Welcome to the first issue of volume fourteen of Swish, a periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica Family YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as announcements and updates from the program.

This Winter season, the Santa Monica Family YMCA has 5 divisions of youth basketball, with the Copper division having 4 teams, the Bronze and Gold divisions with 5 teams each, and the Silver and Platinum division with 6 teams each. We are a coed league with players that are ages 5 to 15. Our emphasis is that we are a developmental league, and we want the kids to not only enjoy playing youth sports, but to benefit from the three principles of the YMCA:

Youth Development,
Social Responsibility,
and Healthy Living.

We are partnered with the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation which provides jerseys, grants, and clinics to help develop our youth. We are ever grateful for their support of our program. Many thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation: Kiesha Nix, Kiley Sensi, Richard Harris, and Jeanie Buss for helping us become the premier youth basketball program on the Westside.

For the theme of this season’s team names, we are revving our engines, as all of our teams are named after classic American muscle cars that dominated the 60’s and early 70’s.

Here is a fun video featuring many of the cars in our league.

SAT 1/20/24 Scrimmage Day

All teams had a scrimmage on this day, and new players received their Junior Lakers jersey. Coaches were forced to be referees to not only help their players, but learned to have sympathy for the real referees when it comes to the regular season.

Copper
All four teams took each side of the gym to have a scrimmage against an opponent.

Sean Broihier returns to coach in the program, as he helps guide our youngest players with his daughter Kiera.

Newcomer coach David Sharafi is behind the wheel as he and his son David Jr. drive their team forward.

A classic car deserves a classic combo of coaches, as Bing Sheng and Alex Wang will coach together with their sons Lincoln and Owen respectively.

George Edelman and his newcomer son James will shoot for stars, to lead their players where they have not gone before.

Bronze
5 teams came alive as three teams did a round robin, and two teams squared off against each other.

It’s a family affair with David and Monisha Toteja and their son Rayden, as they look to strike lightning in the league.

Thomas Casarella gets the honor of having the team name of the first car that I ever owned. He will take the road with his two sons Billy and Hugo.

AJ Kothari and his son Bodhi return to put their team in high gear as they head out to the highway.

Coaches Bing Sheng and Alex Wang do double duty as they will also coach together in the Bronze division. Elliot Sheng joins his dad; however, Olivia Wang wishes to play with friends on a rival team.

Coach Noah Verleun returns with his son Soren to ride the 101 as the free wind is blowing through their hair(as sung by “America”)

Silver
Six teams had three scrimmages on this day with many new players getting their first experience of playing youth basketball.

New coach DJ Jacobs along with his son Buck, will lay down the law with their powerful engines.

Tandem of new coaches Alicia Marder and AJ Miller will burn rubber with their sons Griffin and Ashton respectively.

Another tandem of new coaches Keith Muenze and Justin Amos throw themselves into the division. Keith’s son Leon and Justin’s son Decker come along for the ride.

Longtime coach Craig Pariser and his daughter Mai Ly are back on track to show and teach their talents to their team.

George Edelman will coach his second team in the league with his son Theodore, and co-coach Jeff Epstein will have his daughter Katarina to ramble on, and now’s the time to sing their song, and go around the world(paraphrasing Led Zeppelin).

Coaches Ali Safavi with son Saum, and Arash Yaghoubzadeh with son Leo, return and look to fly high again to the top of the Silver division.

Gold
Once again, 5 teams came alive as three teams did a round robin, and two teams squared off against each other.

Darko Dogic has returned with his son to get back on the track, and race to the top of the Gold division.

Eugene Travnikoff and his son Auden come as sharp dressed men to take their team to ZZ Top of the division(great album!).

Spencer and Ross Nelson have their dad Justin in control, as they bring some “Soul” to the division(tribute to late “Starsky and Hutch” actor David Soul).

This is a team sure to be all go, as Sean Broihier coaches his second team in the league with his son Liam, and Jennifer Lynn will assist with her son Oliver.

Father and son Brent and Brayden Stoll return to co-coach in the Gold division as they are Corvette-ing new and talented young players.

Platinum
Our highest division will feature 6 talented teams that each had a scrimmage that showed how competitive this division will be.

Darko Dogic will coach his second team in the league as he teaches his nephew Danilo Samardzija and his teammates how to keep it running down the road.

Joe Tilley is back to coach again with wild horses stampeding to take the division.

Bill Kravitz with his son Dylan return to the division, as we see them again, and look to take our “Heart” away, ooh, barracudas, oh yeah(great song!).

Armando Gonzalez with his son Diego have shifted up a gear to come up to the Platinum division, to help continue with their drive to succeed.

Coach David Cappiccille with his sons Logan and Parker will continue to strike and bite into the division as they look to defend their division title from the last two seasons.

Nicholas Walker was gracious enough to take over at the last minute to coach again in the Platinum division, as he passes along his expert coaching advice to this generation of youth. You can learn more about Nicholas’s expertise by watching his videos series “Dribblin’ with Nick”. Here is the link to the first video of the series.

Scrimmage photos by Carol Chan

SUN 1/21/24 WEEKEND #1
Bronze
Sabres vs Venturas

The first match of our winter season, saw the Sabres take the halftime lead on the strength of 8 points and multiple points by Rodrigo Padron and a basket by Billy Casarella. The Venturas kept pace in the first half with 4 points from Soren Verleun and rebounds from Callie Dean. In the second half, the Venturas got baskets from Tomas Leblond, Oliver Williams, and Teddy Millman, while Bodhi Ren Chopra and Aidan Schneider made several steals to help their team get closer. The Sabres were able to
pull away as Hugo Casarella made a basket, River Stanton had 8 second half points, Beau Bigler intercepted passes, and Player of the Game Rodrigo Padron continued to rack up the rebounds to give their team the victory.

Camaros vs Thunderbolts

The Camaros had the early lead in the match as Jay Miller made a basket, and teammate Theo Stele was making several rainbow swish shots from long distance. The Thunderbolts struck back with field goals from brothers Farrar, Oliver and Oscar, and a rebound putback from Olivia Wang, and several driving hoops from Kingston Smith to take a halftime lead. The second half saw the Camaros play tough defense with Bennett Zibit creating turnovers to give to teammates Matteo Barraza and Bodhi Kothari to score points. The Thunderbolts’ Kingston Smith took over in the fourth quarter scoring a dozen points as he drove to the hoop for lay-ups to earn Player of the Game honors and lead his team to the win.

Silver
Judges vs Javelins

First half scoring for the Javelins came from Decker Amos, Leon Muenze, and Logan Christenson; the Judges had scoring from Henry Fyda, Dylan Read, Peter Rodrick, and Player of the Game-Buck Jacobs. The second half saw tough defense for the Javelins from Liana Enayati and Levi Lapierre. The Judges were too strong as Mason Altshule was the rebound leader, Harrison Bond led in steals, and Sean Murphy and Dylan Jackson each had a bucket to give their team the victory.

Platinum
Impalas vs Mustangs
The Impalas moved the ball around well and were able to find Rowan Booher along the three point arc to sink a couple of treys, Ethan Schwartz down low to score points in the paint and convert all his free throws, and Asher Zaczepinski who made a field goal in each quarter. But the speed and transition game of the Mustangs had the wild horses running and the ball was moving quickly in which James Cook and Aayan Lakhani were making penetration floaters and hitting the “3” ball. The Mustangs’ good defense from Brandon Israels, rebounds from Estevan Padron, and steals by Ryan Nagase prevented the Impalas from reaching top gear. However, the Impalas were able to get Maryck Booher, Josh Weil, and Cristian Villegas into the scoring column. The difference maker for the entire game was the Mustangs Darien Jones who had 24 points for the game including four 3-pointers, along with multiple blocks, rebounds, and steals to not only earn “Player of the Game” honors, but also “Player of the Week” as the Mustangs look to outrace this division.

Roadrunners vs Cobras

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

The Roadrunners flexed their muscle as they took advantage of their size with the Cobras absent a few big bodies. But the Cobras played well as Rylan Newton, Justin Tun, Max Baracy, and Matthew Scholze scored multiple points, and Greyson Klein was tough on defense. The Roadrunners were able to use their big front line to get the ball down low as Cam Pariser was able to become the game assist leader as he fed the ball to Danilo Samardzija who kept getting fouled and converted 9 of 11 from the charity stripe, and Adoniyas Yonas who got Cam’s passes to make points and become the rebound leader for the match, thus earning Player of the Game honors. The Roadrunners were also able to get tough defense from Jarvis Wakefield who found ways to strip the ball and get the transition game going in full gear as the Roadrunners became only one of two teams to have one win in the division after the first weekend of the season.

Barracudas vs Firebirds

Photo by Stacy Kravitz

If you read the previous game summary, then you may think 🤔 “Wait, four teams played, and you just wrote in the last game summary, that there would be only two teams with one win in the division after the first weekend, so how can that be with this game still to be told?” Read on, and the answer to the riddle will be told.

Back and forth first half between two teams that many believe are favorites to win the division. The Barracudas used the “3” ball to get their points as Gabriel Chibane had a trey and Dylan Kravitz had four first half “3”s, and Alden Wong made an outside deuce; the Firebirds had diverse scoring in the first half as AJ Evans, Sam McGowan, Rohham Taherian, Dagmawi Ayele, and Cassius Taylor all scored, as the game score remained tight thru the first half with several lead changes. The third quarter saw a surge from the Firebirds to take a lead on the strength of multiple blocks from Ethan Kondratyev and steals from Mia Kondratyeva, along with rebounds and driving layups and a “3” from Player of the Game Dagmawi Ayele. But the Barracudas clawed back in the fourth quarter, as Kai Halpert, Noah Michael, Julian Veckerelli, and Gabriel Chibane each had a basket, but more big “3”s came from Player of the Game, Dylan Kravitz, as he sank couple of downtown treys with ice water in his veins. Each team had a chance in the final seconds to win the game, but key defensive stops prevented either team from getting the final shot off, and when all was said and done, it was time to “Kiss your sister” cause we had a tie.

Thus the answer to the opening riddle, with three Platinum games on the day, two teams had a loss, two teams had a win, and two teams had a tie 😉 The referees of the match commented that it was the best game of the day and deserved to be a tie! Looks as if the Platinum division will be a close race every week with each team getting their engines ready to rev it up and burn rubber.

SAT 1/27/24 WEEKEND #2
Copper
Cyclones vs Darts
First game of the season for the Copper division. The first quarter saw the Darts get on the scoreboard as Max Degeorge made a basket from the elbow. The Cyclones tied the game on a putback basket from Rohan Henderson, to only have the Darts get the lead back on another bucket by Max Degeorge. The second quarter had the Cyclones obtain the lead on baskets by Lincoln Sheng and Rohan Henderson. The Darts got steals from Kiana Soltani and Brooks Carey. The Cyclones got steals from Lola Lashkari to give a pass to Tucker Levitan who made a big bucket from 15 feet out.

However the Darts got a buzzer beater to end the first half from Max Degeorges. The third quarter saw the Cyclones Isabelle Ma grabbing rebounds, David Sharafi stealing the ball for the Darts. The Darts Kiana Soltani made two baskets toward the end of the
quarter to bring her team within a point. The fourth quarter had the Cyclones Ivy Huss make a free throw, and Max Degeorges make a bucket to tie the match. But with less than a minute in the match, Player of the Game, Rohan Henderson made a baseball throw that hit the backboard and went in to give the Cyclones the lead; however, only seconds later, Player of the Game Max Degeorge scored the tying shot for the Darts. Tie game! Ironically, this was the second consecutive match in our program to end in a tie.

Bronze
Skylarks vs Thunderbolts
First half belonged to the Thunderbolts as Kingston Smith had four points, and Olivia Wang had a basket and they had a gracious gift from the other team giving them a basket. The Skylarks did get one free throw made each by Walker Rosenthal and Elliot Sheng. In the second half, the Skylarks were able to get points from Luke Sarley and Ashok Dhaka to help bring them closer to the Thunderbolts, and Skylarks teammate Tyson Skinner led the game in steals. The Thunderbolts were able to pull away on a couple baskets each from Oscar Farrar and Jacob Sroka. But the difference maker was player of the Game. Olivia Wang, as she was the rebound leader for the game, and helped to prevent the Skylarks from making the comeback, to preserve the victory.

Venturas vs Camaros
The first quarter belonged to the Camaros as Bodhi Kothari, Jay Miller, and Theo Stele each had a basket. However, the Venturas came back to take the halftime lead on two baskets by Soren Verleun, and a basket each by Teddy Millman and Callie Dean. The third quarter ended with an exchange of baskets between the Camaros Theo Stele and the Venturas Soren Verleun, as they each had a basket with less than a minute to go in the quarter. The contest went back and forth in the final frame, as the Camaros Louis Liu made two field goals in the quarter, but in the final minutes, the Venturas Sora Nomoto made a free throw and the winning shot to give the Venturas the narrow victory, and earn Player of the Game honors.=

Silver
Chevelles vs Ramblers

Photo by Carol Chan

Close first quarter, as the Chevelles got a bucket from Olivia Wu, and the Ramblers got baskets from Faizan Khan. The second quarter had the Ramblers Tucker Gissendaner make the first of his two treys for the day, while the Chevelles Declan Wong made two buckets. The second half had the Chevelles putting on defensive pressure from Mai Ly Pariser, Cetine Travnikoff, and Rex Bulette, as teammate Mateo Chan made the scoring column; however, the Ramblers were too strong as Theodore Edelman, Katarina Epstein, and Linus Verleun made the scoring column, and Itamar Yurman grabbed rebounds to pull away to the victory.

Marauders vs Superbirds
The Superbirds flew high in this match as Alex Melamed, Saum Safavi, and Leo Yaghoubzadeh did all the scoring for their team, and Oakley Entsminger provided tough defense. The Marauders did get points from Nand Aysola, and teammates Krishna Aysola, Griffin Marder, Krishna Pathak, nd Nakai Shriqui were able to get rebounds and steals. In the end, the Superbirds cruised to victory.

Gold
Torinos vs Eliminators

Photo by Rachel Ruiz

The Torinos got the scoring going early, as Ross Nelson had three first quarter points, and Constantine Avramopoulos-Orlandos made a basket. The Eliminators got their scoring going with Abdullah Jooma getting all 6 of his points in the first frame, and teammates Brendan Still and Ibrahim Ally got into the scoring column in the second quarter to help their team get a halftime lead. In the second half, precision passes for assists were done by the Eliminators Dominic Drew as he fed teammate Mariama Belew in her wheelhouse to make a couple of deuces and a trey, rebounds were obtained by Chloe Scofield, and David Yonatan made a basket off of another assist by Dominic Drew who then had more assists, when Player of the Game Olivia Ruiz was the game high scorer with 10 points. The Torinos had second half scoring from Jack Meyer, Azumi Nomoto, and Ross Nelson. The Torinos had steals from Spencer Nelson and rebounds from Liam Desante. The Eliminators went on to victory as David Yonatan also made a bucket.

Stingrays vs Daytonas

Photo by Jennifer Garner

The Daytonas got out to an early lead on baskets by Sam Affleck, Siddhant Khanna, and Grey Ross. The Stingrays kept pace with baskets from Leonardo Garcia and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh. But the Daytonas continued to have more scoring, as a basket came from Lucas Dogic, Mika Stele made several buckets including a couple of “3”s, and the Player of the Game, Trajan Booker, who had multiple baskets to help his team go onto the victory.

Platinum
Mustangs vs Roadrunners

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

It was the battle of the two last undefeated teams in the Platinum division, speed versus size, and on this day, speed would be the victor, as the Mustangs had 8 different players score, with Olana and Amensisa Alemayehu each having 4 points, and points from Ryan Nagase, Estevan Padron, and Player of the Game Amir Enayati who was the toughest defender on the court. The Roadrunners leading scorers were Danilo Samardzija with 20 points, and Adoniyas Yonas with 10 points, and a field goal each from Kaleab Seyum and Christian Ferew. But the big trio of Mustangs was too much for the Roadrunners to handle, as the Mustangs got deep “3”s from Darien Jones, ankle breakers from Aayan Lakhani, and floaters from James Cook to have a commanding victory.

SUN 1/28/24
Bronze
Sabres vs Skylarks

Photo by Carol Chan

The first half saw the Skylarks takeoff in top gear as they could not be stopped and completely shut out the Sabres in the first half. Player of the game, the Skylarks Tyson Skinner, had multiple points and multiple assists, teammate Ashok Dhaka was able to score all his points in the second quarter, and teammates William Holt and Elliot Sheng each made a bucket. The Sabres did get back on track in the second half as River Staton had three field goals, Billy Casarella had two buckets, and Sofia Pulusani added a basket: but the Skylarks were just too strong as a basket each came from Lachlan Canniffe, Walker Rosenthal,and Copper sub Lincoln Sheng, along with rebounds from Lior Vaisburd.

Copper
Super Bees vs Galaxies
Super Bees did most of their stinging in the first half as Player of the Game, Gavin Wong was making deep outside jumpers, and teammates Jaxon Oxendine and Shay Gulati made buckets, and Kiera Broihier and Vivienne Lapierre each made a free throw. The Galaxies were able to get their scoring going in the second half as Nathan Stanford had a basket, Wiley Myers grabbed rebounds, and Claire Magid had two buckets and made free throws. The Super Bees kept the lead on steals from Issa Ally and Luke Schendel to drive on to the victory.

Silver
Javelins vs Marauders
Even Stevens for the first quarter, as the Marauders had a basket each from Nanda Aysola and Sebastian Joyce; the Javelins got field goals from Leon Muenze and Decker Amos. In the second quarter, the Marauders got Niam Pahwa on the scoreboard; the Javelins had baskets from Logan Christensen, Steven Brown, and Levi Lapierre. In the second half, the Marauders Henry Mack made a free throw, Krishna Aysola had three points, and Griffin Marder made several steals. The Javelins were able to pull away on the strength of good defense by Todd Freeman, Knute Haglund, and Oliver Valles; while teammates Liam Lind had a basket, Leon Muenze had two more buckets, and Player of the Game, Steven Brown, made a fourth quarter shot to give their team the victory.

Gold
Novas vs Stingrays
The first half belonged to the Stingrays as Leonardo Garcia had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and teammate Ocean Yaghoubzadeh made a bucket. The Novas kept pace with Terry Gunderson and Tomonori Kugawa making field goals, and steals from Beau Zaczepinski and Andrey Sterlyagov. The Novas got a slim lead at the end of the third quarter as the Tomo and Terry combo continued to score more points for their team, and Zidan Jivani and Liam Broihier were creating turnovers. The Stingrays had a strong fourth quarter as baskets were made by Jarec Garibay, Kaya Dahukey, and Kamden King to tie the score with only minutes left in the game, then teammate and Player of the Game, Leonardo Garcia, played big, as he took over done the stretch by putting back rebounds for points to give his team the narrow victory.

Platinum
Firebirds vs Impalas
The Impalas controlled the first half with precision passing and finding the open players, mas Ezra Mooney made a trey, Leo Mooney had a pair of deuces, Rowan Booher and Roderick Johnson each made a basket, and Louis Meehan-Smith went 6 for 6 on his shots to have 12 second quarter points. The Firebirds kept pace with points from Sam McGowan, Cassius Taylor, and Ryan Chambers. The second half saw the Firebirds take advantage of their deep bench as turnovers were created by Radin and Rohham Taherian, and Landon Broihier; Mia Kondratyeva and Harlan Mansfield grabbed loose balls and rebounds, and Ethan Kondratyeva had several blocks. The Impalas had Cristian Villegas as their rebound leader, and continued to play hard; however, the Firebirds Dagmawi Ayele had a “3” party, and was hitting treys from downtown, and Player of the Game AJ Evans joined the “3” party with a trey of his own, and gave out some nice parting gifts in the form of assists to teammates to give their team the victory.

Cobras vs Barracudas
It was all Barracudas in the first quarter as Gabriel Chibane, Dylan Kravitz, and Noah Michael scored to give their team a big lead. But the Cobras got their bite back a Parker Cappiccille, Max Baracy, Justin Tun, Matthew Scholze, and Rylan Newton all scored to get within two points just before halftime. The third quarter saw Dylan Kravitz continue to score, and teammates Andrew Woolfolk and Kai Halpert get into the scoring column. However, the Cobras took over in the second half as Hunter Esposito-Doi, sporting his #8 jersey, scored a floater, and Player of the Game Rylan Newton controlled the court to build a big lead that could not be overcome by the Barracudas. The Cobras had the Mamba Mentality to take the victory, on this solemn anniversary of the passing of Kobe and Gigi Bryant.

SAT 2/3/24 WEEKEND #3
Bronze
Thunderbolts vs Venturas
Low scoring first quarter as the Thunderbolts got a basket from Oliver Farrar, and the Venturas got a made free throw from Bodhi Ren Chopra, and a bucket from Soren Verleun who then went 4 for 4 from the charity stripe in the second quarter. The Thunderbolts got their scoring going in the second quarter as Kingston Smith made 4 field goals and Oscar Farrar added a basket. In the third quarter, Player of the Game, the Thunderbolts Jakob Sroka made a key basket, as the Venturas got rebounds from Aidan Schneider and Sora Nomoto, and steals from Callie Dean. The score was tied halfway through the fourth quarter as the Venturas Soren Verleun continued to score points. The Thunderbolts were able to pull away, as Rayden Toteja, Hogan Barth, and Olivia Wong were strong on defense, and Kingston Smith added a couple of late points to give their team the victory.

Copper
Galaxies vs Cyclones
The Galaxies took a first quarter lead on baskets by Claire Magid and James Edelman. The Cyclones came roaring back in the second quarter as Player of the Game, Lincoln Sheng, had 6 first half points, and teammates Rachel Lao and Tucker Levitan each had a basket. The second half saw tough defense from Simon Grossman of the Galaxies. The Cyclones got Lola Lashkari and Penelope Johnson to each have a basket off of assists from teammate Isabelle Ma, to have a convincing victory.

Darts vs Super Bees
The Darts had a basket each from Max Degeorge and Owen Mitchell, along with rebounds from Brooks Carey. The Super Bees then gave their sting and took over for the rest of the match as Miles Agramonte made two free throws, Kiera Broihier scored 4 points, Gavin Wong had a basket, and Player of the Game, Jaxon Oxendine had ten points to lead all scorers, and lead his team to victory.

Silver
Ramblers vs Judges
First half scoring for the Ramblers came from multiple baskets by Faizan Khan, and a bucket by Theodore Edelman. The Judges got the halftime lead on multiple buckets by Buck Jacob, and a basket each from Henry Fyda, Dylan Jackson, and Player of them Game-Peter Rodrick. The second half had more points scored by the Ramblers Faizan Khan, and teammates Tucker Gissendaner and Katarina Espstein made multiple steals, and Itamar Yurman grabbed rebounds to get their team closer. However, in the end, all the Judges that scored in the first half, scored again in the second half, and Teo Escalante made the scoreboard with a field goal. The Judges put on strong defense by Mason Altshule, Harrison Bond, and Sean Murphy to help preserve the lead and go onto the victory.

Javelins vs Superbirds
Superbirds got the halftime lead on baskets by Oakley Entsminger, Alex Melamed, and Leo Yaghoubzadeh; as the Javelins kept pace on baskets from Decker Amos and tough defense by Todd Freeman and Marcel Jimenez. The second half became a back and forth battle as the two teams kept exchanging leads with the Superbirds having Ray Song make multiple shots and Ryder Range with a bucket in the fourth quarter, along with steals from Qiao Ren to help push the ball up the court. The Javelins got points from Logan Christenson, Steven Brown, and Player of the Game-Decker Amos, and rebounds from Leon Muenze and Liam Lind, and steals from Levi Lapierre to give them a 3 point lead with less than a minute to go. The Superbirds tied the game with 15 seconds left on a long “3” by Saum Safavi. With seconds left in the game, Steven Brown grabbed a rebound and was able to put it up and in the hoop as time expired to give the Javelins the exciting victory.

Gold
Eliminators vs Novas

Photo by Jennifer Lynn

The Novas got the early lead on a “3” by Andrey Sterlyagov and a basket by Tomonori Kugawa. The Eliminators came back to take the halftime lead on baskets by Ibrahim Ally, and free throws made by Olivia Ruiz and Chloe Scofield. In the second half, the Novas were able to get baskets from Beau Zaczepinski and Liam Broihier, and steals from Cruz Bourget and Oliver Lynn, as teammate Terry Gunderson pulled down rebounds. The Eliminators were able to clamp down on defense with Auden Travnikoff grabbing rebounds, Dominic Drew with several steals and blocks along with a basket, and Brendan Still made a key free throw. Player of the Game, Chloe Scofield, took over in the fourth quarter with several driving layups to give the Eliminators the victory.

Platinum
Mustangs vs Cobras
The Mustangs galloped to the early first half lead as Aayan Lakhani made three field goals and James Cook had three “3”s and three free throws made(say that 3X fast!). The Cobras were able to grab the halftime lead as Matthew Scholze had a pair of treys, Parker Cappiccille played his inside game with 10 points down low, and Rylan Newton, Hadi Zeki, and Justin Tun each had a bucket. The third quarter was back and forth, with the Cobras getting Dwain Brown, Hunter Esposito-Doi, Logan Cappiccille, and Max Baracy into the scoring column as he made nice 10 to 12 foot floaters. The Mustangs countered with an And1 conversion from Amensisa Alemayehu, rebounds and a basket from Estevan Padron, a bucket by Yisaac Tariku, and a deuce and a trey from Ryan Nagase. The fourth quarter had a strong performance from James Cook as he made a “3’ and an And1 conversion(made basket while being fouled, followed by the converted free throw). But in the final minutes, the Cobras Parker Cappiccille took over with control of the boards by grabbing all rebounds, and teammate and Player of the Game, Justin Tun, stealing the ball to help their team hang on for the win.

Barracudas vs Impalas
As the late great college coach, Jim Valvano, would say “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” This match would prove Jimmy V right. The Barracudas were in control for the first three quarters of the match, as Gabriel Chibane and Kai Halpert had multiple rebounds and points, and Isaac Lynn hit a buzzer beater “3” to end the first half. The Impalas kept pace with points from the Mooney brothers, Leo and Ezra, along with tough defense from Deigo Gonzalez and Derek Knott. In the second half: The Barracudas Julian Veckerelli, Alden Wong, and Augie Tucker-Maxcy all made the scoring column, and took a big 13 point lead to start the fourth quarter. The Impalas had few players and were tired, but then they followed Jimmy V’s advice, and didn’t give up. The Impalas got new player Roderick Johnson to grab all the rebounds to lead the transition, and teammates moved the ball around and were finding open players for layups and good shot opportunities. The Impalas had Chirstian Villegas, Maryck Booher, Louis Meehan-Smith making shots, as teammate Ezra Mooney was the master thief with the most steals, and Player of the Game, Leo Mooney took over in the fourth quarter with 10 points on a trey, couple of deuces, and three free throws in the final seconds to have the Impalas outscore their opponent 22 to 5 in the final quarter in a remarkable comeback. Jimmy V lives on. You can learn more about the V foundation named in his honor dedicated to cancer research at https://www.v.org/.

SUN 2/4/24
Bronze
Thunderbolts vs Sabres

Photo by Carol Chan

Lightning struck early, as the Thunderbolts had baskets from Corbin Strock, Jaxton Stangel, Olivia Wang, and Kingston Smith to take the first half lead. The Sabres got first half scoring from Rodrigo Padron and Beau Bigler, and rebounds from Rahm Kapgan. The Sabres got more rebounds and steals in the second half from Otis Smith, and Aiden Yousefi made the scoring column with a free throw. The Thunderbolts continued to score as Oscar Farrar had multiple points, and his brother Oliver grabbed rebounds, and teammate Landon Schmidt had several steals, and Player of the Game-Jaxton Stangel had another basket to help their team to the victory.

Skylarks vs Venturas
All Skylarks with the scoring in the first half, as Tyson Skinner had multiple layups with his left hand, and Lachlan Canniffe and William Holt each had a basket on assists from Lior Vaisburd. The Venturas got their scoring going in the second half as Teddy Millman and Soren Verleun had baskets and free throws, and Sora Nomoto and Oscar Grossman stole the ball, and teammates Callie Dean and Nalina Chopra grabbed rebounds. The Skylarks were able to hold on to the victory with good defense from Frida Garcia, Walker Rosenthal, and Luke Sarley, and Player of the Game-Ashok Dhaka made two baskets.

Silver
Marauders vs Chevelles

Photo by Carol Chan

The Chevelles were a little shorthanded so they had Bronze subs Esme Chan and Lachlan Canniffe help out. The Chevelles scoring came from Mateo Chan, and Cetine Travnikoff led her team in steals, while Rome Ricks and Hunter Calhoun grabbed rebounds. The Marauders got their first victory of the season as Player of the Game-Nanda Aysola, James Canniffe, Griffin Marder, Henry Mack, Ashton Miller, and Krsna Pathak all scored. The Marauders got steals from Krishna Aysola and Sebastian Joyce, and rebounds from Nakai Shriqui and Niam Pahwa.

Gold
Daytonas vs Torinos

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

The Daytonas came roaring out the gate with Mika Stele having 9 first quarter points, a “3” from Lucas Dogic, and a couple of baskets each from Trajan Booker and Liam Adams. The Torinos were able to get on track as Diego Gonzalez had a trey and was a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity stripe, and teammate Ethan Chang was also perfect from the free throw line with 2 for 2 to give their team a perfect free throw shooting day. Other Torinos to get into the scoring column for the match were Jack Meyer and Azumi Nomoto. The Daytonas were too strong as all the players that scored in the first half, scored again in the second half, and teammate Grey Ross added three field goals in the fourth quarter to give the Daytonas the victory.

Stingrays vs Eliminators
The Stingrays dominated the first half with Leonardo Garcia having two baskets and Kaya Dahukey having 8 points which included a nice swish shot “3” from downtown. The Eliminators kept pace with buckets from Dominic Drew, Olivia Ruiz, and Chloe Scofield. The third quarter would be a change in places for the two teams. The Stingrays were able to get a basket from Kamden King, but the Eliminators grabbed the lead by the end of the quarter as Player of the Game Ibrahim Ally, Abdullah Joom, Olivia Ruiz, and Chloe Scofield all scored with Mariama Belew making several assists. The Stingrays started to catch up in the fourth quarter as Felix Carpenter made a couple of steals, and Raul and Nico Palomares along with Ocean Yaghoubzadeh employed a half court trap that created turnovers in which Conrad DiMauro and Leonardo Garcia scored off the transition. But towards the final minutes, the Eliminators got a key basket from Brendan Still, big rebounds from Auden Travnikoff, and additional points from Chloe Scofield to put the game away and claim victory.

Platinum
Firebirds vs Roadrunners
Roadrunners got the early lead on baskets from Jarvis Wakefield, Adoniyas Yonas, Trace Ebeling, and Danilo Samardzija as he used his big frame to muscle inside to score in close range. The Firebirds came back to take the lead on 10 first quarter points by Sam McGowan, baskets and rebounds by Dagmawi Ayele, steals from Harlan Mansfield, and blocks from Ethan Kondratyev. The Roadrunners continued to get scoring in the second half from Danilo Samardzija and Adoniyas Yonas, and then had Cam Pariser, Kaleab Seyum, and Christian Ferew each make a basket. The Firebirds countered with Landon Broihier, Rohham Taherian, and AJ Evans scoring with good outside shooting and drives to the hoop. Impressive third quarter performances came from Cassius Taylor who stepped up to nail nothing but net from beyond the arc when challenged to do so, and Player of the Game Ryan Chambers with 9 third quarter points that included a trey out of the way. The Firebirds also showed their defensive prowess by having Mia Kondratyeva chase down balls to get to open teammates to show that even when you don’t score points yourself, you can help your team score points with good hustle. In the end, too much Firebirds power made for the victory for the new team in first place in the Platinum division after weekend #3.

SAT 2/10/24 WEEKEND #4
Bronze
Camaros vs Skylarks
Mostly Skylarks in the first half as points were scored by Tyson Skinner, Elliot Sheng, Ashok Dhaka, and William Holt, with threading the needle assists by Player of the Game, Lior Vaisburd. The Camaros kept pace with baskets from Killian Georgaris who finished the game with 10 points, and a free throw each from Greyson Lovett and Louis Liu. In the second half, the Camaros were able to draw closer with baskets from Theo Stele, and steals by Bennett Zibit and Jay Miller, along with rebounds from Matteo Barraza. The Skylarks were able to pull away as Soltan Jackson was tough on defense, Luke Sarley and Ashok Dhaka made a basket each, and Lior Vaisburd continued to grab rebounds to give their team the victory.

Venturas vs Thunderbolts
Venturas controlled the first half with a basket each from Bodhi Ren Chopra, Nalina Chopra, Tomas Leblond, and Oliver Williams. The Thunderbolts kept pace and got closer in the second half as Rayden Toteja, Olivia Wang, and Oliver Farrar each had a basket, along with teammate Oscar Farrar being the leading scorer of the match with 12 points. However, the Venturas hung on to the victory as Aidan Schneider got rebounds, and Player of the Game, Teddy Millman, came up big with 8 points to get the narrow win.

Silver
Judges vs Chevelles

Photo: Carol Chan

The undefeated Judges had the lead through the first three quarters of this tight contest as baskets were made by Buck Jacobs, Peter Rodrick, Dylan Read, Dylan Jackson, Henry Fyda, and Harrison Bond. The Judges were also aided by rebounds from Mason Altshule and Sean Murphy. But the Chevelles continued to fight on, as Mai Ly Pariser stole the ball, Mateo Chan made a basket, Rome Ricks was making outside shots, Olivia Wu stole the ball, Cetine Travnikoff played tough defense, Nyla Smith had 11 points. With the game tied in the final seconds, the Chevelles Declan Wong made the shot at the buzzer to give his team their first victory of the season, and earn Player of the Game honors.

Photo by Penia Wong

Gold
Eliminators vs Daytonas

Photo Rachel Ruiz

Close first half with the Daytonas getting buckets from Grey Ross, Mika Stele, and Trajan Booker; and the Eliminators getting a bucket and made free throws from Olivia Ruiz, and steals and rebounds from Dominic Drew. The Daytonas put on strong full court pressure in the second half to get Liam Adams and Sam Affleck on the scoreboard. The Eliminators got rebounds from Eugene Travnikoff; however, the Daytonas built a big lead with Player of the Game, Lucas Dogic, showing good shooting form as he made a shot from downtown and then inside to give his team the victory.

Fall 2023 Hustle Award winner, Olivia Ruiz. Photo by Rachel Ruiz

Novas vs Torinos
The Novas had good defense from Liam Broihier, and points from Jude Lombard and Andrey Sterlyagov. The Torinos were the stronger team on this day as Liam Desante, Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos, Ethan Chang, Diego Gonzalez, Jack Meyer, and Azumi Nomoto all scored; and Player of the Game-Faizan Khan led all scorers with 9 points to give the Torinos a resounding victory.

Platinum
Roadrunners vs Barracudas
The Roadrunners started on the track real quick as Kaleab Seyum had 8 first quarter points, Adoniyas Yonas had a couple of baskets, Christian Ferew had 6 second quarter points, and Trace Ebeling had a couple of buckets. The Barracudas kept pace with an impressive first half performance by Dylan Kravitz who had a couple of deuces and treys, along with 5 for 5 at the free throw line to keep his team close. The second half looked to be the Roadrunners as Danilo Samardzija scored in double figures for the match, Jarvis Wakefield had a bucket, and Aiden Lin and Nicholas Mirich got rebounds.

However as Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart said in a famous song:
And if the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Ooh, barracuda, oh yeah

The Barracudas flipped the script, and Issac Lynn made a “3”, Alden Wong and Andrew Woolfolk each had a basket, and Auggie Tucker-Maxcy and Julian Veckerelli got steals, and Player of the Game-Gabriel Chibane took over with 15 of his game high 22 points in the second half to give his team the victory.

Mustangs vs Firebirds
Firebirds started the fire early as Dagmawi Ayele and Ryan Chambers had impressive first half points. But the Mustangs came galloping back with baskets from Amensisa Alemayehu, Brandon Israels, and Aayan Lakhani. The Mustangs continued their surge with 15 total game points from James Cook, a basket from Yisaac Tariku, 8 points from River Zelenovic, and three “3”s from Ryan Nagase. The Firebirds used their defensive prowess by having Mia Kondratyeva grab rebounds, Harlan Mansfield getting steals, and AJ Evans guarding the perimeter, to allow Player of the Game, Sam McGowan, to take over in the second half, as he had 18 of his game high 24 points in the half to lead his team to victory.

Cobras vs Impalas
First half scoring for the Cobras came from Max Baracy, Austin Bernier, Antonio Rodriguez, Hadi Zeki, and Matthew Scholze. The Impalas used diversified scoring from Louis Meehan Smith, Ezra and Leo Mooney, Ethan Schwartz, Derek Knott, Christian Villegas, and Roderick Johnson to take a commanding halftime lead. In the second half, the Cobras had Greyson Klein nail a trey, and Logan Cappiccille scored a bucket. But down the stretch, the fearless Maryck Booher drove the lane to get points to help his team hold onto the lead for the victory and earn Player of the Game honors.

SUN 2/11/24
Copper
Galaxies vs Darts
Super Sunday started with the Galaxies getting a first half basket from Claire Magid; the Darts had a basket each from Oliver Chiba, Max Degeorge, and Maya Larmore. The second half saw the Galaxies get steals from James Edelman, a basket from Nathan Stanford, and a made free throw from Simon Grossman. The Darts eventually went onto the victory with Owen Mitchell getting a bucket, Brooks Carey with a couple of steals, and key rebounds and assists from Player of the Game, Kiana Soltani.

Photo by Payman Soltani

Super Bees vs Cyclones

Photo: Carol Chan

The Super Bees only first half points came from a basket by Gavin Wong off a nice assist from Jaxon Oxendine; while the Cyclones got two baskets from Lincoln Sheng and one bucket from Penelope Johnson. The second half saw the Cyclones get a bucket from Rohan Henderson and two more from Lincoln Sheng, along with steals and rebounds from Tucker Leviton and Owen Wang, as their team took a good lead into the fourth quarter. The Super Bees stayed strong as Vivienne Lapierre and Kiera Broihier locked up the defense, and Miles Agramonte and Jaxon Oxendine made a field goal each, and Player of the Game-Gavin Wong came through with three baskets in the final minutes including a game saving steal to give his team the come from behind victory.

Bronze
Camaros vs Sabres
The Camaros were looking for their first victory of the season, would today be the day? It started out well for the Camaros as Killian Georgaris made three baskets in the first half, and teammate Jay Miller also added a first half bucket. The Sabres got closer with two baskets from Beau Bigler, a bucket each from Hugo Casarella and Otis Smith, and rebounds grabbed by Rahm Kapgan. The Camaros continued to roar on, as Matteo Barraza and Bodhi Kothari each had a basket, steals from Phoenix Volken and Tyler Enayati, rebounds from Greysen Lovett and Louis Liu, and another field goal each from Jay Miller and Player of the Game, Killian Geogaris, to give their team the first victory of the season.

2023 Winter MVP for Copper division, Louis Liu. Photo by Tianzi Liu

MON 2/12/24
Silver
Superbirds vs Marauders
The Superbirds were flying high in the first half as they got scoring from Oakley Entsminger, Alex Melamed, Saum Safavi, and Jaxon Silverstein, to take the halftime lead. The Marauders got more of their scoring going in the second half as Nanda Aysola and Griffin Marder made free throws, Krsna Pathak made a bucket, and Krishna Aysola led his team in scoring with 8 points. The Marauders had steals from Nakai Shriqui, and rebounds from Henry Mack to help close the gap. The Superbirds stayed strong on defense with Qiao Ren and Alison Lyons preventing the opposing team from driving to the hoop, Ryder Range grabbed rebounds, Leo Yaghoubzadeh made a basket, and Player of the Game-Ray Song led her team in scoring with four field goals to claim the victory.

Gold
Stingrays vs Novas
The Novas had first half scoring from Zidan Jivani and Tomonori Kugawa, along with rebounds from Andrey Sterlyagov, and steals from Beau Zaczepinski. The Stingrays had cousins Calvin and Felix Carpenter, and brothers Nico and Raul Palomares playing tough on defense, to allow Kaya Dahukey and Leonardo Garcia to score to give their team a halftime lead. The Novas came on stronger in the second half to narrow the deficit with Orion Mane getting rebounds, and Jude Lombard making a free throw, along with teammates Tomonori Kugawa and Zidan Jivani continuing to score baskets. In the final minutes, the Stingrays got key steals from Jarec Garibay, and all around hustle from Player of the Game, Conrad DiMauro, to save the day and hold onto the win.

Torinos vs Daytonas

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

The Torinos took it to the Daytonas early on as Faizan Khan made free throws, Constantine Avramopoulos-Orlandos made outside shots, Jack Meyer converted an “And1”, and Diego Gonzalez drove to the hoop for scores. The Daytonas kept pace in the first half with scoring from Lucas Dogic, Siddhant Khanna, and Liam Adams. The second half saw the Torinos with good defensive pressure from Sean Dobbs, Julia Enayati, Ross Nelson, and Liam Desante; however, the Daytonas were able to put pressure on the Torinos to create turnovers by Levi Cogan, San Affleck, and Elliot Israels who were able to get the ball to teammates Grey Ross who made three baskets in the fourth quarter, and Player of the Game-Mika Stele who had four “3”s from downtown to give the Daytonas the come from behind victory.

SAT 2/17/24 WEEKEND #5
Copper
Galaxies vs Super Bees
Early offensive explosion by the Galaxies as Gavin Wong and Jaxon Oxendine each had multiple baskets on deep shots. The Super Bees had first half points from Nathan Stanford who made a basket and a couple of free throws. The Super Bees had rebounds from Miles Agramonte and Vivienne Lapierre to help speed up their transition game. The second half saw the Super Bees get Player of the Game, Miles Agramonte, into the scoring column, along with teammate Tate Avitabile. The Galaxies got three points from Simon Grossman and a basket by Alexander Wolf to give their team a respectable score, even though the Super Bees won.

Darts vs Cyclones
Defensive battle throughout this match from the Darts Kiana Soltani and Brooks Carey, and from the Cyclones Ben Levy and Ivy Huss. The Cyclones Owen Wang made three free throws in the first half, and teammate Rohan Henderson made two free throws. The Darts had three free throws made by Max Degeorge to have both teams get all their scoring in the first half from free throws. In the second half, The Darts got good defensive pressure from David Sharafi, Maya Larmore, and Sebastian Janka to allow Player of the Game, Max Degeorge, to score 5 points. The Cyclones got a basket from Lola Lashkari and a made free throw from Player of the Game, Lola Lashkari. When all was said and done, these two teams tied again for the second time this season, for a “Kiss your Sister”, but this time, the sisters are twins.

Silver
Superbirds vs Ramblers
Tight contest throughout, as the Superbirds put on a defensive half court trap that allowed Qiao Ren and Ruder Range to make steals and give the ball to Oakley Entsminger and Leo Yaghoubzadeh for scores. The Ramblers kept pace on baskets by Faizan Khan and Itamar Yurman, along with rebounds by Natalie Vicuna and Sadie Bellavia. The second half was as close as the first half, as the Ramblers got a “3” from Tucker Gissendaner, and steals from Theodore Edelman. Down the stretch, late in the
fourth quarter, baskets by Ray Song, Saum Safavi, and Player of the Game-Alex Melamed had the Superbirds hang on to the narrow victory.

Chevelles vs Javelins

Photo: Carol Chan

Mostly Chevelles did the scoring for the first half as they got points from Marialla Belew, Rex Bulette, Mateo Chan, and Mai Ly Pariser. The Javelins had first half scoring from Steven Brown, and rebounds from Logan Christenson and Leon Muenze. In the second half, the Javelins got steals from Marcel Jimenez, along with multiple points from Levi Lapierre to draw closer; however, the Chevelles were already driving in top gear, as Cetine Travnikoff stole the ball, and points were scored by Rome Ricks, Declan Wong, and Player of the Game, Olivia Wu, to cruise onto the victory.

Gold
Daytonas vs Novas
The Daytonas did most of the scoring in the first half as baskets were made by Redeat Gebeyehu, Trajan Booker, Lucas Dogic, Mika Stele, and Grey Ross. The Novas had first half scoring from Tomonori Kugawa, Andrey Sterlyagov, and Beau Zaczepinski. The Novas were able to get more points in the second half, as Cruz Bourget made a basket, and Terry Gunderson controlled the boards. The Daytonas were too strong on the day, as Elliot Israels and Siddhant Khanna made the scoreboard with a basket each, Levi Cogan made some steals, and Player of the Game, Redeat Gebeyehu, was the rebound leader for her team to give them a comfortable victory.

Torinos vs Stingrays
Torinos took a big first half lead on baskets from Diego Gonzalez and Faizan Khan, along with steals and rebounds from Player of the Game, Sean Dobbs. The Stingrays kept pace with all first half points coming from Leonardo Garcia with the help of rebounds from Kamden King and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh. The second half saw the Stingrays get closer on the strength of good defense from Calvin Carpenter, and a bucket each from Jarec Garibay and Conrad DiMauro. The Torinos eventually pulled away for the victory with baskets from Ethan Chang, Liam Desante, and Azumi Nomoto.

Platinum
Firebirds vs Cobras
Cobras started out short handed but were able to keep up with Austin Bernier scoring 6 points for the match, and Matthew Scholze with 18 points that included four makes from way downtown. The Cobras had good defensive performances from Dwain Brown and Logan Cappiccille. The Cobras got additional players, Hadi Zeki and Rylan Newton to come at halftime, as Hadi helped out on D, and Rylan added 3 buckets. The Firebirds were too strong on this day as Player of the Game, Landon Broihier outhustled everybody, and Radin and Rohham Taherian scored, and Harlan Mansfield had multiple rebounds and assists to have a commanding victory for the current first place team in the Platinum division.

Impalas vs Roadrunners
Yours truly, had to put on the coaching hat to substitute for the Roadrunners, and yes, I do have a coaching hat. The Impalas got the upper hand in the first half as Derek Knott, Roderick Johnson, Christian Villegas, Ethan Schwartz, Louis Meehan-Smith, Rowan Booher, and Maryck Booher all scored. Adoniyas Yonas did all the scoring for the Roadrunners for the first half, and continued to score in the second half. The Roadrunners got more scoring in the second half from Adoniyas Yonas. Asher
Zaczepinski added a basket and a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity stripe to help the Roadrunners, as he subbed for them, even though he is an Impala. Kaleab Seyum and Joshua Edwards also scored for the Roadrunners, as teammates Nicholas Mirich and Aiden Lin got steals and rebounds, in order to get closer to the Impalas lead. However, the Impalas were too strong, as Diego Gonzalez and Josh Weil scored in the second half to have every Impala player make the scorecard, and move one step closer to the big matchup against the Firebirds next weekend for the battle for first place in the division.

SUN 2/18/24
Girls 7-9

Santa Monica YMCA(Jr. Lakers) vs Culver/Westchester YMCA(Jr. Clippers)

It was a special invitation match featuring the ladies in our YMCA programs. Lamondo Greer brought over talented girls from the Culver/Palms YMCA and Westchester YMCA. The match featured great all around play from all the girls. Jr. Clippers Player of the Game went to Emma Carter and Eva Ifeajuna, and Jr. Lakers Ray Song and Seher Khan. The Junior Lakers had great play from Olivia Wang, and the Junior Clippers had Bianca, Liala, Ella, Amy, and Mattie play great games as well. Fun time for all involved.

Silver
Superbirds vs Judges
The Superbirds were a little short handed, but made the best of it, as Alex Melamed, Saum Safavi, and Ray Song scored in the first half. The Judges evened up the score at halftime with first half points from Harrison Bond, Henry Fyda, Sean Murphy and Buck Jacobs. The third quarter saw Oakley Entsminger make a bucket for the Superbirds, as teammate Nicholas Jones played tough defense. The Judges got Teo Escalante on the scoreboard with a basket, steals from Dylan Jackson, and rebounds from Milena Zewde. The Superbirds stayed strong as Saum Safavi continued his scoring and earned Player of the Game honors, to help his team to victory.

Ramblers vs Marauders
Faizan Khan and Tucker Gissendaner did all the scoring for the Ramblers in the first half; while Nanda Aysola and Henry Mack did all the scoring for the Marauders in the first half. The second half saw Krishna Aysola get on the scoreboard for the Marauders, as teammates Griffin Marder and Sebastian Joyce applied frontcourt pressure, and= Krsna Pathak and Nakai Shriqui stole the ball to bring the score even in the third quarter. The Ramblers were able to pull away I. The fourth quarter on the strength of Sadie Bellavia controlling the boards, Seher Khan creating turnovers, and Player of the Game, Itamar Yurman, making the scoreboard and locking down the defense to give their team the victory.

Gold
Eliminators vs Torinos
The Torinos had a torrent of scoring in the first half on baskets from Ethan Chang, Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos, Diego Gonzalez, Ross Nelson, and Faizan Khan. The Eliminators kept pace with baskets by Nyla Smith off of assists from Dominic Drew.
The Eliminators got more scoring in the second half from Abdullah Jooma, Olivia Ruiz, Mariama Belew, and Ibrahim Ally, as teammate Brendan Still grabbed rebounds. The Torinos were too strong down the stretch as Julia Enayati and Spencer Nelson played tough defense, and Liam Desante made the scoreboard with a basket and multiple Rebounds to give the Torinos the victory, as Sean Dobbs earned Player of the Game honors for his outstanding hustle.

Platinum
Barracudas vs Mustangs
Mustangs galloped to an early lead with baskets by Amensisa Alemayehu, Aayan= Lakhani, Amir Enayati, and Estevan Padron. The Barracudas came back with a “3” by Isaac Lynn, driving layups by Alden Wong, outside jumpers by Gabriel Chibane, and putbacks by Player of the Game-Kai Halpert. In the second half, the Mustangs Brandon Israels got on the scoreboard with a basket; and the Barracudas got “3”s from Dylan Kravitz, baskets from Noah Michael, and steals from Rayan Chibane to cruise on to the victory.

SAT 2/24/24 WEEKEND #6
Copper
Super Bees vs Darts
All first quarter scoring came from the Super Bees as Gavin Wong, Vivienne Lapierre, and Kiera Broihier each had a basket. The Darts came back in the second quarter as Oliver Chiba had two baskets, and teammate Owen Mitchell made a field goal. The Darts got steals from David Sharafi and Delors Soltani, and rebounds from Galiel Sarfati and Sebastian Janka. In the second half, the Darts got a free throw made from Maya Larmore, Brooks Carey and Charlie Lewis grabbed loose balls. The Super Bees were
able to extend their lead on Good defense from Issa Ally, Jake Jackson, and Shay Gulati. The Super Bees Tate Avitabile made a free throw, and Player of the Game-Vivienne Lapierre made another bucket to give the Super Bees the victory.

Cyclones vs Galaxies
Strong first half from Rohan Henderson and Lincoln Sheng helped the Cyclones take a big early lead, with the help of steals from Ben Levy and Rachel Lao. The Galaxies got most of their scoring in the match from Wiley Myers, but did have Nathan Stanford make two free throws in the second half. The Galaxies got rebounds from Nicolas Leblond and Claire Magid, along with steals from Grayson Wells and James Edelman. The Galaxies also had strong defense from Camila Jamshidi and Simon Grossman.
The Cyclones were too strong, as Penelope Johnson, Ivy Huss, and Player of the Game-Ella Sands made fourth quarter baskets to claim the victory.

Photo by Jake Sands

Bronze
Thunderbolts vs Camaros

Photo by Hayley Hsu Farrar

The Thunderbolts struck lightning in the first quarter as Oscar Farrar had 8 points, and teammate Rayden Toteja made a basket. The Camaros started scoring in the second frame as Killian Georgaris made a couple of buckets, and teammate Greysen Lovett made a field goal. The second half saw the Camaros get a basket from Phoenix Volken and strong defense from Louis Liu and Max Lind as they grabbed rebounds, and Jay Miller stole the ball. The Thunderbolts continued to score as Corbin Strock had a couple of buckets, and Oliver Farrar made a shot. The Thunderbolts had strong defensive pressure from Jaxton Stangel and Olivia Wang, along with steals from Landon Schmidt and Grayson Mitchell. Player of the Game, the Thunderbolts Oscar Farrar continued his hot shooting as he made more shots to help his team get the victory.

Silver
Marauders vs Judges
Dominant first half by the Judges as points were scored by Harrison Bond, Mason Altshule, Henry Fyda, and Buck Jacobs. The Marauders kept pace with points from Krishna Aysola, Nanda Aysola, and Niam Pahwa. The Marauders had Nakai Shriqui grabbing rebounds, steals from Sebastian Joyce and Griffin Marder, as well as good defensive play from Ashton Miller. The Judges were too strong, as Teo Escalante and Dylan Read got multiple baskets, and Sean Murphy and Dylan Jackson controlled the boards to keep the big lead throughout the match.

Gold
Daytonas vs Stingrays

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

First half scoring from the Stingrays came from Conrad DiMauro and Jarec Garibay, along with teammates Raul and Nico Palomares stealing the ball. The Daytonas had first half scoring from Grey Ross, Trajan Booker, and Lucas Dogic who was hitting the “3”s in bunches. The Stingrays got Kaya Dahukey on the scoreboard in the second half, along with rebounds from Felix Carpenter and Kamden King. The Daytonas were too strong on this day, as Redeat Gebeyehu played solid defense, and Siddhant Khanna and Player of the Game-Elliot Israels each had a basket to go on to the victory.

Platinum
Firebirds vs Barracudas
This was an exciting game from start to finish. The Barracudas won the battle of the first half as points were scored by Kai Halpert, Noah Michael, Augie Tucker-Macy, Julian Veckerelli, Alden Wong, and Andrew Woolfolk. The Firebirds kept pace with baskets from Ryan Chambers, Dagmawi Ayele, and Sam McGowan. In the third quarter, the Barracudas Dylan Kravitz went on a “3” spree with three treys from beyond the arc, and helped his team to have a nine points advantage going into the fourth quarter. The Barracudas continued to apply pressure in the fourth quarter, and had a lead in the final minutes; however, resiliency was in the blood of the Firebirds, as Ethan Kondratyev had multiple blocks, and Player of the Game-Mia Kondratyeva dived for loose balls and scored big time points to lead a comeback in the final minutes of the game to pull out a narrow victory to remain undefeated this season.

Mustangs vs Impalas
Tight first half, as defense reigned supreme. The Mustangs got first half points from Amensisa and Olana Alemayehu, James Cook, Darien Jones, and Ryan Nagase. The Impalas had first half points from Leo Mooney, Diego Gonzalez, Louis Meehan-Smith, Josh Wiel, and Asher Zaczepinski. The second half saw Maryck Booher get on the scoreboard for the Impalas, Derek Knott and Rowan Booher create turnovers; however, the Mustangs pulled away with points from Aayan Lakhani and Amir Enayati, as their team had a strong second half to go onto the victory.

Cobras vs Roadrunners

Photo by Mirela Samadzija

The Cobras took the first bite by getting ahead in the first half on points from Max Baracy, Austin Bernier, Hadi Zeki, Hunter Esposito-Doi, and Rylan Newton. The Roadrunners were able to catch up just before halftime, as Christian Ferew hit a “3”, Jarvis Wakefield made a basket, and Cam Pariser was dishing out dimes and scoring floaters in the lane. The second half saw the Cobras put defensive pressure on the Roadrunners which allowed Antonio Rodriguez and Logan Cappiccille to get steals to give Hunter Esposito-Doi who drove to the hoop for scores and free throws, as he was the leading scorer for the match. The Roadrunners were able to apply pressure from Azariah Gebeyehu, Nicholas Mirich, and Alex Providas, which allowed them to get the ball to open teammates Danilo Samardzija and Kaleab Seyum to make field goals. Player of the Game, the Roadrunners Adoniyas Yonas, took over in the second half, as he snatched rebounds and put it back in for multiple points, as he was the leading rebounder and scorer for his team and led them to victory.

SUN 2/25/24
Copper

Cyclones vs Super Bees
Would the Super Bees remain undefeated? Read on and shall see. The first quarter belonged to the Super Bees as Gavin Wong and Miles Agramonte each made two baskets. The Cyclones managed to get their scoring going in the second quarter with baskets from Ella Sands, Lincoln Sheng, Rohan Henderson, and Rachel Lao. The Super Bees applied defensive pressure in the second half as Keira Booher and Vivienne Lapierre stole the ball, and Eve Lee Coriaty and Issa Ally guarded the perimeter. The Cyclones had additional baskets from Lincoln Sheng, and a bucket by Owen Wang. But the difference in the game came down to the defensive prowess of the Cyclones, as Tucker Levitan, Ben Levy, Penelope Johnson, and Player of the Game-Isablle Ma shut down their opponent to no points in the second half to claim the victory, and knock off the Super Bees from the list of undefeated teams in our league.

Darts vs Galaxies
With the previous game having the undefeated loss for the first time this season, would it be possible for the winless Galaxies to break through today? The Galaxies jumped out of the gate on fire as Wiley Myers and Nathan Stanford each had two baskets in the first half. The Darts had first half baskets from Owen Mitchell and Oliver Chiba. The Darts tried to mount a comeback in the second half with strong defense from Brooks Carey and David Sharafi; however, the defense for the Galaxies was even stronger as Nicolas Leblond, Simon Grossman, Dylan Martin, James Edelman, and Claire Magid shutout their opponent in the second half, and Wiley Myers and Player of the Game Nathan Stanford each added two more baskets to give their team its first victory of the
season.

Bronze
Venturas vs Sabres

Photo by Carol Chan

Venturas put a majority of their points on the scoreboard in the first half, as baskets were made by Callie Dean, Teddy Millman, Soren Verleun, and Oliver Williams. The Sabres did keep pace with points from Beau Bigler, Rodrigo Padron, River Stanton, and Aiden Yousefi. In the second half, the Venturas Tomas Leblond made a bucket, and Oscar Grossman played tough defense. The Sabres did their best to try to catch up, as Otis and Adeline Smith, Esme Chan, and Sofia Pulusani created steals and got rebounds; but the lead was too big to overcome, and the Venturas cruised down the highway to victory:

Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You’re gonna go I know
‘Cause the free wind is blowin’ through
Your hair
And the days surround you daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

From the song “Ventura Highway” by the band America, 1972

Silver
Ramblers vs Javelins
Ramblers took a narrow halftime lead on baskets by Faizan Khan, Linus Verleun, and Theodore Edelman. The Javelins kept pace with baskets by Decker Amos, Logan Christenson, and Steven Brown. In the second half, the Javelins had good defense from Oliver Valles and Levi Lapierre, and Knute Haglund got on the scoreboard. The Ramblers eventually pulled away as Itamar Yurman and Sadie Bellavia grabbed rebounds, and Natalie Vicuna and Amarveer Gupta got steals that allowed teammate and Player of the Game, Faizan Khan, to score key baskets in the final minutes to seize the win.

Superbirds vs Chevelles

Photo by Carol Chan

The Chevelles jumped out to the early lead as Mai Ly Pariser, Mariella Belew, and Rex Bulette each had a bucket. The Superbirds came back to take a narrow halftime lead on baskets by Alexander Melamed and Ray Song. In the second half, the Chevelles grabbed the lead back on baskets by Olivia Wu and Mateo Chan. The Superbirds were able to get Ryder Range on the scoreboard, and good defense from Nicholas Jones. The fourth quarter saw the Chevelles Cetine Travnikoff steal the ball to give to Declan Wong who scored most of his game high 11 points in the the fourth quarter, but Player of the Game, the Superbirds Saum Safavi, also had 11 points for the game, and his team was able to hold onto the ball in the final seconds to win by one point in this nailbiter match.

Gold
Novas vs Eliminators
The Novas are young but very talented and move the ball around with good pass precision for first half points from Jude Lombard and Beau Zaczepinski. The Eliminators had first half baskets from Brendan Still and Auden Travnikoff off of assists from Dominic Drew and Olivia Ruiz. The second half saw the Novas use the full court press effectively in which Liam Broihier stole the ball to score off of the turnovers, Zidan Jivani made two free throws, Beau Zaczepinski scored 10 second half points, and Oliver Lynn grabbed loose balls to keep the game close. In the end, the Eliminators controlled the boards as Chloe Scofield and Ibrahim Ally converted offensive rebounds into points, and Player of the game, Abdullah Jooma, drove the lane for layups to give their team the win in a close competitive matchup.

This Issue’s Profile
Each issue, Swish has a profile of a coach, player, or someone in the program who inspires all of us involved in Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball. This issue’s profile is of Kenny Garcia, who has been with the Santa Monica YMCA front desk for many years. Kenny is always gracious with all guests and members, and knows his stuff about the ins and outs of our facility. Kenny has helped our program in many ways from directing parents and players into the facility, helping with membership, and providing support for the youth basketball program. Kenny is a man with many hats, as he has to take on many tasks, and often doing multiple things at the same time, but always maintaining a calm composure, and is glad to help.

I asked Kenny a few questions for the Swish:
DocDrew: What is your favorite thing about working at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Kenny: My favorite thing about working here is the community. It’s always nice to check in with other people that are happy to call SaMo their home and see how their days are going. They’re extremely caring and make the world a better place.

DocDrew: Who inspires you?

Kenny: I’ve had plenty of mentors, but overall I’d say I’m inspired by people like Peter Arbogast who are heavily involved in Youth Empowerment and Leadership.

DocDrew: Which hobbies or activities do you like to do?

Kenny:In my downtime, I love to read and take a hike up in Pt. Mugu every now and then. I’ll also volunteer with our youth programs whenever I can, such as Camp Big Bear and Youth & Government.

There have been many times that Kenny has helped save the day for us, and I can’t thank him enough for all that he has done for us throughout the years. Make sure to say hello when you check in, and give him thanks, because he is always there to
help us and you.

Scores
SUN 1/21/24 Weekend #1
Bronze
Sabres 22, Venturas 12
Camaros 14, Thunderbolts 29
Silver
Judges 30, Javelins 10
Platinum
Impalas 32, Mustangs 49
Roadrunners 45, Cobras 32
Barracudas 44, Firebirds 44

SAT 1/27/24 WEEKEND #2
Copper

Cyclones 15, Darts 15
Bronze
Skylarks 6, Thunderbolts 16
Venturas 19, Camaros 16
Silver
Chevelles 12, Ramblers 30
Marauders 3, Superbirds 17
Gold
Torinos 13, Eliminators 34
Stingrays 16, Daytonas 31
Platinum
Mustangs 50, Roadrunners 35

SUN 1/28/24
Bronze

Sabres 12, Skylarks 27
Copper
Super Bees 23, Galaxies 9
Silver
Javelins 19, Marauders 10
Gold
Novas 24, Stingrays 26
Platinum
Firebirds 46, Impalas 30
Cobras 40, Barracudas 33

SAT 2/3/24 WEEKEND #3
Bronze
Thunderbolts 17, Venturas 14
Copper
Galaxies 10, Cyclones 30
Darts 4, Super Bees 18
Silver
Ramblers 18, Judges 29
Javelins 23, Superbirds 21
Gold
Eliminators 18, Novas 11
Platinum
Mustangs 46, Cobras 48
Barracudas 36, Impalas 40

SUN 2/4/24
Bronze
Thunderbolts 31, Sabres 9
Skylarks 18, Venturas 13
Silver
Marauders 15, Chevelles 4
Gold
Daytonas 47, Torinos 21
Stingrays 19, Eliminators 27
Platinum
Firebirds 45, Roadrunners 28

SAT 2/10/24 WEEKEND #4
Bronze

Camaros 16, Skylarks 22
Venturas 19, Thunderbolts 18
Silver
Judges 23, Chevelles 25
Gold
Eliminators 18, Daytonas 43
Novas 5, Torinos 29
Platinum
Roadrunners 43, Barracudas 46
Mustangs 44, Firebirds 57
Cobras 26, Impalas 47

SUN 2/11/24
Copper
Galaxies 5, Darts 12
Super Bees 14, Cyclones 12
Bronze
Camaros 16, Sabres 8

MON 2/12/24
Silver

Superbirds 23, Marauders 13
Gold
Stingrays 20, Novas 17
Torinos 30, Daytonas 55

SAT 2/17/24 WEEKEND #5
Copper

Galaxies 11, Super Bees 34
Cyclones 8, Darts 8
Silver
Superbirds 20, Ramblers 18
Chevelles 25, Javelins 9
Gold
Daytonas 31, Novas 14
Torinos 25, Stingrays 17
Platinum
Firebirds 52, Cobras 30
Impalas 45, Roadrunners 20

SUN 2/18/24
7-9 Girls
Junior Lakers 28, Junior Clippers 18
Silver
Superbirds 34, Judges 26
Ramblers 23 Marauders 18
Gold
Eliminators 22, Torinos 41
Platinum
Barracudas 59, Mustangs 32

SAT 2/24/24 WEEKEND #6
Copper
Super Bees 18, Darts 7
Cyclones 19, Galaxies 9
Bronze
Thunderbolts 24, Camaros 10
Silver
Marauders 10, Judges 39
Gold
Daytonas 42, Stingrays 16
Platinum
Firebirds 46, Barracudas 43
Mustangs 32, Impalas 19
Cobras 26, Roadrunners 41

SUN 2/25/24
Copper

Cyclones 16, Super Bees 8
Darts 4, Galaxies 16
Bronze
Venturas 31, Sabres 16
Silver
Ramblers 25, Javelins 20
Superbirds 25, Chevelles 24
Gold
Novas 23, Eliminators 28

Standings:
Teams are awarded 5 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, 1 point for a loss, 0 points for a forfeit. Tournament games have greater point value. Teams are listed in their place in the standings with W-L-T and team points.

Copper:
Super Bees 5-1-0, 26 points
Cyclones 3-1-2, 22 points
Darts 1-3-2, 14 points
Galaxies 1-5-0, 10 points

Bronze:
Thunderbolts 5-1-0, 26 points
Venturas 3-3-0, 18 points
Skylarks 3-1-0, 16 points
Camaros 1-4-0, 9 points
(1-0-0 vs Sabres)
Sabres 1-4-0, 9 points

Silver:
Superbirds 5-1-0, 26 points
Judges 3-2-0, 17 points
(1-0-0 vs Ramblers)
Ramblers 3-2-0, 17 points
Chevelles 2-3-0, 13 points
(1-0-0 vs Javelins)
Javelins 2-3-0, 13 points
Marauders 1-5-0, 10 points

Gold:
Daytonas 6-0-0, 30 points
Eliminators 4-2-0, 22 points
Torinos 3-3-0, 18 points
Stingrays 2-4-0, 14 points
Novas 0-6-0, 6 points

Platinum:
Firebirds 5-0-1, 28 points
Mustangs 3-3-0, 18 points
(2-0-0 vs Impalas)
Impalas 3-3-0, 18 points
Barracudas 2-3-1, 16 points
Roadrunners 2-4-0, 14 points
(2-0-0 vs Cobras)
Cobras 2-4-0, 14 points

Thank you very much, to all the coaches, parents, players, referees, and my assistant Nicholas Walker.
Special thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation for partnering with the Santa MonIca Family YMCA youth basketball program. Dr. Paul Drew, youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica Family YMCA, editor and publisher of Swish

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