “(I’m) 100 percent proud of how hard our kids played, I wish we could have gotten in there and grabbed some more rebounds to get us more possessions offensively. Absolutely a great season, winning three games into the tournament … absolutely so proud of how our team went 20-6 on the year.”

Revere is a relatively young team that returns seven of 11 players next year. But the Patriots lose some big pieces as well, with Scott, Iacoviello, Hinojosa and Adanna Hector graduating.

“I can’t downplay the impact that our seniors have, both in the way that they play and their leadership on and off the court,” said Finn. “We’re losing four seniors and they’re such big pieces of the puzzle in what we do around here, and they know what we stand for as a program. We’ll miss them, I just hope that our underclassmen have been paying attention to all that they’ve done, so they can step up in their roles.”

Revere earns comeback win over Lexington

PHOTO BY CONNER GRANT
Revere’s Maritza Scott goes in for a layup against Lexington.

By MATT FRASER

REVERE — The No. 4 Revere girls basketball team took the old adage “It’s not how you start, but how you finish” to new lengths Saturday evening in a 64-45, come-from-behind victory over No. 5 Lexington in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 North tournament.

In what was a tale of two halves, the Patriots erased a 13-point halftime deficit (32-19) with an inspirational effort over the final 16 minutes, outscoring the Minutewomen by a 45-13 margin.

“We knew (at the end of the first half) that we were going to come out and play much better,” said coach Diana Finn, whose team had no early answer for Anna Kelly (game-high 32 points), who scored 12 points apiece in the first two quarters, including the 2,000th of an illustrious career which will continue at Division 1 Fordham University.

“Kelly (7 rebounds, 3 steals) is one of the very best I’ve seen play in Massachusetts,” said Finn. “I knew that the girls would come back; I didn’t know if we would win or not but our defense really locked in (on Kelly). At halftime, we told them that it was time to become a great team and I think they took a big step towards that tonight.”

Pamela Gonzalez (team-high 27 points) and fellow sophomore Valentina Pepic (19 points) combined for 35 points over the final two periods, including 11 apiece in the fourth quarter, helping the hosts pull away by the 5:04 mark when their lead hit double-digits at 50-40.

Pepic would tally nine consecutive points (including 3-of-4 free throws) from that moment until the final minute of regulation when Gonzalez tacked on a three-point play for good measure.

“I couldn’t be more proud of an individual player,” said Finn of Pepic (game-high 11 rebounds).  “She has worked so hard all year long. It was heartbreaking seeing her miss a few shots in the first half that she typically hits with her eyes shut. She’s on her way to becoming a great player. We tend to focus a lot on our inside game which, in turn, opens up our outside game, but we couldn’t do either early on.”

Gonzalez led the way with nine points through the first two quarters. Junior Meaghan Gotham (5) and sophomore Tatianna Iacoviello (3) chipped in on the scoring for Revere.

The second half started with a bang, in the form of a three-point shot from senior Ally Hinojosa, her first and only basket of the game. Fellow senior Maritza Scott made her presence as well, netting all six of her points in a short span, cutting the visitors’ lead to three.

Shortly thereafter, Pepic converted a pair of free throws before giving the Patriots their first lead (39-38) since the 3:35 mark of the opening period. Gonzalez would score from underneath with five seconds remaining, giving the hosts a 41-38 lead after three complete.

“We’ve lost some tight ones this season so it was nice to see that kind of experience pay off,” said Kelly, whose team advances to play top-seeded Lowell in the semifinals on Tuesday at Whittier Tech in Haverhill (7).

“We probably match up a little bit better with (Lowell) than we did with (Lexington) but we certainly have our work cut out for us again,” said Finn.

 

                                                                           

 

Revere girls basketball cruises past Arlington

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Meaghan Gotham holds tight to a rebound for Revere.

By MIKE ALONGI

REVERE — Behind a great defensive effort and a balanced scoring attack, the No. 4-seeded Revere Patriots girls basketball team defeated the No. 13-seeded Arlington Spy Ponders, 64-39, in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 North sectional tournament. With the win, Revere improves to 18-5 on the season.

“I thought that we started out aggressive today, especially defensively,” said Revere coach Diana Finn. “We’ve been working really hard over the past couple of weeks to control the glass and to defend and then to finish on the offensive side from that. I was happy with our effort tonight.”

Senior forward Maritza Scott led the way for the Patriots, scoring 19 points. Sophomore forward Valentina Pepic had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while junior center Meghan Gotham had 10 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Ally Hinojosa had 10 points and five rebounds, and sophomore guard Pamela Gonzalez had eight points and seven rebounds.

“This is what we pride ourselves on; the fact that we have a balanced attack of forwards and guards,” said Finn. “Oftentimes our forwards dominate the ball because of their size, but our guards are excellent shooters and they anticipate well defensively.”

The first quarter was back and forth, with a good amount of scoring on both sides. Revere was able to make more shots, and the Patriots held on to a 20-12 lead after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Revere was able to really stretch its lead. Part of the reason was because of good offensive play, but the real story in the second quarter was Revere’s defense. The Patriots only gave up two points to Arlington throughout the entire quarter and walked into the locker room with a 31-14 lead at the half.

“That quarter was big for us,” said Finn. “It allowed us to get a cushion and take some more chances, which turned into more opportunities.”

Revere’s strong play continued into the second half and the Patriots continued to stretch out the lead. The Patriots led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter before the substitutes came into the game.

Revere will now move on to the second round of the tournament, where it will face No. 5-seed Lexington (18-5).

“We know they’re tough, and we know we have a lot of work to do,” said Finn.


Mike Alongi can be reached at mikealongi75@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_alongi

Second-half surge lifts Revere over English

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Bulldogs’ point guard Ely Guity attempts to drive past Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez.

By DILLON DURST

LYNN — Lynn English coach Rachael Bradley summed up Wednesday night’s matchup between the Bulldogs and Revere best when she described the game as a “tale of two halves.”

After trailing by nine points at halftime, the Patriots (17-4) outscored English (5-13), 51-13, in the second half and went on to win, 74-45.

“We played a great first half,” Bradley said. “(We) came out taking care of the ball well, shooting the ball well, sharing the ball well. Then in the second half, we lost our composure on offense. They put a little more pressure on us defensively, and we broke down.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the first quarter, forcing Revere to take a timeout. The Patriots clearly owned the height advantage on the boards, but couldn’t get their shots to fall. At the end of the first quarter, English held a 15-12 lead.

“Our goal was to limit second-chance opportunities, and in the first half we did a pretty good job of that,” Bradley said.

The Bulldogs didn’t let up in the second quarter, extending their lead to 32-23 at halftime.

“The first half, we didn’t do much well,” said Revere coach Diana Finn. “I was disappointed in our defensive effort. Our shots weren’t falling. We weren’t following our shots. We weren’t doing anything very well defensively. On the ball, off the ball, boxing out.”

The Patriots made some adjustments at halftime, applying more defensive pressure in the third quarter, which stifled English’s offense.

“Their pressure just completely took us out of our offense,” Bradley said. “First half, we were running our plays, we were setting screens, we were moving the ball well. Second half, with that added pressure, we didn’t do our jobs in terms of getting open and really maintaining our composure.”

Revere held the Bulldogs to just seven points in the third quarter, and owned a 49-39 lead to begin the fourth quarter. The Patriots went on to outscore English, 25-6, in the fourth quarter.

Senior Maritza Scott finished with 22 points for Revere, while teammates Pamela Gonzalez and Valentina Pepic each added 14 points for the Patriots.

Sophomore guard Dorothy Ezemba led English offensively with 14 points, and sophomore point guard Ely Guity added eight points for the Bulldogs.

Given Revere’s height advantage, Bradley said the Bulldogs’ goal was to limit the Patriots’ second-chance opportunities, which she said they did extremely well during the first half.

“In the second half, we started to break down with our rotations and our 2-3 (zone),” she said. “We were trying to make sure we covered their shooters, but also get back into the paint for rebounding. We did get hurt rebounding wise in the second half.”

Finn gave a lot of credit to the Patriots’ guards for stopping English’s penetration in the beginning of the second half, but  also said their post players played well tonight.

“We were a little slow on the help side getting in,” she said. “We’re always working with our post players to make sure they’re moving, not just getting pinned behind someone and being in good rebounding position, but to be able to slide over and help if there’s penetration down the lane. Our height certainly helps us.”

Finn said she was proud to see the 40-point swing in the second half, but admitted that Revere’s slow start won’t fly come tournament time.

“Going into the tournament, we can’t be coming into games not prepared to go 100 percent from the beginning,” she said.


Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst.

Garraud scores 38 as St. Mary’s tops Revere

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
St. Mary’s Marnelle Garraud attempts to steal the ball away from Revere’s Tatianna Iacoviello.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN – Led by Marnelle Garraud’s season-high 38 points, the St. Mary’s girls’ basketball team downed Revere, 65-55, at home on Tuesday night.

After losing just their second game of the season to Lynn Classical on Saturday, the Patriots were looking to bounce back. Unfortunately, they ran into a strong St. Mary’s (16-2) team that has now won eight games in a row.

“They’re an excellent team. I saw them play on Saturday and thought that Lynn Classical played excellent against them, and they’ve won a lot of games in the past couple of seasons so you knew you were going to get a great effort,” said Spartans’ coach Jeff Newhall. “They haven’t really lost much, especially two in a row, so you knew you were going to get a desperate team.”

Revere came out with intensity, but the Patriots had a tough time containing Garraud, who poured in 13 points in the first quarter. Revere limited the rest of the St. Mary’s squad to just four points in the quarter, and went into the second trailing, 17-14. Pamela Gonzalez led Revere with seven points in the quarter.

Garraud kept giving the Revere defense trouble in the second, adding 12 points to her total, including three 3-pointers. The Patriots got four points apiece from their two rebounding threats, Meagan Gotham and Valentina Pepic, both of whom were easily the tallest girls on the court.

Garraud hit a three right before the buzzer to give St. Mary’s a comfortable 33-25 lead heading into halftime.

Revere was able to limit Garraud to only four points in the third quarter, but Olivia Nazaire picked up the slack, adding eight points in the third. Nazaire finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Five points from Pepic and four from Maritza Scott got the Patriots a little closer, but St. Mary’s went on a run late to go up, 50-37, at the end of three.

This is where things got interesting.

The Spartans started moving a little too quickly on offense and Revere was able to grab a few steals. The Patriots sunk a couple of free throws and pulled down some big offensive rebounds, and closed the gap to seven points. Two free throws from Gonzalez brought Revere within four soon after.

The closest Revere would get to taking the lead was when Gotham grabbed her own rebound and put it back for two points, pulling the Patriots within two.

Garraud made, arguably, the biggest shot of the game with 1:38 to play. Up 53-51, Garraud hit a three to all but put the game away. Another three from Garraud and a quick layup from Mia Nowicki sealed the victory for the Spartans.

“We got up 16 or so, and for some reason we were on a rush on offense and created some opportunities for them,” said Newhall. “Give them credit, they hit their free throws, got themselves back in the game.”

Garraud has now logged five consecutive games with 30 or more points.

“She’s been playing super, just in all phases of the game,” said Newhall. “The situation we dealt with early in the season with the injuries, I think more pressure was put on her, and maybe Olivia, to score and they certainly responded.”

The game of basketball is weird, (Garraud’s) on fire in the first half, and in the second half they extend the zone and she couldn’t get anything, and then in the fourth she hits a three that’s kind of the end of the game,” Newhall added. “I feel bad for Revere, because I’ve been on the other end of that. You’re back in the game and you think you’re in a good spot, and then that happens. We had some big hustle plays in that possession, and when you’re hustling and playing hard you do get good breaks once in a while.”

 

Classical takes down Revere on senior day

PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Chenysse Hill dribbles down the court.

By DILLON DURST

LYNN — It was important to Lynn Classical head coach Tom Sawyer to send his seniors out with a win on senior night.

After Friday’s snowstorm pushed the Rams’ anticipated matchup with Revere to Saturday afternoon, Classical capitalized on a second-half surge to sink the Patriots, 68-50, earning its 12th win of the season.

“Couldn’t be prouder of the kids,” Sawyer said after the game. “Couldn’t be prouder of the seniors.”

Two of those seniors, forward Paris Wilkey and point guard Chenysse Hill, combined to score 53 of Classical’s 67 points.

“Paris with 31 (points) and Chenysse with 22 was huge, and they got us off to a good start hitting jump shots,” Sawyer said. “We knew (Revere) was going to play a zone, and you have to hit shots to beat a zone or to get a team out of a zone.”

Wilkey wasted no time getting the Rams’ offense going in the first quarter, scoring 12 of Classical’s 14 first-quarter points.

Revere came out hot to start the second quarter, putting together a 5-0 run. Wilkey sunk a 3-pointer to stop the bleeding, but Patriots’ guard Tatianna Iacoviello responded with a long-range three to put Revere up 20-19 with 5:16 remaining in the half. The Patriots would eventually take a 25-22 lead into halftime.

Revere forwards Meagan Gotham and Valentina Pepic were a pair of menacing defenders in the paint for the Patriots throughout the first half, utilizing their height advantage over Classical to snag rebounds and contest shots. Meanwhile, Classical used its speed and quickness to track down loose balls and create turnovers.

“They were bigger than us. There’s no doubt about it,” Sawyer said. “They have something that the rest of the league doesn’t have in all that size. I just told the kids, ‘You have to fight. You have to be physical, and you have to make up for that lack of height with effort, intensity and tenacity.’ They did it today.”

After scoring just two points during the entire first half, Hill took over in the second. The senior point guard scored 20 points, including a breakaway layup off of a turnover that pushed Classical out to a 43-31 lead midway through the third quarter. Wilkey added eight more third-quarter points, while the Rams’ defense held the Patriots to just six.

Revere began the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run, cutting Classical’s lead to nine with 6:15 remaining in regulation. But the Rams went on to outscore the Patriots, 22-12, the rest of the way.

Junior guard Soneta Srey added six points for Classical, while Pepic and sophomore guard Pamela Gonzalez led Revere with 14 and eight points, respectively.

“I’m just so happy for the kids to get this win,” Sawyer said. “For our kids on Senior Night to come here and win was huge. Huge win for the kids.”


Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst.

School roundup: St. Mary’s girls fall to Lexington

PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
St. Mary’s Madison Hentosh has her eyes on the goal.

By KATIE MORRISON and DILLON DURST

LYNN – Though the shots were nearly even and neither team dominated the puck, the St. Mary’s girls hockey team fell, 4-1, to Lexington on Monday at Connery Rink.

The Spartans unloaded nine shots on the Lexington net in the first period compared to only three shots from the Minutemen, but neither team could break through. Maggie Flaherty nearly faked out Lexington goalie Lucy Chin, but Chin made the stop. Ashley Wojewodzic sent in a shot from the blue line toward the end of the period, but was turned away. The Spartans dominated the latter half of the period, preventing Lexington from even getting off a shot in the final eight minutes of the first.

Less than a minute into the second, the Minutemen broke the scoreless tie. St. Mary’s had ample chances to get the goal back on a power play later in the period, firing three quick shots with the man advantage. But it wasn’t until after the power play was killed that Wojewodzic found the back of the net with 6:25 remaining in the period.

Lexington regained the lead less than two minutes later, and outshot St. Mary’s, 9-5, in the period.

The Spartans came out swinging in the third, firing three shots within the span of a minute to open the period. Chin made a couple of acrobatic saves to maintain the Lexington lead.

The Minutemen extended their lead on their first shot of the period.

Sophia Post came very close to getting the goal back for St. Mary’s a minute later, but was denied by Chin.

Lexington’s Emily Devine capped the scoring at 8:16 in the third.

The game wrapped up with 15 seconds remaining on the clock due to an injury to a Lexington player, who remained on the ice and required medical attention.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Peabody 46, Lynn Classical 34

The Tanners (8-5) defense, led by junior guard Katie Wallace, junior forward Marisi Tisi and senior forward Christa Baker, stifled the Rams’ offensive attack, culminating in a double-digit victory.

“Our defense played really well tonight,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said.

The Tanners held Classical (11-7) to only two points in the second quarter. Junior guard Melissa Gray led Peabody with 21 points, while junior forward Chinanye Onwuogo added 10 points for the Tanners. Sophomore forward Paris Wilkey led Classical with 13 points, while senior guard Chenysse Hill added nine points for the Rams.

Chelsea 72, Lynn Tech 23

The Tigers (2-12) weren’t able to get much going offensively on the road against the Red Devils. Junior guard Malvelis Hernandez led Tech with six points.

“(Hernandez) worked really hard tonight all around, on offense and defense,” said Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler.

Junior guard Jesmary Valerio added seven points for the Tigers, while teammate Jamila Constantine chipped in four points.

Medford 65, Lynn English 56

The Bulldogs dropped to 5-10 on the season after a home loss to Medford. Despite the loss, Mashayla Johnson poured in 27 points for English, including seven 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Teammate Dorothy Ezemba added 12 points, 14 rebounds and three steals for the Bulldogs, while point guard Ely Guity chipped in five points and eight assists for English.

St. Mary’s 62, Archbishop Williams 53

The Spartans improved to 15-2 on the season, and moved into tie for first place atop the Catholic Conference. Sophomore guard Marnelle Garraud led St. Mary’s offensively with 30 points. Sophomore forward Olivia Nazaire added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans, while teammate Mia Nowicki chipped in seven points and six assists. Senior guard Kayla Carter also tallied 11 rebounds and eight assists for St. Mary’s.

Revere 60, Beverly 46

The Patriots improved to 14-1 on the season with a home win over the Panthers. Valentina Pepic led Revere with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Pamela Gonzalez added 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Patriots.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

St. Mary’s 56, Archbishop Williams 51

The Spartans (10-4) notched their sixth win in a row with a close road victory over Archbishop Williams. Junior guard Jonny Mercado led St. Mary’s with 18 points, while sophomore guard Calvin Johnson added 12 points for the Spartans.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Swampscott 6, Weston 4

The Big Blue (10-7) secured a spot in the Division 3 tournament with a win over Weston. Louis Olivieri had a huge night for Swampscott, tallying a team-high four goals. Stevie Santanello and Mike Johnson both added goals for the Big Blue.

Weston clung to a 4-3 lead to begin the final period of play, before a Santanello goal knotted the score at four. With 10:17 left in regulation, Johnson found the back of the net, giving Swampscott a lead it wouldn’t lose. Olivieri provided the dagger with 8:49 left to play, scoring his fourth and final goal of the game.

BOYS’ TRACK

Classical 70, Winthrop 15

The Rams (2-5) cruised past Winthrop, recording first-place finishes in all but two events. Ivan Melara (1 minute, 42.9 seconds), Josue Blas (1:51.8) and Nick Lilja (1:52.5) swept the top three spots in the 600 meter race, finishing first, second and third, respectively. Also finishing first for Classical were Issa Jalloh in both the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) and 300 (39.7), Samson Srey in the 50-yard hurdles (8.3), Marcus Rivera in the 50 (5.8), Junior Mejia in the 1,000 (3:08.0) and Gilley Kabamba in the mile (5:08.8). Andrew McGrail won the shot put (38-9 ¼) for Winthrop, while Nikolas Beshere finished first in the 2-miles (12:19.3) for the Vikings.

GIRLS’ TRACK

Classical 48, Winthrop 38

The Rams (3-3) edged Winthrop, sweeping the top three spots in the 50, and the top two spots in the high jump.

Agnes Bangura (6.5), Tori Adams (6.9) and Jasmine Coffin 7.0) finished first, second and third, respectively in the 50 for Classical. Coffin also added a first-place finish in the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches) for the Rams, followed by teammate Mary Jok (4-4). Devyn Astuccio also finished first for Classical in the 50 hurdles (7.8). Finishing first for the Vikings were Gianna Massa in the shot put (31-8 ½), Regina Garufo in the 300 (47.3), Holly Benson in the 600 (1:51.9), Heidy Benson in the 1,000 (3:35.7), Camila-Miranda Llovera in the mile (6:36.0) and Christina Leone in the 2-miles (13:55.8).


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieMo61. Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst.

English holds on for win over Winthrop

FILE PHOTO
English’s Ely Guity drives to the hoop.

By LILY DOOLIN and DILLON DURST

The Lynn English girls’ basketball team (4-9) maintained its composure all through the game, responding to surges and lulls to pull out the win against Winthrop, 43-40.

A strong first half really set the tone for the Bulldogs. They were able to take from their success in the first two quarters and build upon it in the following half.

Ely Guity was the top performer for English, recording 19 points, six rebounds, and five steals. Mashayla Johnson scored nine points, while Regina Ngaleu had seven points, 15 rebounds, and four steals to mark a well-rounded effort.

Nina Bartlett led Winthrop with 28 points.

KIPP 52, Salem Academy 16

The Panthers improved to 9-4 on the season with a double-digit win over Salem Academy. Nayeli Germosen led KIPP with 23 points, which included shooting 100 percent from the line. Favour Ofuokwu added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Panthers, while teammates Loida Rosario, Wrutoe Bonwin and Jassy Kim set the tone defensively.

Beverly 56, Saugus 33

The Sachems (7-8) fell to the Panthers after a fourth-quarter surge from Beverly.

Sachems’ Mikayla Niles recorded nine points on the night, while Allie Kotkowski added six points and had a strong defensive effort for Saugus.

Revere 72, Gloucester 33

The Patriots (12-1)  had great execution on both offense and defense, dominating the court. They focused on collecting rebounds, as well as giving up few second chances in order to keep Gloucester from racking up too many scoring opportunities.

Valentina Pepic had 20 points for Revere, while Pamela Gonzalez scored 16 points and Maritza Scott recorded 14 points.

Arlington Catholic 58, Fenwick 57

Colleen Corcoran led the Crusaders (9-3) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Teammate Sam Mancinelli added nine points, three assists and four rebounds for Fenwick, while teammate Fredi Deguglielmo chipped in nine points.


Lily Doolin can be reached at ldoolin17@gmail.com.