STOW — A season that brought plenty of joy to Revere boys basketball ended in heartbreak Saturday at Stow-Munroe Falls High School.
Talented Cleveland Benedictine proved too much for the Minutemen to overcome and their quest for back-to-back district titles was not to be, resulting in a 70-56 loss in the Stow Division II district championship.
Revere (20-5) was forced into nine first-half turnovers as the active, quick and long-armed Bengals disrupted the passing lanes and created a frantic pace that resulted in a 35-23 halftime deficit for the Minutemen.
"We got a little careless with the ball," Revere coach Dean Rahas said. "But give them credit. They had some good pressure and they made shots. They knocked down shots and hit their free throws.
"Just didn't turn out how we wanted it."
Consecutive baskets by Revere's Chris Richardson briefly cut that margin to seven (43-36) midway through the third quarter, but Benedictine (15-10) gradually pulled away from there, leading 52-40 at the end of the quarter.
Richardson, a 6-foot-5 senior who has yet to decide where he will play college ball next year, scored a team-high 19 points with five rebounds while battling a bevy of equally tall foes Saturday.
Senior point guard Samson Albert and shooting guard Sean Leyden also finished their prep careers with five and six points, respectively.
Sophomore Jimmy Salamone scored 11 points for Revere. And 6-8 junior Hunter Drenth — who sat out Thursday's 67-51 semifinal win over CVCA with a hand injury — returned and also scored 11.
"We wanted to be a little more patient on offense," Rahas said. "Control tempo a little more. We kind of got impatient on offense and forced some bad shots. As a result, we had some turnovers we normally don't make."
After falling behind 9-2, Revere scored the next seven to tie but trailed the rest of the way, including 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Benedictine's Davin Zeigler, a 6-3 senior combo guard and Bowling Green recruit, heated up in the second quarter with nine of his game-high 23 points. Kevin Bishop added 14 for the Bengals.
Benedictine, a member of the North Coast League Red Division, will play the Geneva/Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph winner at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in a regional semifinal at Canton Memorial Civic Center.
"Dean does a great job with those guys," Benedictine coach Rob Stircula said of the Minutemen. "They're the defending district champs for a reason."
Rahas has guided Revere to four district finals in his 17 season at the helm, with his lone title coming last season. The Minutemen also won their second consecutive Suburban League American Conference crown this season.
"I'm proud of our guys," Rahas said. "We won 20 games last year. We won 20 games this year. There's not many schools that do that. To win the league back-to-back and get back to district finals. ...
"Hey, look, all our guys were homegrown kids. These are all Revere kids. You know what I mean? I'd rather lose with my own guys than win with someone else's guys. We take pride in what we do and how we act."