The Hoop: The Official Newsletter of Santa Monica YMCA Youth Basketball, Volume 19, Issue 7





In another important and certainly rather tumultuous week, action continued in the Spring youth basketball league at the Santa Monica YMCA. The final two undefeated teams, the Major Magic and Minor Doctors each took a fall for the first time, leading to new league leaders in those divisions. The seeding games were set for the Rookie League and the Bantams? Well it was wild as usual.

All of that may have taken a slight back seat to the sudden illness suffered by your truly, the league director, who was felled by a bout with a kidney stone so large it required a surgical procedure. The incident occurred during half time of the fourth game out of 8 on the schedule for last Saturday afternoon between the aforementioned Magic and the Dreams, prompting the call to emergency services.

The director is, as of this writing, resting at home in anticipation of returning to the chair this weekend if possible. And he recommends not getting a kidney stone at any time in your life. When asked for comment from myself, I said “No bueno!”


Now on to the games.

Not many game stories, as this reporter was not on hand to see them, and with only cold, hard scoring numbers to talk about from statisticians who sat in on an emergency basis, well, this is what you have:

Rookie leaguers returned to play with a single round of Saturday morning and early afternoon games.

The Breeze topped the Tornados 14-12 with Noah McLaurin scoring a game-high 6. Georgia Rolph led the T’s with 4 and 5 steals.

The Hurricanes have yet to lose a game, after knocking off the Zephyrs 19-15. Archer Aguilar was on fire scoring 8 with 6 steals. Arsha Farkhondeh contributed a two pointer as did mighty Ethan Stein, his first ever basket.

Daniel Sun and Charlie Miles led the Z’s.

In the game of the day, at least in the games I got to see, the Typhoons dealt the Monsoon a critical 13-9 setback. Ryan Schuster scored the game’s only two baskets in the win, as the Monsoon lost 4-0 in regulation time.


In the Majors, the Dreams came back from down 7 at half time to edge the previously undefeated Magic 41-40. Dylan McFarland and Andrew Daouda netted a combined 23 points, while Josh Kaplan added 8. Siggy Dalgas and Aron Zakharin were double figures scorers for the Magic.

On Sunday, the Big Os throttled the Legends 46-27. Kas Sariri scored 18, Ezra Krieger added 12 more in the rout. Carter Sparks led the Legends with 15 but they were without three of their top players from the get-go.

The Glide surprised the league leading Captains and then some, winning 48-26. Ben Turkel and Jon Smiley had 28 points combined, with Zach Jacobs adding 8 more in the runaway. Casey Christmas was held to a season low 9 points for the Caps.


In the Bantam League, the Broncos rode hard on the Shetlands to a 42-18 victory. Tavio Esposito-Portillo and Julian Haggart each scored 10; Max Lewis, 8.

The Mustangs topped the Clydesdales with a fine defensive effort 18-8. Travis waters had 14 of his team’s points in the win.

Sunday’s upper division showdown went to the Palominos over the Broncos 30-20.  Jake Ronn led the win with a dozen points and Kate Beckerman scored 6 inside. That offset the 10-point game from the Broncs’ Haggart who got some help in the form of three baskets from Roberto Sierra, who is rounding into good late season form.

The win gave the Mustangs the top seed in the post-season tournament with the Palominos ranked second. The Thorobreds are very much alive still after a 21-10 win over the Clydesdales. Alex Brick was the best in show scoring 8, while Aamos Aro added 5.

The Mustangs made it a perfect weekend with a 47-26 rout of the Shetlands. Travis waters poured in 20, 9 more than team mate Emi Slesaransky, Mason Judkins of the Shetlands had a career high 18.


In the Minor League, the Wizards squeaked one out over the Admirals 34-26.  Josh Birnbach led the way with 10 points.  Isaac Davies and Donovan Blackwin added 6 each. Ben Adelman and Jayden Fishman were best for the Admirals.

The Skywalkers won out over the Pistol Petes in Saturday’s finale 28-17. Score 8 points each for the winners’ Jax Glowacki and Cy Backen.

Sunday’s activity found the Skywalkers making it a 2-0 weekend with a 22-12 triumph over the previously unbeaten Doctors, a win that propelled the Walkers into the league’s top spot. Aidan Murphy led the way with ten points.

The Pistol Petes outlasted the Admrials 22-20 when Alana Laurie exploded for 8 points, the same total as team mate Odin Williams.  Jayden Fishman of the Admirals had that many as well, but no one else got more than 4.

Finally, the Wizards scored another big win, this time 29-24 over the Mambas. Eli Eng went off for 11, and his mates Lorenzo Stabilini (8) and Josh Birnbach (6) helped mightily. Score 16 in a losing effort for Brayden Stoll.


If all of the scores and scorers aren’t exactly right this week, that’s just gonna have to be the way it is.  I think as long as we got the winners and losers right, we did okay.  At the end of the season, because we did not shoot post-game free throws this weekend, those teams involved in games other than the rookie league will now be able to have players individually qualify for the Hal Uplinger free throw award in each division with, in some cases, fewer free throws that other players.  For instance, the Major Magic played on game this weekend without those tosses being taken, so at season’s end rather than needing 9 minimum attempts to qualify for the award, players on the Magic will only need 8. Whereas the Big Dippers players, since they did not miss a game of shooting those, will still need 9. Teams playing twice this weekend will only have to had shot 7 to qualify.


This week treats: Saturday’s opener is a Bantam league tilt with the Appaloosas and Colts, and on the line are two spots in the upper and two in the lower bracket depending on which team wins. Your chances of winning the league probably hinge on being in the upper tournament.

At 11:40 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. the rookies play two of their seeding games to figure out their tournament brackets.

At 4:20 p.m. the Majors play the first of 6 games in a row, three tonight, then three more the next morning.  All of them have tournament and title ramifications it seems.

Sunday at 2 p.m., the top two in the Rookie league the Hurricanes and Typhoons square off in a biggie, then the top seeded Mustangs open Bantam “A” division tournament play with a semi final game against the 4th place team which won’t be known until Saturday morning.









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.

Overtime games are only allowed in games in which a team must advance to another round of a tournament. And all-star games or games vs parents. But not regular season games.

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.

If your child is injured during the course of the game, please hold off on the urge to rush out onto the court. Give them at least 30 seconds to gather themselves (unless you absolutely KNOW it to be a major injury). The game referees and your coach will be first responders and make sure the player is okay and assess the situation. Usually after 30 seconds the player is either back up and ready to play, or sometimes heads to the bench for a breather and to regroup. You can visit them on the bench at this time if you wish.

If the player is more seriously injured, certainly we want you to come out to your child, just give it a little time before you do.

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.


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