Heading into Saturday’s game at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Revere’s head basketball coach Dean Rahas knew his team was facing tough competition. His opponent, Lakewood St. Edward, was the top-seed in the district and one of the strongest parochial athletic programs in Northeast Ohio. In the end, however, the difference between the two teams would be just one possession.
The Minutemen gave the Eagles everything they had, but came up short, losing 65-62 Saturday night in the Division I Brecksville District finals.
Afterwards, Rahas was upset for his players.
“To lose to a private school in the tournament two years in a row is disappointing. It’s like playing against an AAU team,” said Rahas. “Their kids are from all over the city. They play by a different set of rules. What does that do for the integrity of the game? I don’t know.”
While Rahas did not point any one player out in particular, he was clearly disappointed in the fundamental differences between the top two basketball programs in the Brecksville district.
“I’m proud of our kids, they are all from here and all stayed here to play. I thought we did a lot of things well, we set out to compete on every possession. We weren’t here to keep it close, we were here to win,” said Rahas.
The Minutemen (21-2 record) went step-for-step with the Eagles (18-5) in the first quarter, led by a solid effort from junior Mark Mockbee, who had six points. They trailed St. Ed’s by four (17-13) at the end of first, getting a late jumper from senior DJ Bettinger.
Revere's hot hand continued for nearly half of the second quarter as they outscored the Eagles, 8-0, with St. Ed’s not scoring until 4:24 remaining in the half. The Minutemen, however, lost their four-point lead back to the Eagles, who made three 3-pointers in the last few minutes to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Bettinger scored eight points and senior Larry Nance Jr. had six to pace the Minutemen in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, the Eagles stretched the lead to 14 points on the strength of 10 points from junior Myles Hamilton. Revere seemed to have problems guarding the Eagles in transition and missed several foul shots that would have kept the game within reach.
“Foul shots definitely hurt us, I think we went 11-for-21,” said Rahas. “We lost by three, and we missed 10 foul shots.”
The fourth quarter saw the Minutemen continue to claw back into it, cutting the deficit to four points with less than two minutes remaining. They would only get within three on a last second goaltending of Nance’s desperation three-pointer.
Revere top scorer was Bettinger, who finished with a game-high 20 points. Nance and senior Eric Smith added 18 and 10 points, respectively.
Saint Edward’s top scorers were sophomore Elijah Brown (17 points), senior Delbert Love (13), and Hamilton (12).
The Eagles advance to the regionals to play Solon district winner Garfield Heights on Wednesday at Cleveland State's Wolstein Center. Game time is 6:15 p.m.1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q TOT Revere 13 16 18 15 62 St. Edward
17 15 24 9 65