HAVERHILL – The no. 1 seed Lowell Red Raiders got off to a fast start in Tuesday’s MIAA Division 1 North girls’ basketball semifinal at Whittier Tech.
But the no. 4 seed Revere Patriots didn’t just throw a counterpunch in the second quarter – they threw a haymaker that the Red Raiders never fully recovered from, leading to a 60-51 upset victory.
The Red Raiders started the game on a 12-2 run, but the Revere offense came back strong thanks to seven first-quarter points from Pamela Gonzalez (17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals). A layup at the buzzer by Meaghan Gotham (12 points, 10 rebounds) made the score 17-15 after one.
In the second quarter, the Patriots put the hammer down. Three three-pointers from Ally Hinojosa (12 points, four rebounds) and a near-double-double in the quarter alone from Gonzalez, including another layup at the halftime buzzer, led to Revere outscoring the Red Raiders 22-6 to take a 37-23 halftime lead.
“I think the one bad quarter definitely put us in a hole,” Lowell head coach Brian Myers said. “The girls fought hard. We’re not used to giving up 22 points in a quarter. I knew if (Revere) got into the 60s we were going to have a tough time winning, and they got into the 60s. We had to keep them in the high 40s. We played good defense for two and a half, three quarters, and then we let one get away in that second quarter.”
The Red Raiders were not done, however. Shyan Mwai (26 points, four steals, three rebounds) put the team on her back with nine points in the third, and the rest of the team fed off of that energy, with Brittany Mota (six points, six blocks, four rebounds, three assists, three steals) knocking down two threes and the rest of the team driving to the lane and getting the Patriots in foul trouble. They cut the deficit to 47-40 going into the final frame.
“You could tell she didn’t want to lose,” Myers said. “None of them did, but Shyan took it upon herself to try to get us back into that game and get us over that hump. That’s her, she’s aggressive.”
Mwai continued her hot streak with nine more points in the fourth quarter and got the Red Raiders (21-3) within three after being down by as many 17 in the second half, but the rest of the Lowell offense went cold, and Revere (20-5) used their possessions to work the clock and drive to the lane to seal the deal. The Red Raiders as a whole tried to shoot themselves back into it, but finished the night 4-for-28 from deep.
“We were there,” Myers said. “We had our chances. We cut it to three and we had our chances, but (Revere) outworked us. The offensive rebounds hurt us. They were balanced, they had a little more depth than us.”
It was not the ideal way for someone as accomplished as Lexi Schecter to end her high school career, but she still gave it her all with another double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, three assists, two steals).
“She’s had a brilliant career, one of the best in Lowell High history,” Myers lauded. “She’s got a ton of records. She’ll be in the hall of fame. I’ve been here for four years, I’ve had her for four years, and her best basketball is yet to come.”