Lynn English's Nia Sams had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Revere in the GBL Tournament semifinal Thursday. (Item File Photo)
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Lynn English girls basketball wins overtime thriller against Revere in GBL Tournament

LYNN -- Thursday's Greater Boston League Tournament semifinal between the Lynn English and Revere girls basketball teams was a game to remember for both sides, but when the dust settled it was the Bulldogs who walked away with a 44-37 overtime win at the Paul F. Cavanagh Field House. 

"That was a good game," English coach Mackenzie Charles said. "Give a lot of credit to Revere and that coaching staff, they had two back-to-back games in Lynn and they battled. I give them a lot of credit. 

"But I'm super proud of our girls," Charles said. "This kind of game was really good for us. I know this is the GBL Tournament, but in reality this is our seventh game. There were a lot of lessons learned (Wednesday) that will help us going forward." 

Nia Sams had a phenomenal game for English, notching a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Sams scored four of the Bulldogs' seven points in overtime. 

"That’s a great kid who is starting to figure it out," Charles said of Sams. "I challenge her everyday at practice. She played great and if she can be more consistent, it will only get better."

Maddy Laurino (10 points, six rebounds) was also an overtime hero, hitting a clutch 3-pointer early on in the frame. Kelsey McNeil added five points and six rebounds and Alisha Jean scored three points with six rebounds.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Revere but coach Matt Willis and his team have plenty to be proud of. The Patriots were fresh off a 38-35 come-from-behind win at Lynn Classical Wednesday and battled back multiple times Thursday as well.

"I’m extremely proud of all of them," Willis said. "I had said to them before the overtime period started, regardless of what happened they should be proud. We came back multiple times on both days. We were probably a little more tired and English is a more physical team than us but we battled all game. I couldn’t be any prouder."

Skyla DeSimone did it all for the Patriots, scoring a game-high 17 points and grabbing six rebounds. Carolina Carvalho-Bettero also played well with eight points and three rebounds.

"(Skyla) is the kid that you dream of coaching," Willis said. "She works her butt off and gets straight A's in the classroom. Her energy on the floor feeds everybody else. She goes hard every play and that makes everybody else want to do it too." 

Revere jumped out to an early lead thanks to a DeSimone three, but English erased that deficit quickly and went ahead 5-3 thanks to a Sams’ jumper. From there, both teams traded scores and English took a 12-9 lead into the second quarter.

Defense dominated from there and the Bulldogs led 18-12 at the half.

English held onto its six point lead midway through the quarter before Revere went on a run spearheaded by baskets by DeSimone and Carvalho-Bettero to tie things up at 22-22. A few minutes later Laurino hit a three and Jaeleigh Perry converted an and-one to help put English up 32-25 heading into the fourth.

But Revere stormed back again and a DeSimone layup in the final seconds sent the game to overtime tied at 37-37.

The extra quarter was all English. Sams scored four points thanks to an offensive board and Laurino's three gave the Bulldogs some breathing room while the defense held Revere scoreless the rest of the way.

"We had to get our half court defense better, it was a big focus for us in practice," Charles said. "We did a great job in that part of that game. Defense is the name of the game and to allow zero points in overtime was excellent."

English (7-0) moves onto the GBL Tournament final Saturday (11) where it will host Everett.

The Patriots say goodbye to seven graduating seniors.

"They’re not all superstars but they work hard every day," Willis said. "They embraced the shortened season with full energy. They left a positive impression and gave our young players a chance to see what a hard working team looks like."

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