As the annual spring break hit, it took a toll on several teams that had to fight hard to put a full team together for games this past weekend in the Spring 2017 youth basketball league at the Santa Monica YMCA. They all figured it out—none had to forfeit although a few did use players from lower levels to augment their bench.

When the 16-game weekend had come to an end and everyone had dispersed for the holiday break, only the Rookie Hurricanes and Minor Doctors could claim perfect records through three games, although two Major league squads also have yet to lose through two weekends.

The Bantam League opened action on Saturday with a full schedule of four games for the eight league teams.

–The Appaloosas held on to beat the Mustangs, who were without starting center Emi Slesaransky, 18-12. A 6-4 game after three quarters was blown open in the early fourth period. First Dash Hansford dropped one in from the right elbow on the Apps first possession of the final period. Then, Mohamad Jahromi followed a missed shot to close the gap for the Mustangs to 8-6 with 6:45 remaining in the game.

It was the last Mustang score in regulation time. Dagmawi Ayele grabbed a rebound and put it back in and was fouled, then on the very next trip down the floor scored from the free throw line to make it 12-6 and put the game away.

–Sascha Mason dropped in 10 points and had ten rebounds to lead the Monsoon over the Shetlands 22-17. Matt Hanasab had a nice 4-point/14-rebound game in defeat.

–The Broncos got out to a great start, hitting a high percentage of first half shots en route to an 18-9 half time lead, and hung on to knock off the Thorobreds 29-25.

Good passing from Max Lewis (3 assists in the first half) and good shooting from Julian Haggart, many of his shots being banked in (they still count that way!) turned out to be the difference in this one. Haggart finished with a 14 point/13 rebound double-double.  Griffin Boccella had his best game of the year scoring 14 and grabbing 11 rebounds in a losing cause and Aamos Aro added 6 points.

Tavio Esposito-Portillo played his best game of the season for the winners, scoring 6 to go with 9 rebounds, and Emmett Miles had a nice and busy stat line in the win.

–Without top players Darien Jones and Jake Ronn, life figured to be tough for the Palominos and it was that, as they dropped one to the Colts 17-10. The Pals played with a Rookie leaguer who did well in his debut, but did not have the firepower to keep up with the Colts, who took tied it up after trailing early with along shot late in the third quarter. Not long after he converted a steal into another two points and the Colts never looked back.

–On Sunday, the lone Bantam league tilt went to the Appaloosas over the Shetlands 16-10. The Shetlands did a good enough job in running their very deliberate offense, but just couldn’t find enough good shots, or at least shots that would go in, to win the game. Isaac Samy played well in both App games over the weekend.


–In the Minor League on Saturday, the Icemen topped the short-handed Mambas 24-17 behind 8 points each from Hunter Esposito-Doi and Noah Kratz. The Mambas played the entire game with only 5 players, and did not have the two Stoll boys, who usually at least help lead the team stay competitive weekly.

Espo had the hot hand in the first half, scoring all but one of his points in the first 16 minutes, but the game was tied right before the half at 8-8 on a Rowan Booher shot for the Mambas. Cameron Rowe kept his team in it scoring 10 before fouling out with 5:32 to go in a two-point game. Pierce Malayil and Nathan Petros played well, but only scored a basket each in the loss.

–The Pearls fought hard, but did not shoot very well, and fell to the Pistol Petes 22-17.  Alana Laurie led the Petes with 6; Odin Williams had 11 rebounds. Ariadni Potamianos scored 6 with 12 boards for the Pearls.

–The Skywalkers played the last four minutes of the third quarter withy 6 players without anyone (except one fan and the scorekeeper, who can’t, by rule, say anything) noticing.  The only outscored the Wizards 2-0 during that time, and won the game going away 24-14, so it really didn’t mean much in the long run. Just interesting.

Leading 12-9 after three quarters, Sasha Yansen found Jaxson Glowacki along underneath on a nice inbounds play for a bucket to pup the lead to 5 early in the fourth. Aidan Murphy made sure it was enough when he scored on a follow shot moments later. He and Glowacki each scored 6; Murphy had 14 rebounds.

The Wiz were without Eli Eng and Josh Birnbach. Lukas Greblikas and Chloe Dayyani were best for the Wizards.

–There were also two Minor games on Sunday, the first one and the last one of the day.

The Admirals won out over the Icemen 26-17, using a tough pressure defense, and an ample 10-3 scoring blitz in the third period to do so.

“Nifty” Tewodros led the winners with 8 points and 10 rebounds, and they showed a 21-6 advantage in steals. Future opponents beware and take note! Mathew Mirich led team Ice with 9 and 10 boards.

–The Closer went the undefeated Doctors, 30-20 over the Pearls.  JJ Crawford knocked down four good shots and tied Ryan Kazerani for game-high honors. Arjun McIntosh played really well, too.  Potamianos again led the Pearls, while Sophie Roth grabbed 10 rebs and Coral Izen was a terror on defense and handling the offense.

Up in the Bigs, the Dippers won their first of the season, routing the Captains who were without leader Casey Christmas, 43-27. Nasir Luna was his usual talented self on the floor, scoring 19 to go with 7 thefts. Yissacor Tewodros had a 9-point/9-rebound game. Luke Laurie dominated the glass, and Rachel Kim played well.

Nice game for sure for Preston Calder, who hit five, three point shots for the Caps and his total at night’s end was also 19 points. Problems came for the Captains, however, when no one else could score more than 2! Calder showed he could do it on defense too, with 8 steals.

–On Sunday, The Dreams won their first of the season holding off the Legends, 44-40.  It was racehorse basketball, to be sure, especially in the second half where the two teams combined with hot shooting for 19 points in the third quarter and 59 total points in the second half.

Gabe Aframian, Andrew Daouda (17 rebounds) and Dylan McFarland all scored over ten points for the winners and Nasim Nasimov pulled down a dozen rebounds. Carter Sparks was best for the Legends with a 10/10 game, but his team was outrebounded 51-34.

–The Magic beat the Goats 35-29. After falling behind 16-11 at half time, they outscored the Goats 16-4 in the decisive third quarter. Miguel Picazo led the magic with 11, Siggy Dalgas had perhaps the better night overall though, and earned player of the game honors. Zion Qurtman played best for the Goats who certainly did not score as well as they can.


The Rookies played a set on Sunday mid-day.

–Down their two best players, the Breeze were held without a basket in a 21-5 blowout loss to the Typhoons. Cooper Kun was on fire for the winners and scored 8 with 6 steals.

Ryan Schuster had ten rebounds, and Jacopo Stabilini scored two buckets for a career high. We know this because in 19 previous games he had zero baskets. Way to go, Jacopo!

–Alex Zelenovic has been playing a while herself, and let it be known that on April 2, 2017 she scored her first ever basket in a real live game at the Y. That helped her Monsoons defeat the Zephyrs 8-4. Brandyn Schrobilgen made his season debut a good one, and Merrick Grossman played well for the Z’s.

–The Hurricanes scored TWICE!! In the other team’s basket and STILL managed to win the game over the Tornados 15-13.

Amazing stat of the day. We’ve seen it happen once in a game now and then, but cannot recall a second time in the same contest.

Sammy Levi and Archer Aguilar traded baskets and led the winners with 6 each, most coming at very opportune moments. Cassius Taylor had 9 for the Tornados, 7 in the final quarter, but it just wasn’t quite enough. Unsung hero award for Ethan Kashanian of the Canes who hit 3 out of 4 free throws, without which his team loses.


Teams can and will practice at their regular times and days over the break, and please keep in mind that the first of our two picture days is coming up the Sunday we come back to play, on April 23. Please be sure to know when your team has photos, and be there for your game and your team picture.










Teams do sometimes take a weekend off, and teams also sometimes play more than one time on a weekend, but never more than once in a day.

There is a minimum playing time limit of half the game, however that will not be the case if all 11 players on any of the three (1 Rookie, two Minor) teams carrying 11 players happen to show up on the same day. If that’s the case, the players will be placed into a rotation by their coach and they will play as much as possible. The league office tried to make sure teams only carried ten players, but it was not possible to do it exactly that way this time around.

Each division has some different rules. In the Rookie League, the ball we use is a youth ball (27.5), baskets are lowered to 8 feet, and no defense is allowed outside of the three-point line.

In the Bantam League, the ball is an intermediate ball (28.5), and the basket is set at 9 feet. In the Minor league the basket is raised to ten feet and the defense may come out to half court. In the Major league the ball is a regulation-sized ball, and teams may play full court defense.

In each division, players fouled in the act of shooting will shoot those free throws at the end of each half. If a team gets ahead by 15 points, they must back up defensively to the next line. In the Majors, that means half court, in the Minors that means the three point line. In the Bantams and Rookies that means inside of the key. If the lead increases to 20, they back up more, or in the case of Bantams or Rookies, play mild defense if any at all. If it goes to 25 or more in the Majors, they back up in to the key. Teams may, but do not have to come back out on defense if the score reverts under those margins.

You can expect an edition of the league newsletter each week, usually by Tuesday, depending on how much other work I have to do. It is my primary way of contacting you, so please read it thoroughly each week. Feel free to forward it to those who might like to see a copy.

Please do not coach your children from the sideline. It hinders what the coach might be saying to them and is confusing.

Please no food or drinks in the gym other than bottles with caps screwed on well.  No gum, of course.

All spectators must sit on the benches provided or stand behind them, do NOT congregate in the entrance to the gym, and you may not sit along the end of the court. You may bring your own sports chairs, provided they do not scratch the surface of the gym floor.

Please clean up the spectator area after your game and leave it nice for the next fans who are coming in.

Also be sure to have your team players (your kids!) clean up under their bench when the game is over, or assign a parent from your team to do so each game.

At the end of the day, please assist in gym clean up and putting away the benches and chairs into the equipment closet.

Any items left at practices are turned in by our custodial staff to the front desk and placed in our lost and found. Bringing expensive items to a game is never a great idea. If the director finds any items at the end of a game day, he places them in his office

If you have an issue with your coach, please bring it up with them. If you do not feel comfortable doing so alone, have another parent listen as you speak to the coach. If you still can’t iron out a solution, we will set up a meeting with me and the coach and you all in the same room face to face. I’d prefer you take care of it yourselves, of course, but I am there as you need.

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