Fully 16 of the league-wide 30 teams got into live action situations for the first time this past weekend, as play opened up proper in the Fall 2017 youth basketball league at the Santa Monica YMCA. Only the Rookie division sat totally on the sidelines idly watching as the other three groups had at least some games—The Major League being the only one to have a full schedule of games completed after week one.

Several standout performances were seen with the promise of more to come this coming Sunday when the rest of the league’s performers swing into action.


Let it be known that the Minor League officially tipped things off on Sunday morning, and of those, the Thunder topped the Rebels in the first game of a scheduled 147 contests running from now through mid-December. Jaden Fishman scored the first basket of the season and finished with high point honors with 13 of the winners’ 39 point total in a 12 point win. You do the math. Fishman earned Minor League Player of the week honors as he also had 9 rebounds and 7 steals, barely missing a rare triple double. 

Not far behind was teammate Arjun Mcintosh with a dozen points. Sasha Yansen played his best ever game scoring 9 with 6 rebounds in a losing effort for the Rebels, and Isley Kimball-Williams made his Minor League debut with a good looking 8 point/13 rebound effort for the same team. Harison McGuire had a good second half in trying to bring his team back.

— Game two was a nail biter throughout, with the Hurricanes sneaking past the Reign 27-25. Dalton White’s only points to the game came on a three pointer in the fourth quarter for the ‘Canes and when Ariel Aframian stole the ball and went the distance for a layin with 2:30 to play, it put them up 25-20 and sealed the victory. He finished with 8 points, 6 boards and 5 steals, Abel Antal scored 10 and had 10 rebounds, good for the season’s first double-double double.

Miles Aguilar led the Reign with 6 and Dominic Boccella had 10 rebounds.

— The Orange Crush held off the Ducks, 25-22 with a strong effort throughout the game, steadily pulling away. Connor Sullivan and Jared Oliver provided scoring punch, and he and Sophie Roth combined for 11 steals.

For the Ducks, Jacob Burrows popped in three long shots and Dom Kajota had a good all around quality effort.


There were two of a possible five games in the Bantam League involving four of the division’s 10 total teams. In the first of those The Panthers edged the Wildcats 18-15, using a 7-0 outburst in the first quarter to do the trick. Ryan Chamber completed the first period scoring with a crowd wowing three point shot, and finished with 5 to lead the winners.Gordon McLean’s Samo Y debut was a strong one with 8 rebounds.

Asher Eng was best for the Cats.

— The Bulls posted a statement win, 25-14 over the Thunder, to set the bar high for all comers to see. It was never really much of a contest behind the strong play of the likes of Leo and Guy Sikora and Ben Van Bilderbeek, who came out firing in this season’s first outing, scoring 6 with 7 rebounds.

Roberto Sierra had the best game overall for the Thunder.


The Majors came out swinging hard to wrap up the first day. The Lakers proved too quick for the Ballerz, and the quickness came primarily from Nasir Luna (16/9 rebs) and Eli Levi (10 points). Josh Kaplan played a strong game inside on both ends for the B’s and Estevan Rodriguez hit for 8 points. The Ballerz had a decided edge in rebounding at 38-19 but could not turn that into enough points to win, seeming to always be behind by about four points in a 38-33 loss.

— The Blaze lived up to their name early on in roaring to an early 14-4 lead over the Vipers, but Zion Qurtman and company slowly chipped away at the lead and won going away, 39-30. Qurtman scored 28 with 11 rebounds in a fine individual effort, but it may have been the shooting of Cy Backen and Charlie Downey with two baskets each in the fourth quarter that iced this one for the Vipers.

Keegan Fleigner knocked down a pair of treys in the early explosion for the Blaze, and finished with ten points.


Fans had to wade through 7 games until the first day finale to see the best game of the set, game number 8.

Good fans know that even when two fine players go head-to-head on the court and capture their attention with scoring plays, it is always a team effort to win a hard fought and close game, and this was exactly a case of both.

Dash Decker scored 22, with 12 rebounds and great floor generalship in leading his team, the Streetdogs, to a 47-42 triumph over the Mambas who were without their number one player for this game.

Enter another Dash Wasson of the Mambas who tossed in outside shots, pounded the glass and drove the lane consistently to the tune of a 21-point game to go with 11 rebounds, his best effort since his Minor League days to be sure.

Jesse Lister scored the first of his two buckets in the second half for the Dogs on a nice pass from Decker, but Wasson dropped in an up-and-under scoop to counter on the next possession for the Mambas. After a defensive stop, Evan Daghighian tossed in an off-balance bank shot to put the Mambas up by one at the third quarter break 30-29.

But Xailoh Hermosillo, playing his best Major League game in two season in the division, hit a shot and was fouled to make it a one-point StreetDog lead and Decker followed that moments later with a clutch three to put the Dogs up four.

Timosha Moncher and Jason Tun countered baskets by the Mambas Jax Glowacki and Nifty Tewodros to keep the Dogs ahead by a point but Wasson went to the rack and scored again and the Mambas edged back on top 37-36 with just 2:30 to play.

Fifteen seconds later, Lister connected again to put the Streetdogs back ahead by a single tally. After a stop following a crazy flurry of turnovers back and forth for about thirty seconds all on one end of the floor, the ball floated to Rama Karimi who let fly from three point range and swished it home for three of his 8 points and a 39-37 lead heading into post game free throws.

While the Mambas had more than enough to catch and pass the Streetdogs, it could not be done on this night. All-in-all, a fairly memorable and fun game to watch, and a good one on which to put the first weekend to bed.


Only two teams will play a second game this week: the Rebels and Reign will each try to get their first Minor League win against each other late Sunday. Otherwise, every game being played involves two teams with identical records of never having played a game. Good luck to all.







— There is an information table with hard copies of this newsletter THE HOOP each week, along with other important information.

— Be sure to turn in your emergency packets. All new players have been given these at evaluations and parent’s night, but there are new forms if you lost yours located in my office or on the information table on game days.

— Returning players who need to fill out new emergency packets (which last two years) will be given those as soon as possible.

— Please yell encouragement and whisper criticism. Cheer for your team, and it’s actually okay to cheer for good plays by the other team, too!

— Leave the referees alone. Period.

— If you have any problems, please take them to your coach, and if you are not satisfied with your coaches reply, being the issue to me.


— When your game is over, please help clean up the area where you sat and also the area where your team sat to make it ready for the next game. If yours is the final game, please help clean the gym and put away chairs and benches at the director’s request.


— Rookie ball is a youth ball (27.5) and they play on an 8-foot basket. There is no defense allowed outside the three-point line. If a team leads by 15 they must drop back into the key defensively and this may happen earlier at the director’s discretion. Two timeouts per game, one each half.

— Bantam league ball is intermediate (28.5) with baskets at 9 feet. Still no defense outside the three-point line. If a player hits a three point shot, that player may be guarded (one on one only) for the remainder of the game outside the line. Three timeout per game, no more than two in either half.

— Minor league plays defense out to half court, so if the lead goes to 15 they drop back to 3 point line, and if it grows to 20, they go into the key. Basket is at ten feet. Four timeouts per game, no more than two in either half.

— Major league is full court ball with a regulation size ball. When the lead goes to 15 the team ahead must not play defense past half court. Twenty is a drop back to the three point line, 25 into the key. Four timeouts per game, no more than three in a half.

In all divisions, teams may come back out to play regular defense when the score goes back under the total that put them in there in the first place.

In all divisions, we play four, eight minute running time quarters. At the four minute mark, providing the offensive team at that moment is not directly threatening to score inside the three point line, the horn is sounded and the teams take a 20 second timeout to clear the bench of all substitutes. Teams must clear the bench again after each quarter ends. If, during a four minute segment in which a player is on the bench and they are called into the game to substitute for an injured player or one who cannot play further, the player going in may not be among those coming back to the bench at the next regular sub break.

— In all divisions, any shooting foul shots will be shot at half time and after the game. These count towards the final score of the game. It will then be presumed that the team that was fouled made their shots and it is the other team’s ball out of bounds, thus saving valuable seconds from clicking off of the clock. We’ll shoot them later.

At the end of the game (half time in Major League games) players who have yet to score a single point will take part in a season long free throw shooting contest, shooting as many as six free throws (until they make one, or we give them the 6th one for free) These points do NOT count towards the final score unless they do not change the winner of the game. Then they do count.

** If your child is injured, please resist the urge to rush onto the court to take care of them (unless it’s obvious that it is serious). Ninety-five percent of the time, if you give them 30-60 seconds, they are just fine, and continue in the game. Sometimes they have to go to the bench for a brief bit to recuperate. Let them work it out themselves as much as you can. The refs will handle it first, then the coaches, then you and me.

— If you or a member of your viewing party are not members of the Santa Monica Y, please be friendly with our front desk staff and sign the guest book each visit. It’s at the end of the counter. Children accompanying you may NOT roam freely through the YMCA, they must remain in the gym with you, and not go anywhere else. Thanks.

— We communicate generally through email. Mine is ysports@ymcasm.org, 310-393-2721x 137

My assistant, Barry will be on hand many days while I may not be. He can answer your questions, and if not, you should ask me via email or phone call if I’m not there.

— Check this newsletter every single week for important information. Feel free to forward this to anyone you’d like.

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