BATH TWP. — Giant-killers a year ago, the Greenmen hoped their sling and stone would work a second time.
While they had their 2020 version of Goliath staggering for much of the evening, the vengeful giant regrouped and ultimately slayed the boys in green’s season.
The 10th-seeded Aurora boys basketball team called it a winter after falling to second-seeded Revere 83-68 Friday in Bath Township.
For much of the evening, the Greenmen, who upset second-seeded Gates Mills Gilmour Academy in a sectional title game last year, stayed with the talented and deep Minutemen.
In the end, Revere’s bronze javelin proved to be far too formidable for Aurora.
After senior guard Jack Roche’s 3-pointer gave the Greenmen a 45-44 lead late in the third quarter, the Minutemen settled matters from there.
Revere (20-3), which beat the Greenmen twice during the regular season by a combined total of 45 points, rebounded with an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.
The Minutemen proved to be the ultimate closers by scoring 31 points in the final eight minutes. Aurora, which did not have nearly the same height as Revere, couldn’t keep up.
While Greenmen head coach T.J. Henderson wasn’t satisfied with the end result, he was extremely delighted with his team’s effort. Considering the fact Aurora won just two games in the Suburban League American Conference during the regular season, the Greenmen were considerable underdogs against the explosive Minutemen.
"We did everything we talked about before this," Henderson said. "The last two days (prior to Friday), the kids bought in, they fought, they did everything they could. It’s just a couple runs."
While Revere had plenty of people score on this night, an unlikely hero emerged when it mattered most.
Senior point guard Julian Kent knocked down four clutch second-half 3-pointers on his way to 16 points.
His final triple, which gave the Minutemen a 61-52 lead early in the fourth quarter, may have been the backbreaker for Aurora (7-17), which entered the game on a three-game winning streak.
So, what was the scouting report on Kent before the game?
Let’s just say Henderson didn’t spend too many all-night sessions studying the nuances of Revere’s hot-shooting point guard.
"Not much," he said. "We wanted to take away [junior guard Andrew] Rinn; we wanted to take away [junior guard Jimmy] Salamone. Knowing [senior forward Hunter] Drenth could give us some issues, we said, ‘You know what, if they’re going to beat us, someone else will have to beat us.’ They did."
The usual suspects delivered for the Minutemen, as well.
The six-foot-8 Drenth and Salamone each scored 21 points and Rinn scored 20 points as Revere had no trouble igniting ifs high-powered offense throughout the evening.
"We had some momentum swing our way," Henderson said. "They’d come back and hit a couple real crucial shots. It’s tough when you play a team like that.
"They’re very, very talented. They have those runs that they give and take. All of a sudden, you’re trying to claw back and fight back the whole game."
Junior guard Gabe Elsawy sank four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 25 points for Aurora.
Roche had a career-high 20 points, thanks to six 3-pointers. He drained five of those triples after halftime.
Senior guard Ethan Hays, who struggled with his shot during the early stages of the game, added 15 points for the Greenmen.
"We talked about handling a run here and there," Henderson said. "They (the Minutemen) just keep coming."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_Gannett.