(Haverhill MA) Dazzling show by junior Marissa Gattuso.
The Woburn junior dominated Revere and led the Tanners to a 58-46 win and the Division 1 North title on Saturday afternoon at Whittier.
Woburn now gets Bishop Feehan in the D1 state semifinals at the TD Garden on Monday at 5:45PM. The Shamrocks (22-1) were the #2 seed in the South.
Marissa (two-time Middlesex League All-Star) displayed the full package of shooting range collecting 28 points. To get to that lofty total she drove for layups, hit jump shots, hit a three, made thirteen free throws, as well as three floaters. There didn’t seem to be a shooting spot she didn’t hurt the Tanners from!
Those floaters were the ones that impressed me. No heights were given for #2 seed Woburn in the program but I’m guessing that Marissa is 5’6”. Revere had 6’2”, 6’1” size in close and getting a shot blocked was a real possibility. But the floater is the answer. You shoot the ball on the run over the bigger defender without charging. Isaiah Thomas does it all the time for the Celtics.
Marissa not only had the full selection of shots she also controlled the ball as point guard. Revere put a number of different defenders on her. I thought senior Maritza Scott was the best at it but Maritza fouled out with four minutes left. The Tanners had only one turnover in the final quarter because, led by Marissa, they took good care of the ball. Revere was forced to foul and Woburn gathered fourteen points from the charity stripe in the final quarter.
Revere (20-6), from the Northeastern Conference, was tied with Woburn twice in the early going. Maritza Scott and Pamela Gonzalez had consecutive layins to knot the score at 6-6 with 2 ½ minutes left in the first quarter.
The next 3 ½ minutes of playing time were all Woburn. The Tanners (22-2) ran ten unanswered points together to gain separation, 16-6.
Woburn had six three’s in the game and got two of them (Andrea Schiavone, Nicole Pacheco) in the breakaway segment. There were two Marissa Gattuso floaters in the same mix.
#4 seed Revere was never able to get closer than three points (24-21) the rest of the way.
Credit the undersized interior defense of Woburn. It was clear that Revere wanted to dominate the glass on both ends of the court. That just didn’t happen. There were few second attempts and there were few entries passes where one-on-one defense was in place.
Sophomore Valentina Pepic (10 points) did find some layup room late in the game but by then Woburn was trying not to foul.
Woburn did a terrific job of containing Revere point guard Pamela Gonzalez (12 points). Pamela always had defenders to deal with in her attempts to get to the basket. Pamela had twenty-seven points in the Patriots’ win earlier in the tournament so holding her to twelve was a key to the D1 title win.
As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots did get within three points. That happened at the start of the third quarter after senior Ally Hinojosa drained a three-pointer from the left.
The lead enlarged to six (35-29) with two minutes left in the third quarter.
The next six minutes of playing time did in Revere. They tallied just one point (Ally Hinojosa free throw) while the Tanners garnered eight points from two layups (Nicole Pacheco, Kelsey Qualey), a jump shot (Marissa Gattuso), and free throws by Marina Rufo and Mya Blazejowski.
Now the teams were separated by thirteen points (43-30) with four minutes left in the game. Twelve made free throws later the Tanners had a 58-46 victory and the D1 North title.
Good crowd on hand. The Woburn student section had some bright colors on.
The foul shooting could have been better for both teams: Woburn (20-for-34), Revere (10-for-21). Too many high school players are spending too much time practicing 3-pointers. Revere was 2-for-8 from the foul line in a quarter (3rd) when they got within three points of the lead!
Getting the D1 North title probably erases Woburn’s painful memory from last year’s tournament when their #1 seeding didn’t do a bit of good as they went out to #16 Arlington.
When I saw that Revere had lost to St. Mary’s (Lynn) twice I feared they could be in trouble vs Woburn. The time I saw the Spartans (they lost to Bishop Fenwick) they had size and persistent pressure. So I figured that if that had bothered Revere (twice) then Woburn might cause problems. This was before I had ever seen Marissa Gattuso in action.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)