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A season of adaptation: Revere High boys basketball team pushes for strong finish in GBL

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By Dom Nicastro


Revere High School boys basketball coach Dave Leary knows his team has work to do. The team is 3-9 after 12 games and wants to finish strong. It is 2-7 in the Greater Boston League.

Coach Leary has been focusing on player development and the implementation of an up-tempo playing style. He acknowledges the challenges posed by a highly competitive league. It’s about growth and adaptation for the Patriots.

What is the team capable of? Just look what it did in beating Everett, which is 8-3. “That was probably the best game they played all year,” Leary said. “I know Everett was missing one of its top guys, but still, for whatever reason, the kids just get up for that Game every year. For the first few years, we had no success against them, but we were able to steal one from them last year and one from them this year. So hopefully, that means we’re heading in the right direction.”

The team has struggled with scoring but leans heavily on its defense. Leary mentions the importance of their defensive game in giving them a chance in close games. “We really lean on our defense,” Leary said. “And, you know, we were able to bring Everett down to maybe like 15 points below their average. We gave ourselves a chance. And then our guys made big shots down the stretch, which, in other games that we’ve lost by one or two possessions, that was the difference. We just didn’t make shots late. We missed free throws late. But it seems like other than the game at English, on some level, every game has been one or two possessions, one or two loose balls, one or two rebounds. So, the Everett game was really a good confidence boost for our guys.”

Leary stresses the need for continuous hard work and improvement, especially in reducing turnovers. That was a killer in some games, but the Patriots’ turnover numbers have been down lately.

Junior point guard Avi Lung has been showing growth in confidence and control, alongside other contributors like junior wing Josh Mercado and junior Ethan Day. Leary notes Day’s consistency in scoring and his ability to draw fouls. In a 62-47 loss to Chelsea on Jan. 23, Day dropped 27 points in the loss for the Patriots.

“He’s been pretty consistent all year,” Lung said of Day. “He’s more of an old-school type of player. He can shoot the ball, but he’d rather go to the basket. He’s pretty smooth going to his left, going to his right, floaters in the lane, reverse layups, things like that. And he gets himself to the foul line multiple times a game.”

Senior and 6-5 frontcourt man Amir Yemani and senior captains Andrew Leone and Luke Ellis have stepped it up lately. Ellis scored 11 points against Malden, and Yemani, a senior with only one year of varsity experience, has been gaining confidence and scored 10 points in a recent game against Medford.

Leary also mentioned that the team has adopted a more up-tempo style, focusing on extending their defense and pressing more aggressively. This approach aims to create more scoring opportunities by pushing the pace against the opposing team. He expressed optimism that this strategy would help other players find their rhythm and contribute more offensively.

Furthermore, the team’s co-captain Andrew Leone, who initially averaged around 8-10 points in the first few games, has returned from a foot injury. Having played for about 15 minutes in a recent game against Medford, Leone is expected to regain his form and make significant contributions in the second half of the season.

The Greater Boston League is competitive with no easy games, Leary said. He emphasizes the geographical proximity of teams and the familiarity among players, raising the stakes of league games: “If you’re not on your best, you’re gonna get beat,” he said.

The team is facing an uphill battle getting into the postseason. However, Leary remains optimistic about their chances to improve and possibly secure a tournament spot.

Revere as of the Tuesday, Jan. 23 postseason rankings is ranked 57th out of 61 teams. It can get into the postseason if it finishes .500 or above or in the top 32 in the final rankings.

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