DocDrew’s Swish Issue 1, Volume 15


Welcome to the first issue of volume fifteen 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.

Santa Monica Next’s community coverage is sponsored by Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP.

This Spring season, the Santa Monica Family YMCA has 5 divisions of youth basketball, with the Copper division having 4 teams, the Bronze division with 6 teams, and the Silver, Gold, and Platinum division with 5 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.

Santa Monica Next’s community coverage is sponsored by Boston Properties.

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, Richard Harris, and Jeanie Buss for helping us become the premier youth basketball program on the Westside. Many thanks to UCLA Health for sponsoring the Junior Lakers jerseys.

Registration for the Summer league of youth basketball at the Santa Monica Family YMCA is available at the following link:

For the theme of this season’s team names, we are honoring the “World’s Oldest Professional Basketball League”, the Continental Basketball Association.

Here is some history of the CBA:

The Continental Basketball Association was founded on April 23, 1946, under its previous name, the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League. It went on to bill itself as the “World’s Oldest Professional Basketball League”, since its founding pre-dated the founding of the National Basketball Association by two months.

In 1948, the league was renamed the Eastern Professional Basketball League, and additional franchises were added.

From the 1950s through the 1960s, many NBA teams had unofficial quotas on the number of black players on their teams. Many players joined other professional leagues, including the EPBL. The league was fast and physical, often played in tiny, smoke-filled gyms across the Northeastern United States, and featuring the best players who could not make many NBA teams because of the quotas.

Following the lead of the American Basketball League (1961–1962) in adding a three-point line, the Eastern League added a three-point line for its 1964–65 season. Although three-point shots during the 1960s were few and far between, the Eastern League developed several scorers who used the three-point shot to their advantage.

For the 1970–71 season, the league rebranded itself the Eastern Basketball Association, operating as a professional Northeastern regional league and as an unofficial feeder system to the NBA and ABA. The CBA’s first commissioner was Harry Rudolph, father of NBA referee Mendy Rudolph. Steve A. Kauffman, currently a basketball agent, succeeded Rudolph as commissioner in 1975. Kauffman executed a plan to bring the Anchorage Northern Knights into the league beginning with the 1977–78 season. Kauffman kept the league name because he felt having a team in the Eastern League from Alaska might get the league additional notice and recognition. Kauffman served as commissioner until 1978, when his deputy commissioner, Jim Drucker, took the reins. Drucker’s eight-season reign was the longest in the league’s history. Drucker, son of NBA referee Norm Drucker, continued as commissioner until 1986.

As commissioner, the league was renamed the Continental Basketball Association in 1978, eventually leading to expansion across the country.

Although the league is no longer in existence today, it helped to create many innovations that are now used in the NBA today, and helped many African-Americans achieve success in basketball, and giving them a chance to be recognized and respected.

SAT 4/20/24 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.


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


Veteran coach Alex Wang returns with his son Owen to conquer Copper.


Coach David Sharafi and his son David, will shoot for the top of the division.


The new kid in town, Brody Patterson, will be leading his team to take on other teams in the division.


Coach George Edelman returns again with his son James, as they look to score many baskets this season.


6 teams came alive as three scrimmages were had, as each team scrimmaged another team in their division.


Combination of coaches and their children will attempt to gallop over the competition. Coach Alex Wang has his daughter Olivia, and Coach Bing Sheng has his two sons, Lincoln and Elliot.


Coach Ryan Toteja returns after his championship season last Winter, as his son Rayden, and assistant coach Monisha Toteja look to make it a repeat season.


Coaches Tom Casarella with his sons Billy and Hugo, and Jeremy Stanton with his son River, are looking to take their team to the top.


New coach Phil Volken with his son Phoenix, will claw and fly their way through this season, as they are excited about their team. And new coach Cyrus Seyedan will be assisting.


Hoops there it is! Coach Noah Verleun has returned for another season, and his son Soren is eager to capitalize on the team name.


Elan Mevasse and his son and co-coach Kai have returned to help develop the youth in our program with their positive reinforcement style of coaching.


3 teams had a round robin of scrimmages, and the other 2 teams scrimmaged each other.


Coach Craig Pariser and his daughter Mai Ly return to the division, and are ready to take a bite out of the competition.


Co-Coach Jeff Epstein and his daughter Katarina are looking forward to a fun and exciting season in the Silver division. Co-Coach Ben Ketai has brought his sons Jonas and Emet along for the ride.


There is a storm coming and it is being led by coach Eugene Travnikoff, as his team with daughter Cetine look to roar out in front of the division.


Coach Ali Safavi has returned from a championship season, as he and his son Saum
look to repeat as champions again.


It is a race to the top, as coaches George Edelman and Noah Verleun combine forces to take on the division with their sons Theodore and Linus respectively.

3 teams had a round robin of scrimmages, and the other 2 teams scrimmaged each other.


Jennifer Lynn returns to take over the helm of a team full of quality players which includes her son Oliver.


Coach DJ Jacobs and his son Buck have been promoted to the Gold division after winning a championship last season in the silver division.


Coach Justin Nelson returns again to the Gold division, and his sons Spencer and Ross will help to guide their team to the top.


Coaches Mark Greenberg and Keith Muenze have combined forces, and with their sons Max and Leon respectively, they look to take on all others.


Coach Arash Yaghoubzadeh has moved up to the Gold division after his championship in Silver last season. He will have the help of his two boys Ocean and Leo to succeed at the next level.

3 teams had a round robin of scrimmages, and the other 2 teams scrimmaged each other.


Highly respected coach Joe Tilley continues his quest to make all his players have fun and learn the game, as he returns again in the Platinum division


Looking to take a bite out of the top division, Steven Sone from Pacifica Christian High school, comes back as he always does in the Spring to give these kids high quality coaching to get them to the next level.


Coach of the year(22-23), Armando Gonzalez returns for his second season of coaching in the Platinum division, and his son, Diego, will help the team to excel.


The incredibly talented father and son coaching duo of Brent and Brayden Stoll have come up to the Platinum division to guide the youth in the right direction.


Send in the Cavalry, as coach Bill Kravitz and his son Dylan, look to get their horses off and running to take over the Platinum division.

Scrimmage photos by Carol Chan

SAT 4/27/24 WEEKEND #1
Wildcatters vs Skyforce

Photo by Denise Maratos

The first match of the regular season kicked off with the Skyforce getting first half points from Tate Avitabile and Zayden Rashid. The Wildcatters got their scoring going later in the first half as Nico Licata made a free throw, Ivy Huss had an “And1” which is a made basket while being fouled with the converted free throw, and a basket each from Owen Wang and Josephine Carey. The second half saw the Wildcatters pull closer with two more free throws from Ivy Huss and a basket from Owen Wang; however, the Skyforce continued to get scoring from Zayden Rashid and Tate Avitabile, and teammate David Sharafi made a basket, and defensive steals from Marlowe Georgaris and Kosmos Kavalakis helped to prevent the comeback from the Wildcatters. Zayden Rashid was Player of the Game with his 18 rebounds.

Stampede vs Thrillers

Photo by Carol Chan

The Stampede got the first half lead on baskets from Killian Georgaris, Kris Peddi, and Elliot Sheng. The Thrillers had two first half baskets from Bodhi Petitti. The second half saw the Thrillers get additional points from Louis Liu and Esme Chan, along with a plethora of rebounds from Rodrigo Padron. The Stampede continued to get scoring from Player of the Game, Elliot Sheng, and also had Olivia Wang, William Holt, and Anand Vora make points, get rebounds from Ashok Dhaka, and steals from Lincoln Sheng and Walker Rosenthal to ensure the victory for their team.

Hoops vs Catbirds
The Catbirds started the scoring with a basket from Otis Smith, but the Hoops caught fire and they got scoring from Charlie Koch, Teddy Millman, and Soren Verleun to take the halftime lead. In the second half, the Catbirds got a bucket each from Rocco deTray, Greysen Lovett, and Victor Lima Lopes, along with rebounds from Tyler Enayati. The Hoops continued their scoring, and Theo Manolelis and Aiden Schneider each made a basket, and Player of the Game-Soren Verleun had a big second half with 8 points to help his team go on to the victory.

Piranhas vs Racers
Piranhas bit first as they took the first quarter lead with baskets from Krishna Aysola, Wyatt Mack, and Mai Ly Pariser. The Racers kept pace with multiple buckets each from Mariella Belew, Linus Verleun, Beau Ellis-Farr, and Theodore Edelman to take back the lead at halftime. In the second half, the Piranhas had Nanda Aysola and Krsna Pathak get on the scorecard, and Nakai Shriqui led his team in steals. The Racers continued to outscore their opponent, as Charlie Kalmbach made a basket, Seher Khan had multiple steals, Sean Murphy grabbed rebounds, and Player of the Game-Linus Verleun led all scorers with a game high 13 points. First time in the history of our YMCA, two brothers(Soren and Linus Verleun) had Player of the Game in back to back games on the schedule.

Bandits vs Tornados

Photo by Carol Chan

Tornados got the scoring going as Ori Ligumsky made two free throws, and Mateo Chan, Harrison Bond, and Rome Ricks each made a bucket. The Bandits then got on a roll, as they distributed the ball around and got assists from Teo Escalante, Henry Fyda, and Declan Wong which led to baskets from Saum Safavi, Ray Song, and a buzzer beater “3” to end the first half by Oakley Entsminger. The Tornados played catch up in the second half, as Liana Enayati made assists that led to baskets by Ori Ligumsky, and Alison Lyons and Cetine Travnikoff made multiple steals, and Knute Haglund snagged rebounds. The Bandits continued their excellent passing as Pablo Gonzalez, Itamar Yurman, and Player of the Game-Ray Song, were dropping dimes for assists, to lead their team to victory.

Volcanos vs Renegade
The Renegade had first half scoring from Rowan O’Neal and Peter Rodrick. The Volcanos had first half scoring from Ibrahim Ally, Faizan Khan, and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh. The second half saw the Renegade get scoring from Liam Desante and Buck Jacobs, and strong defense from Redeat Gebeyehu, Jack Meyer, and David Yonatan; however, the Volcanos were too strong with second half scoring from Abdullah Jooma, Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos, and Player of the Game-Ibrahim Ally who finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Volcanos also had steals from Leo Yaghoubzadeh, and rebounds from Felix Carpenter and Alexander Melamed to give their team a comfortable victory.

Stingers vs Aztecas
A back-and-forth game featuring two very good teams, as the first half developed into a defensive struggle. First half points for the Aztecas came from Ethan Schwartz, Ezra Mooney, and Diego Gonzalez. Ryan Chambers and Kingston Andes provided points for the Stingers in the first half. The game went back and forth in the second half as the Aztecas got key baskets from Louis Meehan Smith, Leo Mooney, Maryck Booher, and Cristian Villegas who had all 8 of his points in the fourth quarter. In the final moments, the Stingers pulled away with timely baskets from Leonardo Garcia, Aiden Lin, and Player of the Game-Kingston Andes who also had key steals in the final moments to give his team the narrow one point win, in a hard fought contest.

Slammers vs Beachdogs

Photo by Zoja Reid Howard

The Slammers were short handed and made the best of it as they got points from Lucien Fong, Ryan Nagase, and Dwain Brown, along with “3”s from Austin Bernier and AJ Evans. The Beachdogs would eventually win the match as every player in the game scored which included Trajan Booker, Cassius Taylor, Christian Ferew, Mia Kondratyeva, Joshua Edwards, Nahum Negusse, and Cam Pariser as they all played a well rounded game of team play.

Photo by Georgetta Blunt

SUN 4/28/24
Patroons vs Barons

The Barons controlled the first half as Joseph Ackermann, James Edelman, and Lydia Haynes made baskets. The Patroons did get first half scoring from Ashley Neff, and rebounds from Ezra Efiom. In the second half, Shira Yurman made a free throw for the Patroons, and teammates William McAuley and Rhys Amis had a couple of steals. The Barons were able to get rebounds from Harper Gaines and Nicholas Leblond, Isla Katz
with steals, and teammates Vivienne Bond and Alexander Wolf each made a basket. The Player of the Game was the Barons’ Lydia Haynes who led all scorers with 10 points to lead her team to the victory.

Player of the Game, Lydia Haynes, gets a hug from her brother. Photo by Carlos

Metros vs Zeniths

Photo by Sarah Williams

This match was very much a Charles Dickens novel as it was the tale of two halves. The Metros controlled the first half as baskets were made by Dario Akhavi, Drake Akhavi, Julian Garcia, Rohan Henderson, Rahm Kapgan, and Oliver Williams. The Zeniths scoring in the first half came from George Couvreur and Tomas Leblond. The second half was a complete flip, but the Metros had tough defense from Sora Nomoto and Gianna Sabine; however, the Zeniths came roaring back as Beau Bigler had 6 points, Hugo Casarells made a basket, and Player of the Game- Aiden Yousefi had multiple baskets and the game winning free throw to edge out the Metros in the final seconds. It was one of the largest comebacks in Bronze division history, as the Zeniths were down by as many as 18 points in this match.

Jammers vs Bandits

Photo by Matthew Farrar

This was a well played and entertaining match featuring two teams that moved the ball around and had multiple assists. By the end of the third quarter, we had a “Captain” tie of 33-33(btw who was the “Captain”?).

The Jammers were led in scoring by Jonas Ketai who had 16 points for the match, and his brother Emet had three assists and a “3”, and teammates Oliver and Oscar Farrar made baskets and assists as well. The Jammers also had 3 baskets from Ada Sarley. In the end, the Bandits pulled away as all their players in the match scored. Player of the Game-Ray Song led the Bandits in scoring with 12 points and 3 assists, and teammate Dylan Read also had 3 assists. Henry Fyda, Declan Wong, Saum Safavi, and Oakley Entsminger each had multiple baskets and an assist for the Bandits. Not only did Ryder Range and Julia Enayati grab rebounds, they also each had key fourth quarter baskets to give the Bandits the victory.

Answer to question: Kareem Abdul Jabbar was nicknamed “The Captain”.

Legends vs Renegade

The Renegade had first half scoring from Peter Rodrick and Buck Jacobs. The Legends had multiple baskets and assists from Liam Adams, Sam Affleck and Siddhant Khanna to take a comfortable halftime lead. In the second half, Liam Desante, Rowan O’Neal, and Jack Meyer scored to get the Renegade closer. The Legends were able to hold on to the victory as Henry Mack grabbed rebounds, Misha Lakhani made assists, and Player of the Game-Sam Affleck continued to score as he also made a “3” to be the leading scorer with 16 points.

Pride vs Spirits

Neck and neck throughout this match. The first half saw the Spirits get baskets from Dominic Drew, Max Greenberg, and Olivia Ruiz who had an “And1” as she made good on the free throw. The Pride got most of their first half scoring from Diego Gonzalez as he nailed a “3” along with other drives to the basket, and teammates Kaya Dahukey and Ross Nelson scored baskets. In the second half, the Pride continued to get points from Kaya Dahukey and Diego Gonzalez, but also a driving layup from Conrad DiMauro, and a 10 foot jumper from Sean Dobbs to give their team a lead in the fourth quarter. But it came down to key baskets form Spirits players Myles Shaw, Logan Christenson, and Finn Purdy; and, the exceptional play of Max Greenberg who finished the match with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 steals that helped the Spirits to pull away in the final minutes to obtain the victory and not only earn Max Greenberg the Player of the Game honors, but also Player of the Week as well.

Slammers vs Cavalry

Photo by Jessica Lew

The first quarter was the Gabriel Chibane show as he had 13 points in the quarter as he had a little of everything from dueces, a trey, and a 2 for 2 from the charity stripe. The Slammers got going in the second quarter as Lucien Fong and Ryan Nagase each had a “3”. The Cavalry continued scoring with baskets from Augie Tucker Maxcy, Rylan Newton, and Chloe Scofield to have the halftime lead. The third quarter saw the Slammers Azariah Gebeyehu with a “3”, and teammate Amensisa Alemayehu had 9 points; and the Cavalry had a pair of “3”s from downtown by Kay Roberts and baskets by Julien Veckerelli. The fourth quarter saw Logan Cappiccille make a basket and Lucien Fong with a couple of buckets to help the Slammers get closer; but in the end, the Cavalry was too strong as Nicholas Mirich had a basket, Ryan Newton was making jumping floaters, and Player of the Game-Gabriel Chibane had the LeBron James spin move down to perfection as he added a couple more field goals to give their team the win.

Photo by Zoja Reid Howard

SAT 5/4/24 WEEKEND #2
Catbirds vs Zeniths

In the first half, both teams showed good defense, so the score was low; however, baskets were to be had by the Catbirds’ Rocco deTray and Otis Smith, and the Zeniths had baskets from George Couvreur, River Stanton, and Billy Casarella. The second half saw more scoring as the Catbirds got Victor Lima Lopes and Tyler Enayati on the scoreboard as they each had a nice 12’ shot go in, and teammate Bennett Zibit grabbed rebounds. The Zeniths were too strong as Hugo Casarella, Maya Larmore, and Kiana Soltani each made a basket, and Player of the Game-Beau Bigler had 15 second half points to put his team ahead for good and onto the victory.

Barons vs Wildcatters

The first three quarters were tough defense by both sides. The Barons Vivienne Bond was making multiple blocks to deny the opponent, and teammates James Edelman and Joseph Ackermann each had a basket. The Wildcatters kept pace with a basket from Josephine Carey, and a free throw made from Grayson Wells. The fourth quarter saw the Barons build upon their lead as Nicholas Leblond and Alexander Wolf each made a basket. But the Wildcatters wouldn’t give up and kept at it with rebounds from Isabelle Ma and Penelope Johnson who also scored, and Ivy Huss made three free throws (say that three times fast!), and then, teammate and Player of the Game-Owen Wang also made three free throws to complete the come from behind victory in the final minutes of the match.

Skyforce vs Patroons

The Skyforce controlled the first half as they had a basket from Marlow Georgaris and two buckets from Player of the Game-Tate Avitabile. The Patroons kept pace in the first half as Theo Keller and Shira Yurman made several steals. The Skyforce built a bigger lead in the 4th quarter as Benjamin Vaisburd and Kosmos Kavalakis got rebounds for their team, and Zayden Rashid had 8 fourth quarter points. The Patroons made a valiant effort to stage a comeback, as Ashley Neff scored two buckets, and Vivienne Lapierre had eight points including a buzzer beater to end the game, but the Patroons fell short by one point, but showed vast improvement in the second game of the season.

Racers vs Jammers

The Jammers had first half points from Archie Lewis and Liam Yaghoubian, and the Racers had diversified scoring as Mariella Belew, Charlie Kalmbach, Linus Verleun, and Ellington Litvin all scored. The second half saw the Jammers’ Oscar Farrar and Jonas Ketai make the scoreboard, and Katarina Epstein led the team in rebounds. The Racers continued to spread the scoring around as Theodore Edelman and Player of the Game-Beau Ellis Farr each had a big second half with points and rebounds to lead their team to victory.

Bandits vs Piranhas
The Piranhas scored first as James Boesiger had 10 first half points, and teammate Niam Pahwa made a basket. The Bandits had all around team play as Declan Wong, Saum Safavi, Henry Fyda, and Teo Escalante all scored to get the lead at halftime. In the second half, the Piranhas got steals from Krsna Pathak and Auggie Friedman, to give the ball to Mai Ly Pariser and Rex Bulette for scores; however, the Bandits got baskets from Itamar Yurman, Pablo Gonzalez, and Ryder Range: and, the Bandits’ Oakley Entsminger was the Player of the Game, as he led his team to victory with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Player of the Game, Oakley Entsminger. Photo by Joy Chantarasompoth

Spirits vs Legends

The Legends got the scoring started as Siddhant Khanna, Oliver Lynn, and Beau Zaczepinski had first half field goals. The Spirits had hustle play to take a narrow halftime lead on points from Max Greenberg and Olivia Ruiz. In the third quarter, the Legends caught up with baskets from Sam Affleck, Henry Mack, and Misha Lakhani, as all were beneficiaries of steals from Rohan Peddi and Ryan Yousefi. The Spirits took control in the fourth quarter as Azumi Nomoto had a couple steals, Leon Muenze made a basket, Dominic Drew was dropping dimes with his assists, and Player of the Game-Olivia Ruiz was out hustling everyone on the floor to lock down the defense and not allow the opponent to score, and give the Spirits the win.

Dominic Drew received the Winter 2024 Gold division Top Passer award. Photo by
Apolonia Drew

Beachdogs vs Cavalry

Back and forth in the first half, as the Cavalry got scoring from Koa Entsminger and Kai Halpert on their putbacks and drives to the hoop; and, teammates Rylan Newton and Chloe Scofield made nice pivot and spin moves for scores. The Beachdogs had first half scoring from Christian Ferew, Mia Kondratyeva, and Justin Tun to keep pace and remain within striking distance as the first half ended. In the second half, the “3” party began as the Cavalry had treys from Kay Roberts, Dylan Kravitz, and Julian Veckerelli; The Beachdogs brought Cam Pariser and Player of the Game-Adonyinas Yonas to the same “3” party as they were knocking them in from downtown. Adonyinas Yonas took over the match as he had a game high 27 points and 15 rebounds in an impressive performance that led the Beachdogs to the victory.

Slammers vs Aztecas

Mostly Aztecas for this match as all their players scored. Ethan Schwartz was the leading scorer for the Aztecas with 15 points, followed by Cristian Villegas with 13 points, and Ezra Mooney with 12 points. The Slammers had scoring from AJ Evans who was perfect from the charity stripe, Austin Bernier with a couple of field goals, and a basket each from Lucien Fong, Brandon Israels, and substitute Sampson Anderson Robinson. The Aztecas won, but the Slammers played hard.

SUN 5/5/24
Thrillers vs Metros

Photo by Carol Chan

Defense reigned supreme in the first half as the only baskets came from the Thrillers’ Louis Liu and Rayden Toteja, and the Metros’ Rohan Henderson. The scoring picked up in the second half as the Metros had baskets from Dario Akhavi, Drake Akhavi, and Gianna Sabine; also, the Metros had rebounds from Rahm Kapgan, and steals from Sora Nomoto to help take a lead towards the end of the fourth quarter. The Thrillers lived up to their name, as they mounted a comeback with key buckets from Esme Chan and Bodhi Petitti as he was assisted by a great pass from Inez Napoli. It came down to the final seconds, as the Thrillers were behind by one point, and Sofia Pulusani had two free throws for which she made both to give her team the victory and Player of the Game honors, along with Player of the Week.

Stampede vs Hoops

The Stampede took off in the first half as they got scoring from Ashok Dhaka, Killian Georgaris, Elliot Sheng, and Player of the Game-Olivia Wang. The Hoops had a better second half as Nalina and Bodhi Ren Chopra got rebounds, Soren Verleun and Charlie Koch had multiple baskets, and Aiden Schneider made a shot as he was fouled. However, the Stampede built a big enough lead thanks in part to William Holt grabbing rebounds and making assists to teammates to help his team hold onto the victory.

Tornados vs Piranhas

Photo by Carol Chan

The Piranhas controlled the first half as points were scored by Niam Pahwa, Mai Ly Pariser, Nakai Shriqui, and Player of the Game-Krsna Pathak. The Tornados scoring got going in the second half as Cetine Travnikoff, Liana Enayati, Mateo Chan, and Harrison Bond each scored a basket, and Finley Provencher and Knute Haglund got rebounds, and teammates Alison Lyons and Sebastian Joyce had steals for their team. The Piranhas held on as Wyatt Mack made a bucket, and Auggie Friedman helped on defense.

Renegade vs Pride

The Pride built a big first half lead with Diego Gonzalez leading the scoring, and teammates Conrad DiMauro, Sean Dobbs, and Shai Painter making baskets as well. The Renegade kept pace in the first half with points from Buck Jacobs and Finn Duggan. In the second half, the Renegade got multiple points from Peter Rodrick, and a basket each from Liam Desante and Rowan O’Neal; and then Nicholas Munoz made a long “3”, and before you knew it, the Renegade was making a comeback. However, the Pride countered with “3” balls of their own from Tomonori Kugawa and Kaya Dahukey, and key baskets from Player of the Game-Matthew Klass to preserve the win.

Player of the Game, Matthew Klass. Photo by Macarena Klass

Volcanos vs Spirits

Photo by Rachel Ruiz

The Spirits grabbed the early lead with driving layups from Olivia Ruiz, and outside shots from Myles Shaw and Dominic Drew. The Volcanos erupted in the second quarter as Alexander Melamed and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh each made jumping floaters, and Ibrahim Ally had multiple rebounds to which he put back for scores. The Volcanos took advantage of the full court press in the second half to draw closer as steals were made by Ocean Yaghoubzadeh and Andrey Sterlyagov, rebounds were grabbed by brothers Nico and Raul Palomares, and Felix Carpenter made several blocks. The Spirits needed their deep lineup to keep the lead as Brendan Still made an assist, Azumi Nomoto made steals, Leon Muenze and Max Greenberg scored buckets, Finn Purdy made a free throw, and Logan Christenson and Player of the Game-Myles Shaw made key blocks to obtain the victory and remain the only undefeated team in the Gold division.

Winter 2024 Silver Division Most Outstanding Player, Alexander Melamed. Photo by
Golnaz Abedini Shad.

Stingers vs Beachdogs

A Jim-Dandy of a game as us old folks say. Defense prevailed in the first half as the score was low; however, the Beachdogs took the halftime lead on baskets from Sampson Anderson Robinson, Joshua Edwards, and Justin Tun. The Beachdogs took it to the Stingers in the third frame when Trajan Booker and Alex Providas made several steals, Mia Kondratyeva controlled the boards and scored, and Justin Tun made several consecutive shots that included two “3”s in a row to build a good lead to start the fourth quarter, and things were looking good for the Beachdogs. But the Stingers wouldn’t give up, as defensive pressure from Kingston Andes and Jarec Garibay stealing the ball, and Aiden Lin blocking shots, which led to layups by Ryan Chambers, and a deep downtown “3” followed by a driving layup from Player of the Game-Alden Wong that brought the Stingers closer. In the final minutes of the match, big outside shots were made by Leonardo Garcia and Radin Taherian, and reigning Winter Platinum MVP Dagmawi Ayele took over with drives to the hoop for baskets to give the Stingers the late come from behind victory in a total team effort to remain the only undefeated team in the Platinum division.

Player of the Game, Alden Wong and Winter 2024 Platinum Division Most Valuable Player, Dagmawi Ayele. Photos by Brian Wong

SAT 5/11/24 WEEKEND #3
Thrillers vs Hoops

Photo by Carol Chan

The first half saw the Hoops get the lead with multiple baskets from Soren Verleun and Teddy Millman; while the Thrillers kept pace with a basket from Bodhi Petitti and two made free throws from Malin Anderson. In the second half, the Hoops scored the first basket on a nice jump shot from Player of the Game-Aiden Schneider. The Thrillers got steals from Esme Chan, and Rayden Toteja made a free throw. The Hoops had rebounds from Theo Manolelis and Corbin Strock, and Ray Lyons made a basket to give their team the victory.

Zeniths vs Stampede

A matchup of two undefeated teams, in which the Stampede controlled the first half with scoring from Olivia Wang, Ashok Dhaka, Kris Peddi, and Elliot Sheng. The Zeniths got most of their scoring in the second half as Beau Bigler, George Couvreur, Tomas Leblond, and River Stanton made the scoreboard; however the Stampede was too strong on defense, and then spread the scoring around as Max Degeorge, William Holt, and Player of the Game-Killian Georgaris made field goals to give their team a comfortable victory.

Jammers vs Piranhas

Photo by Matthew Farrar

Yours truly, jumped into the referee this match, and it was a goody. Very close from start to finish. The first quarter was a defensive battle, as both sides were just getting warmed up. The second quarter saw an offensive explosion as the Piranhas got scoring from Niam Pahwa, Nanda Aysola, and Krsna Pathak; the Jammers had multiple baskets from Oscar Farrar and Jonas Ketai. The third quarter shifted back to a defensive battle as the Piranhas got steals from Mai Ly Pariser, and rebounds from Nakai Shriqui; the Jammers had blocks from Sadie Bellavia and Ada Sarley, rebounds from Oliver Farrar, and steals from Emet Ketai. The fourth quarter saw the Piranhas get a basket from Krishna Aysola, and steals from Auggie Friedman. The Jammers took control as Katarina Epstein made a basket, and Player of the Game/Jonas Ketai took over with 7 fourth quarter points to give the Jammers their first victory of the season.

Racers vs Bandits

The Racers raced out to the early lead as Theodore Edelman and Linus Verleun had most of their game points in the first quarter. The Bandits kept pace in the first half with baskets from Oakley Entsminger, Henry Fyda, Ryder Range, Declan Wong, and Ray Song. The Bandits continued to cut into the Racers lead in the third quarter as Itamar Yurman had a field goal and teammate Saum Safavi converted an “And1”. The Racers pulled away in the fourth quarter as they got a strong game from Nicholas Jones with his rebounds, Amarveer Gupta with steals, Charlie Kalmbach with blocks, and Beau Ellis Farr and Player of the Game-Ellington Litvin scoring key baskets to remain the only undefeated team in the Silver division.

Spirits vs Renegade

The Renegade won the battle of the first half as they got field goals from Buck Jacobs, Liam Desante, Nicholas Munoz, Rowan O’Neal, and Peter Rodrick. The Spirits stayed within striking distance as they had baskets from Olivia Ruiz, Max Greenberg, and Dominic Drew. With the full court press in the second half, the Spirits were able to tie the score by the end of the third quarter as they got buckets from Leon Muenze and Myles Shaw, off of steals from Azumi Nomoto and Will Armistead. The Renegade were able to take a small lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, with rebounds from Redeat Gebeyehu and David Yonatan, along with steals from Jack Meyer, that helped Finn Duggan and Buck Jacobs to score. The Spirits were able to catch and go ahead of the Renegade, thanks in part to rebounds from Brendan Still and Logan Christenson, and a dominant performance from Player of the Game-Dominic Drew who continued to make assists to teammates for scores to keep the Spirits as the only undefeated team in the Gold division.

Player of the Game, Dominic Drew

Legends vs Pride

Pride were ahead at the end of the first quarter as they had a basket each from Kaya Dahukey and Tomonori Kugawa, along with a deuce and a trey from Diego Gonzalez. The Legends made a comeback with baskets from Liam Adams, Siddhant Khanna, and Hunter Tito to take the lead at halftime. In the second half, The Pride got baskets from Ross Nelson and Shai Painter, along with rebounds by Levi Cogan and Sean Dobbs, and steals by Spencer Nelson to get closer. However, the Legends had Sam Affleck scoring and dishing out assists, Misha Lakhani putting back rebounds for points, and Player of the Game-Rohan Peddi scoring multiple points to help the Legends hang on for the victory.

Stingers vs Slammers

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

The Slammers got out of the gate early with baskets from Dakota Hoefner, Amensisa Alemayehu, and Danny Zhou who hit a long “3” just before the first quarter buzzer. The Stingers eventually caught up in the second quarter as Dagmawi Ayele had 10 first half points, Alden Wong made a couple of free throws, and Aiden Lin grabbed rebounds. In the second half, the Slammers got “3”s from Ryan Nagase and Austin Bernier, as they were beneficiaries of great no-look passes from Lucien Fong. The Stingers were able to get a pair of baskets each from Kingston Andes, Radin Taherian, and Jarec Garibay, and Sam McGowan was perfect from the charity stripe to help keep the lead. Player of the Game-Ryan Chambers finished off the day with double digit scoring and rebounds, along with multiple assists to keep the Stingers undefeated in the Platinum division.

Cavalry vs Aztecas

Photo by Kelly Woolfolk

Neck and neck in the first half as both teams would exchange leads in the match. Scoring in the first half for the Cavalry came from Gabriel Chibane, Koa Entsminger, and Rylan Newton who made an acrobatic shot in which he caught the ball in mid flight and before landing released a fifteen footer to score. The Aztecas took the halftime lead on points from Roderick Johnson, Louis Meehan Smith, and Ethan Schwartz. In the second half, the Aztecas extended their lead in the third quarter with a “3” from Leo Mooney, and baskets from Cristian Villegas. The Cavalry got it going late in the third quarter to take the lead as Player of the Game-Rylan Newton went on a scoring spree with drives to the hoop and a downtown trey to take the lead back for his team. In the fourth quarter, the Aztecas were able to tie it up with 6 points from Andrew Woolfolk; but the Cavalry would not be denied, as they got key steals from Augie Tucker Maxcy and Julian Veckerelli, along with baskets from Dylan Kravitz to pull out the narrow victory.

SUN 5/12/24

Barons vs Skyforce

One might think that a low scoring game doesn’t provide much excitement, but au contraire, this one would have all the excitement till the very end. The Barons scored first with baskets from Vivienne Bond and Joseph Ackermann. Before halftime, Tate Avitable put the Skyforce on the scoreboard with his ten foot shot from the side. In the second half the Skyforce had steals from Benjamin Vaisburd and rebounds from Hana Tagami and Haruka Yabi, and two baskets from Zayden Rashid. The Barons played solid defense with key rebounds from Issa Ally and Isla Katz, steals from Nicholas Leblond and Harper Gaines who made a pass to teammate Vivienne Bond who released the shot at the final buzzer to make it in the hoop, and win the match for her team. Not only did Vivienne Bond earn Player of the Game honors, but also Player of the Week for her dominant overall play.

Player of the Game and Player of the Week, the Barons’ Vivienne Bond. Photo by
Christine Liang

Patroons vs Wildcatters

The Patroons got on the scoreboard first with baskets from Ashley Neff, but the Wildcatters had a plethora of scoring from Grayson Wells and Owen Wang to give their team a comfortable halftime lead. In the second half, the Patroons had Delora Soltani and Joshua Bloom getting rebounds, Shira Yurman with a couple of blocks, and Rhys Amis and Ezra Efiom with a couple of steals. However, the Wildcatters played solid defense with Josephine Carey, Clara Cowen, Penelope Johnson, and Isabelle Ma shutting down scoring possibilites for the other team, and Player of the Game-Nico Licata making a basket to give their team the victory.

Catbirds vs Metros

First half belonged to the Metros as they got most of their scoring from Player of the Game-Drake Akhavi with his four baskets. The Catbirds got most of their scoring in the second half as Phoenix Volken made several shots, and Rocco deTray and Otis Smith each had a basket. The Metros spread the scoring around in the second half as Rohan Henderson, Rahm Kapgan, and Oliver Williams each made a basket, and Sora Nomoto had two field goals to give the Metros their first win of the season.

Tornados vs Racers

Photo by Carol Chan

The Tornados had first half scoring from Mateo Chan, Alison Lyons, and Ori Ligumsky. The Racers had Player of the Game-Theodore Edelman score 12 first half points, Charlie Kalmbach with a basket, steals from Nicholas Jones, and Beau Ellis Farr with a “3”. In the second half, the Tornados got a basket from Sebastian Joyce off of an assist from Cetine Travnikoff, and solid rebounding from Harrison Bond and Knute Haglund: the Racers got Linus Verleun to join the “3” party with his deep shot, and steals from Seher Khan as they went onto the victory.

Pride vs Volcanos

Photo by Mya Painter

The Volcanos first half scoring came from Ibrahim Ally, Alexander Melamed, and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh. The Pride took the lead at halftime on the strength of a basket by Kaya Dahukey, rebounds from Tomonori Kugawa, steals from Ross Nelson, and 13 first half points from Diego Gonzalez. In the second half, the Volcanos took a brief lead in the third quarter with points from Leo Yaghoubzadeh and Faizan Khan, and had good rebounding from Felix Carpenter. The Pride got Conrad DiMauro into the scoring column, steals from Spencer Nelson, rebounds from Sean Dobbs, assists from Shai Painter, and 14 second half points from Player of the Game-Diego Gonzalez to pull away with the victory.

Aztecas vs Beachdogs

The Aztecas pitched a shutout in the first quarter as their defense was solid with Andrew Woolfolk blocking shots, and points from Maryck Booher and Cristian Villegas. The Beachdogs got on the scoreboard in the second quarter as Joshua Edwards, Christian Ferew, and Adonyinas Yonas scored. In the third quarter, the Beachdogs had Cam Pariser score, and got rebounds from Mia Kondratyeva. The Aztecas continued to play a solid game, as Leo Mooney and Diego Gonzalez scored, and Player of the Game-Louis Meehan Smith made drives and jumpers to give their team the victory.

SAT 5/18/24 WEEKEND #4

Barons vs Patroons

Will today be the day that the Patroons get their first victory of the season? It was looking good for the Patroons in the first quarter as they got a basket from Ashley Neff and a free throw from Delora Soltani to take the early lead; however, the Barons got hot in the second quarter as Issa Ally grabbed rebounds, James Edelman made a hoop, and Lydia Haynes had a couple of baskets, and she continued to score with three more buckets in the third quarter. The Barons got steals from Harper Gaines, and a bucket each from Joseph Ackermann and Galiel Sarfati to build their lead in the second half; but, the Patroons would not give up, as Ezra Efiom got key rebounds, Vivienne Lapierre scored 9 points which included an “And1”, and Player of the Game-Ashley Neff also had 9 points in the second half to complete the comeback in the final minutes to get the Patroons their first victory of the season. Ashley Neff also earned Player of the Week honors as he had double digit scoring, rebounds, and steals.

Thrillers vs Zeniths

Photo by Carol Chan

The Zeniths controlled the first half with scoring from Aiden Yousefi and George Couvreur, along with solid rebounding and defense from Kiana Soltani, Theodore Rattner, Benjamin Bloom, and Beau Bigler. The Thrillers got first half scoring from Rayden Toteja, Jaxon Oxendine, and Esme Chan. In the second half, the Thrillers got more points from Rayden Toteja, and steals from Maline Anderson. The Zeniths stayed strong as Maya Larmore blocked shots, Billy Casarella had a basket, and Player of the Game-Aiden Yousefi continued his hot shooting to propel his team to the victory.

Hoops vs Metros
The Metros took the early lead on baskets from Drake Akhavi and Julian Garcia; however, the lead would not last till halftime as the Hoops had hoops(lol) from Charlie Koch, Teddy Millman, and Soren Verleun to take the lead. In the second half, the Metros got baskets from Dario Akhavi, Rohan Henderson, and Gianna Sabine in order to pull closer, along with rebounds from Sophia Vasquez. The Hoops responded by getting key baskets from Nathan Stafford, Theo Manolelis, and Player of the Game-Teddy Millman to hang onto the victory.

Tornados vs Jammers

Photo by Carol Chan

First half scoring for the Tornados came from Rome Ricks, Knute Haglund, Harrison Bond, and Ori Ligumsky who also made a couple of nice assists. The Jammers got all their scoring from Emet Ketai, Jonas Ketai, and Player of the Game-Archie Lewis who led all scorers with 16 points. The Tornados had rebounds from Alison Lyons, and 8 second half points from Mateo Chan. The Jammers used tough defense to preserve their lead, as Sadie Bellavia made key blocks, Ada Sarley grabbed rebounds, and Grace Scaduto stole the ball to help their team get the victory.

Spirits vs Pride

Photo by Apolonia Drew

Diego Gonzalez got the scoring going for the Pride with several driving layups, and a basket from Matthew Klass; but, the Spirits caught up as Myles Shaw and Brendan Still made baskets off of assists from Olivia Ruiz and Dominic Drew. The second half saw the Spirits get a free throw from Logan Christenson, rebounds from Leon Muenze, steals from Archer Sampson, multiple points from Olivia Ruiz and Dominic Drew who made three shots in a row including a “3”. The Pride then spread out their scoring as Sean Dobbs got rebounds to give to teammates to score a basket each from Kaya Dahukey, Ross Nelson, Spencer Nelson, and Shai Painter. The Pride took over down the stretch as Player of the Game-Tomonori Kugawa had 6 points in the fourth quarter to help his team pull away for the victory.

Volcanos vs Legends

A match that remained tight throughout as both teams went back and forth. Ibrahim Ally scored all the points for the Volcanos in the first quarter; while Misha Lakhani, Henry Mack, and Siddhant Khanna shared the scoring for the Legends in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Volcanos had a basket from Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos and an “And1” from Andrey Sterlyagov; the Legends had a basket each from Liam Adams, Rohan Peddi, and Oliver Lynn to make the score close at the end of the first half. In the second half, the Volcanos took a lead as Player of the Game-Ocean Yaghoubzadeh made two “3”s and Abdullah Jooma had 8 points. The Legends fought back in the fourth quarter as Sam Affleck, Hunter Tito, and Beau Zaczepinski each made baskets, and Player of the Game-Henry Mack had two late fourth quarter baskets, and Liam Adams tied it with his outside shot with only seconds to go to end the match in a tie, and all went home happy.

Aztecas vs Stingers

The Stingers stung early in the first half with multiple baskets from Ryan Chambers, Dagmawi Ayele, Sam McGowan, Kingston Andes, and Player of the Game-Leonardo Garcia. The Aztecas were able to get their scoring going in the second and third quarters as Roderick Johnson, Maryck Booher, and Diego Gonzalez got their outside shots to go in. In the third quarter, the Aztecas cut into the Stingers lead and drew closer as Andrew Woolfolk and Cristian Villegas scored, and teammate Diego Gonzalez was a perfect 3 for 3 from the charity stripe to end the quarter. The Stingers eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter as baskets were made by Alden Wong and Radin Taherian to give the Stingers the victory.

Beachdogs vs Slammers

Photo by Mirela Samardzija

Close first half as the Slammers had a “3” party as Amensisa Alemayehu, Danilo Samardzija, Azariah Gebeyehu, and Yisaac Tariku were hitting shots from downtown; but the Beachdoga joined the “3” party as Justin Tun and Player of the Game-Nahum Nagusse started making treys as the score remained close at halftime. With the beginning of the second half, the Beachdogs put on the full court press which led to 8 quick points from Justin Tun in less than 90 seconds. The Slammers turned things around as Ryan Nagase made several steals, and Austin Bernier made a basket to cut into the lead. In the fourth quarter, the Beachdogs had multiple assists from Trajan Booker and Mia Kondratyeva to help their team push the lead back up and go onto the victory.

SUN 5/19/24
Skyforce vs Wildcatters

Photo by Denise Maratos

Closely contested match throughout, as both teams went back and forth with the lead. In the first half, the Wildcatters had baskets from Josephine Carey and Owen Wang, along with a free throw from Nico Licata. The Skyforce had first half baskets from David Sharafi and Marlowe Georgaris, along with rebounds from Haruka Yagi, Dylan Martin, and Hana Tagami. In the second half, the Wildcatters took the lead in the fourth quarter as Penelope Johnson made a basket off an assist from Isabelle Ma, rebounds from Grayson Wells, Ivy Huss with steals, and Ella Sands converted a free throw. The Skyforce found a way to come back and take the lead in the final minutes as Tate Avitabile and Player of the Game-Kosmos Kavalakis made baskets, and Zayden Rashid hit a swisher with seconds left to give the Skyforce the lead and the victory.

Photo by Denise Maratos

Stampede vs Catbirds

Photo by Dean Georgaris

The Stampede got out running with baskets from Walker Rosenthal, Elliot Sheng, and William Holt to take the early lead. The Catbirds caught up in the second quarter when Phoenix Volken and Victor Lima Lopes made baskets, and Adeline Smith and Luke Sarley were able to get rebounds and steals. As the second quarter wound down, the Stampede got a basket from Olivia Wang, and a first half buzzer beater “3” from Killian Georgaris(Picture above). In the second half, the Catbirds got steals from Hudson Hoff and Otis Smith and Rocco deTray got on the scoreboard with baskets as they started to cut into the Stampede lead. In the final minutes, Player of the Game-William Holt of the Stampede made a basket, the defense of Lincoln Sheng and Anand Vora got steals, and Kirs Peddi grabbed rebounds that helped the Stampede preserve the win.

Racers vs Piranhas

Would the Racers remain undefeated? It was high fives after the first quarter with a tied score of 5-5, as points for the Piranhas came from Rex Bulette, Niam Pahwa, and Nanda Aysola; points for the Racers came from Beau Ellis Farr, Mariella Belew, and Theodore Edelman. The Racers took a one point lead into halftime as they got baskets from Seher Khan and Ellington Litvin; the Piranhas stayed close as Jaxon Silverstein made a couple of baskets. The Racers kept the narrow lead at the end of the third quarter, as Qiao Ren got steals to get the ball to teammates Mariella Belew and Linus Verleun for buckets. The fourth quarter belonged to the Piranhas as they took advantage of the full court press with steals by Nakai Shriqui and Krsna Pathak to lead to baskets by Mai Ly Pariser, Krishna Aysola, Jaxon Silverstein, and Player of the Game-Rex Bulette to knock off the Racers from the list of undefeated teams.

Bandits vs Jammers

Photo by Matthew Farrar

First half scoring for the Jammers came from Oscar Farrar, Emet Ketai and Grace Scaduto; the Bandits had baskets from Oakley Entsminger, Henry Fyda, Dylan Read, and Ray Song to take the lead at halftime. In the second half the Jammers were able to get points from Jonas Ketai, rebounds from Katarina Epstein and Ada Sarley, and Sadie Bellavia made blocks down low. The Bandits had steals from Itamar Yurman, and continued to score as Declan Wong, Saum Safavi, and Player of the Game-Ryder Range made baskets to take the victory.

Renegade vs Volcanos

First half belonged to the Volcanos as they erupted for points from Ibrahim Ally, and ‘3”s from Abdullah Jooma, Faizan Khan, and Ocean Yaghoubzadeh. The Renegade did get scores from Liam Desante, Rowan O’Neal, and Nicholas Munoz who hit a “3” to put on a small run to try catching up. The second half saw the Renegade get rebounds from Redeat Gebeyehu and Kamden King, steals from Jack Meyer and Finn Duggan. The Volcanos were able to add Alexander Melamed, Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos, and Leo Yaghoubzadeh to the scoreboard to take a large lead that they would not relinquish, but the Renegade fought hard to the very end as yours truly filled into coach, and after a timeout with 5 seconds left, I set up a play to which Peter Rodrick ran the length of the court to get the handoff from Jack Meyer, and put it off the backboard for the buzzer beater to end the game on a high note.

Cavalry vs Stingers

In a weekend of many undefeated teams losing their first match, would the undefeated Stingers be victims of the same trend? The first quarter belonged to the Stingers as they got baskets from Leonardo Garcia and Alden Wong, and a “3” each from Ryan Chambers and Radin Taherian. The Cavalry came alive in the second quarter as Gabriel Chibane made a trey and was a perfect four for four from the free throw line, Dylan Kravitz had three 3-pointers, and Chloe Scofield controlled the boards to give their team the halftime lead. In the second half, the Stingers put defensive pressure on, and Kingston Andes and Sam McGowan scored; however, the Cavalry kept coming with a basket from Nicholas Mirich, four buckets from Rylan Newton, a downtown trey from Augie Tucker Maxcy, and another 3-pointer from Player of the Game-Dylan Kravitz to knock off the Stingers from the ranks of the unbeaten.

SAT 6/1/24 WEEKEND #5
Patroons vs Skyforce

The Skyforce took the lead at the end of the first quarter as Zayden Rashid had all 6 points for his team, and continued to build on the lead in the second quarter when Marlowe Georgaris made a basket with an assist from Hana Tagami. However, the Patroons had a scoring surge in the second quarter as Vivienne Lapierre and Ashley Neff made multiple buckets to get their team ahead at halftime. In the second half, the Patroons got steals from Rhys Amis and Raffaele Giordana, and rebounds from Delora Soltani to keep a narrow lead at the end of the third quarter. The Skyforce used good defense in the fourth quarter as Player of the Game-David Sharafi grabbed rebounds, Sebastain Janka made steals, and Kosmos Kavalakis scored 5 big points down the stretch to give the Skyforce the victory, and remain the sole team in first place in the

Copper division
Wildcatters vs Barons

Scoring didn’t begin until the second quarter when the Barons’ Harper Gaines made two free throws, and the Wildcatters had multiple points from Owen Wang, Grayson Wells, and Player of the Game-Ivy Huss to take the halftime lead. The Barons got more scoring in the second half as Nicolas Leblond and Lydia Haynes made baskets, and Galiel Sarfati and Vivienne Bond played good defense. In the end, the Wildcatters relied on their own great defense of Clara Cowen, Josephine Carey, Teddy Carey, Penelope Johnson, and Nico Licata to shut down the opponent, and Ella Sands made a basket to help the Wildcatters keep the lead and go onto the victory.

Tornados vs Bandits

Photo by Carol Chan

The Bandits got the early lead as Henry Fyda had three baskets in the first quarter, and teammates Ryder Range, Saum Safavi, Teo Escalante, and Ray Song had first half points. The Tornados kept pace with 10 first half points from Mateo Chan, a basket from Liana Enayati, and steals from Cetine Travnikoff. The Tornados were able to get closer in the third quarter as Harrison Bond and Rome Ricks got on the scoreboard, Finley Provencher and Knute Haglund got rebounds, and Ori Ligumsky and Alison Lyons intercepted passes. However, the Bandits continued to diversify their scoring as Dylan Read, Declan Wong, and Player of the Game-Pablo Gonzalez all made baskets to pull away in the fourth quarter for the victory.

Jammers vs Racers

Photo by Matthew Farrar

Close first quarter as the Jammers scoring came from three buckets each by Jonas Ketai and Oscar Farrar; the Racers had first quarter scoring from Linus Verleun, Beau Ellis Farr, and Theodore Edelman. In the second quarter, the Jammers’ Emet Ketai scored 8 of his game high 18 points, and Sadie Bellavia had a basket along with multiple blocks and rebounds to help her team build a good lead at halftime. The Racers drew closer in the second half as Charlie Kalmbach made two baskets, as he was assisted by Seher Khan and Qiao Ren. The Jammers were able to hold on for the victory as their defense was tough from Oliver Farrar and Player of the Game-Sadie Bellavia.

Photo by Matthew Farrar

Renegade vs Legends

The first half saw the Renegade get rebounds from Redeat Gebeyehu and David Yonatan, and Liam Desante and Peter Rodrick each made a basket; the Legends had multiple baskets from Sam Affleck, Siddhant Khanna, Rohan Peddi, and Player of the Game-Liam Adams to take a big lead at halftime. The Renegade had a strong second half as Rowan O’Neal and Nicholas Munoz had multiple baskets and a “3” each, and Finn Duggan and Hunter Calhoun Rocha contributed with steals and rebounds. However, the lead was too much to overcome, as the Legends got rebounds from Misha Lakhani; and, Oliver Lynn, Henry Mack, Hunter Tito, Beau Zaczepinski, and Dylan Zindel all scored to keep the lead and the victory.

Volcanos vs Pride
This matchup would be close throughout the whole game, as the teams were tied at 4 at the end of the first quarter with the Volcanos getting baskets from the Yaghoubzadeh brothers, Leo and Ocean; the Pride getting a bucket from Kaya Dahukey, and free throws from Diego Gonzalez. By the end of the first half, the two teams were only separated by a point, with the Volcanos getting baskets from Ibrahim Ally and Faizan Khan; the Pride getting a bucket from Elliot Israels, and a free throw from Tomonori Kugawa to take a one point lead. The full court press worked well for the Volcanos in the third quarter as they were able to create turnovers that led to points from Alexander Melamed and Andrey Sterlyagov to build a lead; however, the Pride would make a comeback with tough defense of their own in which Sean Dobbs got rebounds, and Spencer Nelson stole the ball, which led to three fourth quarter baskets by Matthew Klass, and a bucket each from Ross Nelson and Shai Painter. The Volcanos were able to hang on the victory as Player of the Game-Constantine Avramopoulos Orlandos made a key basket, and had multiple steals to give to teammates for scores as the Volcanos edged out the win by only a single point.

Cavalry vs Slammers

Big first half by the Cavalry with baskets from brothers Chibane, Rayan and Gabriel that helped the Cavalry jump out of the gate, and then a basket each from Dylan Kravitz and Chloe Scofield boosted the lead. The Slammers got more of their scoring in the second half as Lucien Fong, Brandon Israels, and Danny Zhou had multiple points, Ryan Nagase had a bucket, and Diego Gonzalez filled in for the Slammers by getting rebounds and steals. The Cavalry continued to score as Kay Roberts assisted Rylan Newton and Augie Tucker Maxcy, Kai Halpert put back rebounds for points, Nicholas Mirich made steals to get the ball to Player of the Game-Koa Entsminger who made three “3”s as his marksman skills were on full display, thus giving the Cavalry a comfortable lead to go onto the victory.

Beachdogs vs Aztecas

Aztecas warming up. Photo by Kelly Woolfolk

Aztecas had first half scoring from Roderick Johnson, Isaac Lynn, Cristian Villegas, and Andrew Woolfolk; the Beachdogs had Trajan Booker, Christian Ferew, Cam Pariser, Justin Tun, and Nahum Nagusse score to give their team a big halftime lead. In the second half, the Aztecas had Louis Meehan Smith score, and got good defense from Diego Gonzalez; however, the Beachdogs were too strong as Adoniyas Yonas and Joshua Edwards scored, Alex Providas made steals, and Player of the Game-Cassius Taylor scored all 13 of his points in the third quarter to help his team cruise to the victory.

SUN 6/2/24
Metros vs Stampede

The Bronze League’s Stampede vs. Metros game started off with a strong lead for the Stampede, initiated by Killian Georgaris. With the Stampede winning the jump ball, this sharp shooter was able to score the first two points of the game, followed by teammates Elliot Sheng and Olivia Wang. After weaving their way through the Metros’ difficult defense, these players were able to successfully bring the score up 6-0. However, the Metros were not going to give up without a fight. Drake Akhavi pushed through Stampede players left and right, getting rebounds and scoring the first two points for the team. Despite the Metros’ score going up, though, Stampede players continued their scoring streak. Elliot and Lincoln Sheng got continuous steals, while Olivia Wang blocked and rebounded from both sides of the floor, increasing their teams score and widening their gap from the Metros. But, the Metros were determined to pick it up, strengthening their defense by having Oliver Williams stick to Elliot Sheng and improving their offense by having Drake Akhavi fight to rebound and score against Olivia Wang. By halftime, the score was 18-6, with the Stampede keeping their lead. Coming into the second half, the Metros were ready to close the gap between them and the Stampede. Rohan Herdeson, Julian Garcia, and Oliver Williams played lockdown defense in order to get steals, while Gianna Sabine fought for rebounds on both the offensive and defensive end. However, it was not enough to stop Killian Georgaris from scoring or Ashok Dhaka from hitting a two point buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter. Coming into the fourth quarter, however, it was a back to back fight for steals, rebounds, and points. Killian Georgaris and Lincoln Sheng earned points for the Stampede while Gianna Sabine and Claire Magid earned points for the Metros. In the end, however, the Stampede came out victorious, with a final score of 24-15 and Lincoln Sheng winning Player of the Game. This was certainly an entertaining game to watch, as it showed both the resilience and heart of every single player on the court and their love for the game.
Submitted by Priya Mevasse

Hoops vs Zeniths
This match featured long distance shooting by both teams in which the Hoops had two “3”s by Charlie Koch, and the Zeniths had a “3” by George Couvreur. The Zeniths also had outside shots going in from Hugo Casarella and Tomas Leblond; the Hoops had outside shots made by Soren Verleun, Bodhi Ren, and Theo Manolelis. In the end, the Zeniths got the narrow win, thanks in part to the inside game with baskets from Aiden Yousefi, Kiana Soltani, and Player of the Game-River Stanton who made two key baskets down the stretch to claim the victory.

Thrillers vs Catbirds

Photo by Carol Chan

The Catbirds took the early lead on baskets from Phoenix Volken and Victor Lima Lopes, and Sophie Pagonis made a few steals. The Thrillers got going in the second quarter as Rayden Toteja, Rodrigo Padron, and Player of the Game-Bodhi Petitti scored, and teammate Malone Anderson made assists. In the second half, the Catbirds got rebounds from Hudson Hoff and Rocco de Tray, steals from Greysen Lovett, and assists from Bennett Zibit to get closer; but, the Thrillers were too strong on defense as Jaxon Oxendine, Inez Napoli, and Louis Liu controlled the boards; and just for good measure, Lior Vaisburd added a couple of buckets to give their team the victory.

Piranhas vs Tornados

Photo by Carol Chan

The Piranhas used strong defense to help get the early lead, as Auggie Friedman got steals and rebounds to get the ball to Niam Pahwa and Krishna Aysola to score. The Tornados had first half scoring from Cetine Travnikoff and Mateo Chan, and steals and rebounds from Ori Ligumsky and Knute Haglund.

Photo by Eugene Travnikoff

In the second half, the Tornados continued to get outside shots made by Mateo Chan, and Liana Enayati made a basket. The Piranhas were very adept at breaking the fourth quarter press as Mai Ly Pariser made multiple shots on turnaround jumpers off the backboard, Nanda Aysola got on the scoreboard, and Player of the Game-Jaxon Silverstein had a masterful performance of 20 points and 5 assists to give their their team the victory.

2024 Winter season Silver division Hustle Award winners Nanda and Krishna Aysola.
Photo by Rashmi Mulllur

Pride vs Legends

A tale of two halves for this match. The first half belonged to the Legends as they built a good lead with baskets from Liam Adams, Rohan Peddi, and Siddhant Khanna, along with Henry Mack having a block party as he swatted the opponent’s shots. The Pride stayed close as Ross Nelson and Tomonori Kugawa made free throws, and Diego Gonzalez made three buckets. In the Gold division, we have half court defense in the first half, then full court press in the second half. The Pride took advantage of the the second half full court press and created turnovers which led to a basket each by Shai Painter and Elliot Israels with an assist from Spencer Nelson to get within a couple of points by the end of the the third quarter, then take the lead early in the fourth quarter as Conrad DiMauro and Mathew Klass scored multiple points. The Legends came back to take the lead as San Affleck hit a running floater, Liam Adams made a “3”, Oliver Lynn made a 12-footer, and Ryan Yousefi drove to rim for a layup. At times the score went back and forth in the final minute, but it came down to Player of the Game-Diego Gonzalez stepping back to hit the trey from downtown with seconds left to give the Pride the win in a nailbiter match that was the most exciting match of the weekend.

Stingers vs Cavalry

The Cavalry had a strong first half as Chloe Scofield, Ryland Newton, and Koa Entsminger made baskets. The Stingers kept pace as Aiden Lin was strong on defense, Radin and Rohham Taherian got steals, and Kingston Andes scored. The Cavalry continued to score in the second half as Dylan Kravitz had three “3”s for the match, and a basket from Augie Tucker Maxcy. The Stingers got second half baskets from Jaden Arellano and Leonardo Garcia, a “3” from Jared Garibay, and multiple points from Alden Wong with three “3”s in the fourth quarter including a buzzer beater at the end of the quarter. However, with good defense from Nicholas Mirich, and a dominant performance by Player of the Game-Kai Halpert who had 14 points and 12 rebounds, the Cavalry went onto the victory to take sole possession of first place in the Platinum division.

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 the Sheng family. Father Bing is currently coaching his sons Elliot and Lincoln on the Bronze division Stampede. The Bings have been participating in the youth basketball league over the past couple years, and have made a profound impact on the program with their positive attitude and support of all their teammates and other players in the league.

Bing often takes the extra time on non-practice days to not only work with his kids, but all the kids in the program who wish to join in their pickup games in the gym.

Bing makes sure to help all kids on his team, and those kids on the other teams learn skills and strategy for the game of basketball, but also how to support each other as teammates and even as opponents, and enjoy the game.

Lincoln and Elliot are exceptional players and teammates, as they look to always get others involved, and help everyone get better and to have more confidence in playing basketball.

I asked the Bings a few questions for the Swish:

DocDrew: What is your favorite thing about youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Bing: YMCA Youth basketball is a safe, well organized and inclusive space for ALL kids to come and be part of a team. I love the game of basketball but truly feel that for our players, it’s more about developing good sportsmanship habits, learning what it means to be a good teammate, and playing the right way. Sports and basketball is just the framework we happen to use to teach these lessons.

Elliot: I get to play with my brother and friends. I love trying my hardest to win games against friends too!

Lincoln: Games are fun, and practices are where we earn wins.

DocDrew: Who is your favorite player or coach, and why?

Bing: My favorite player is Magic Johnson because he and the Showtime Lakers inspired my lifelong love of the game. Never duplicated point guard who could play any position on the floor! My parents were NOT paying for cable so I “watched” all the home Lakers games on scrambled Prime Ticket, listening to Chick and Stu paint a picture in my mind of how the game was unfolding.

Elliot: My favorite player is LeBron James because he’s the leader and best player on my favorite team – the Lakers! I try to drive hard to the basket like he does. LeBron is a player that makes his teammates better.

Lincoln: My dad is my favorite coach.

DocDrew: What hobbies, activities, or other sports do you like to do?

Bing: We love taking our teardrop camper to national parks, and anywhere wild in the summer to hike and fish in the mountains. In the winter, we love skiing and checking out new slopes all over the western states. My wife Annie and I have been snowboarding for more than 20 years but decided to learn to ski when the boys started and it’s always extra fun learning something new.

Elliot: I like playing soccer with my friends at school and going on adventures with my family. I also like playing piano.

Lincoln: I like skiing and camping and seeing new places.

The Bing family: Annie, Bing, Lincoln, and Elliot

The Bing family is what helps to make our youth basketball program so great, by their support and help with all participants. Helps too, that they are diehard Lakers fans as well, and that is also a big reason that they enjoy our youth basketball program so much. The Santa Monica Family YMCA thanks the Bing family for all that they do to help our generation of youth.

SAT 4/27/24 WEEKEND #1
Wildcatters 12, Skyforce 17
Stampede 18, Thrillers 7
Hoops 31, Catbirds 8
Piranhas 22, Racers 36
Bandits 34, Tornados 21
Volcanos 25, Renegade 9
Stingers 34, Aztecas 33
Slammers 17, Beachdogs 48

SUN 4/28/24
Patroons 6, Barons 23
Metros 22, Zeniths 23
Jammers 41, Bandits 51
Legends 38, Renegade 25
Pride 31, Spirits 40
Slammers 36, Cavalry 56

SAT 5/4/24 WEEKEND #2
Catbirds 14, Zeniths 33
Barons 9, Wildcatters 11
Skyforce 15, Patroons 14
Racers 44, Jammers 18
Bandits 36, Piranhas 20
Spirits 31, Legends 14
Beachdogs 50, Cavalry 37
Slammers 17, Aztecas 70

SUN 5/5/24
Thrillers 12, Metros 11
Stampede 30, Hoops 24
Tornados 10, Piranhas 19
Renegade 29, Pride 37
Volcanos 18, Spirits 37
Stingers 31, Beachdogs 27

SAT 5/11/24 WEEKEND #3
Thrillers 9, Hoops 21
Zeniths 13, Stampede 24
Jammers 29, Piranhas 25
Racers 32, Bandits 19
Spirits 37, Renegade 25
Legends 37, Pride 31
Stingers 45, Slammers 31
Cavalry 39, Aztecas 3S

5UN 5/12/24
Barons 8, Skyforce 6
Patroons 8, Wildcatters 20
Catbirds 11, Metros 19
Tornados 15, Racers 50
Pride 35, Volcanos 23
Aztecas 37, Beachdogs 25

SAT 5/18/24 WEEKEND #4
Barons 16, Patroons 21
Thrillers 11, Zeniths 23
Hoops 26, Metros 19
Tornados 21, Jammers 32
Spirits 25, Pride 43
Volcanos 31, Legends 31
Aztecas 30, Stingers 52
Beachdogs 60, Slammers 37

SUN 5/19/24
Skyforce 14, Wildcatters 12
Stampede 23, Catbirds 18
Racers 20, Piranhas 23
Bandits 44, Jammers 26
Renegade 29, Volcanos 54
Cavalry 44, Stingers 33

SAT 6/1/24 WEEKEND #5
Patroons 17, Skyforce 21
Wildcatters 13, Barons 10
Tornados 21, Bandits 35
Jammers 41, Racers 36
Renegade 28, Legends 57
Volcanos 38, Pride 37
Cavalry 57, Slammers 26
Beachdogs 52, Aztecas 26

SUN 6/2/24
Metros 15, Stampede 22
Hoops 23, Zeniths 27
Thrillers 30, Catbirds 13
Piranhas 44, Tornados 12
Pride 33, Legends 30
Stingers 35, Cavalry 49

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.

Skyforce 4-1-0, 21 points
Wildcatters 3-2-0, 17 points
Barons 2-3-0, 13 points
Patroons 1-4-0, 9 points

Stampede 5-0-0, 25 points
Zeniths 4-1-0, 21 points
Hoops 3-2-0, 17 points
Thrillers 2-3-0, 13 points
Metros 1-4-0, 9 points
Catbirds 0-5-0, 5 points

Bandits 5-1-0, 26 points
Racers 4-2-0, 21 points
Jammers 3-3-0, 18 points
(1-0-0 vs Piranhas)
Piranhas 3-3-0, 18 points
Tornados 0-6-0, 6 points

Pride 4-3-0, 23 points
Spirits 4-1-0, 21 points
Volcanos 3-2-1, 20 points
Legends 3-2-1, 20 points
Renegade 0-6-0, 6 points

Cavalry 5-1-0, 26 points
Stingers 4-2-0, 22 points
(1-0-0 vs Beachdogs)
Beachdogs 4-2-0, 22 points
Aztecas 2-4-0, 14 points
Slammers 0-6-0, 6 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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