REVERE — The Swampscott boys basketball team came into Friday night’s tilt at Roland A. Merullo Field House looking to end a five-game skid. Northeastern Conference rival Revere had other plans.
The Patriots turned a 2-point game into a double-digit lead in the third quarter and fought a late Swampscott push, en route to a win 48-45 on Revere’s Autism Awareness Night.
“I liked our competitiveness,” Revere coach Dave Leary said. “It’s been the same all year. We have a hard time scoring but we keep ourselves in games. There’s a lot of chemistry on the floor defensively. They believe in each other and they play hard for all 32 minutes.”
Revere’s Scott Toglan led all scorers with 12 points.
“Scott’s a junior,” Leary said. “The past couple games, against Marblehead, Winthrop and tonight, he’s really come into his own.”
EJ Leone scored 10 (8-of-10 on free throws) and Scott Montefusco added nine.
Chris Campos (11 points) and Andrew Augustin (10) led Swampscott. Max Pegnato scored nine points and Cam O’Brien finished with seven.
Swampscott started on a high note in the opening quarter but couldn’t find its rhythm the rest of the way.
“We had a terrible time shooting the basketball,” Swampscott coach Justin Fucile said. “We had good looks all night. We didn’t score until the fourth quarter and by then it was too late.
“From the field we were getting shots, we just missed those shots. We pushed them to 15 turnovers in the first half and with those 15 turnovers we should’ve scored points. We turn turnovers into points but we didn’t do that tonight. Then we had to chase them and we ran out of time.”
Revere opened the game with a 3-pointer from Montefusco to grab the early lead. After that, Swampscott dominated the rest of the first quarter. The Big Blue ran out to a 10-2 spurt, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers swished by Campos. Donato Colarossi hit a basket and Leone netted a pair of free throws to get the Patriots back on track. Campos scored eight points in the opening period, leading Swampscott to a 12-7 edge heading into the second quarter.
Swampscott hit a rut in the second quarter. Sebastian Vanegas whittled the Big Blue’s lead down to two points (12-10) with a 3-pointer in the early going. The Patriots took a 15-12 lead with consecutive buckets in the paint from Toglan. Revere led 19-17 at halftime.
Swampscott’s struggles carried into the third quarter. A combination of stingy Revere defense and sloppy Swampscott offense kept the Big Blue scoreless through the first six minutes of the quarter. And while the Big Blue battled their woes, Revere went to work with a 12-0 run to take a double-digit lead (31-17). Pegnato ended Swampscott’s drought with a floater and accounted for all four of his team’s points in third. Revere held a 33-21 lead, and all the momentum, heading into the fourth.
“We talked at halftime about having more intensity on the defensive end,” Leary said, “and if we could rebound I thought it could lead to some easy baskets. We really fed off our defense in the third quarter. Both teams struggled to score in the first half. Shooting-wise I thought we relaxed a little bit and made some open shots that we weren’t making in the first half.”
Showing no quit, the Big Blue made it a game again in the fourth quarter. Swampscott’s press defense, along with key baskets from Augustin, helped the Big Blue get to within three points of Revere. That’s as close as things would get with Revere holding on for the 48-45 win.
“It started working for us,” Fucile said of the press. “We change the lineup a little bit. We went with five guards instead of having some size on the court. It seemed to help us. I think we put them in the double-bonus too early. We were fouling and reaching a ton.”
Swampscott, on a six-game losing streak, dropped to 4-8. The Big Blue aim to bounce back into the win column Tuesday night (7) when they host Everett.
Revere (5-7) is back in action Wednesday (7) when it hosts English.