RICHFIELD: Revere coach Kevin Verde calls it “The Wadsworth Aura.”
Whatever it is, the Grizzlies don’t seem to lose.
The score was tied 37-37 at Revere on Saturday with three minutes remaining but the Grizzlies closed out on a 24-6 run to capture their 54th consecutive Suburban League victory by a final score of 61-43.
“When you play Wadsworth, they make you play at a different level,” Verde said. “Most teams don’t play at that level every game. When you play at that high level and you’re not used to it, it wears you down.”
The Grizzlies offense is set up by senior guards Peyton Booth and Hannah Centea, who combined for 12 of the Grizzlies’ 16 assists.
“They’ve always been those type of kids,” Wadsworth coach Andrew Booth said. “I’ve been around them since they were in fourth grade playing youth league. I think sometimes we have to get on them because they’re a little too unselfish.”
Booth finished with 11 points, seven assists, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Centea scored eight points with five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Sophomore guard Jodi Johnson was the main beneficiary of the excellent passing of her teammates, though she doesn’t necessarily need it.
Johnson scored from all over the floor, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring on drop-step moves in the post and Euro step moves on fastbreaks that are rarely seen even in boys games.
“The kid is just a freak,” Booth said. “Sometimes she’s got the ball in the open court and I’m just hoping that she’s going to attack because I don’t think she understands how good she really is. She’s as good as I’ve ever seen in 16 years of coaching at being able to finish, especially in traffic.”
Johnson finished with 21 points, two rebounds and a steal.
Booth called a timeout with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter after Revere guard Marissa Harbath scored on a layup off a steal and assist by Viktoria Farian that tied the score at 37-37.
The Grizzlies (12-0, 7-0) responded with an 11-0 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Centea and Olivia Thompson.
“I give Kevin a lot of credit,” Booth said. “Their half-court defense is so much improved from where it was last year. They made it tough for us to get in a lot of our sets, so I think at that point our kids just had to get loose and play some basketball.”
Forward Caitlin Vari led the Minutemen (11-3, 5-2) in the first half, scoring eight points and racking up seven rebounds. However, foul trouble and a defensive adjustment by Wadsworth limited her to four points and three rebounds in the second half.
“She’s only a sophomore and she’s so skilled so she’s a matchup problem for us,” Booth said. “We stuck most of the game with Peyton on her just trying to beat her to the spot and wear her down a little bit. But a kid that good is going to get her points. I do think we did a better job with our ball pressure in the second half not allowing them to get easy looks to her.”
Camryn Brown led the Minutemen in scoring with 15 points, including three long-distance 3-pointers. She also had five assists, three steals and two rebounds.