6-7 STARS CLOSE IN ON TITLE
SAMO HAS ANOTHER GOOD 3-1 WEEKEND AS 12-14’S STAY CLOSE TO TOP
Another summer weekend showed the overall strength of the Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball program, as three of the four teams representing same were winners in the Culver Palms Summer league.
With their victory over their closest competitors, the 6-7 team took a commanding two game lead in the standings with just three games remaining in the season, and look like a lock to win the league championship.
The 6-7 Stars took commanding control of first place with a 19-5 victory over their rivals Culver-Palms team #2. The Stars had a full squad of players that were hungry and ready to play. Kellen McDonough had a superb game on both ends of the floor, and was assigned the job of keeping Culver’s top scorer in check, and was most definitely up to the task by displaying defensive intensity that forced many turnovers. Ben Steelman continued to show that he is the most improved player on the team, with amazing dribble moves with his left hand, and playing a great all around hustle game. Alex Brick was solid in the middle grabbing rebounds and often having opposing players climbing his back to get the ball, but Alex’s vice grip hands made sure that nobody was taking that ball away.
With three games left in the season, the Stars only need to win one more game to claim the title, but more importantly the Stars are learning how to use their off hand for dribbling, exploit all sides of the court, play good solid man to man defense, and communicate with their teammates. These are goals that coach McDonough and his staff want the kids to learn, and the Stars are achieving these goals. — Submitted by Dr. Paul Drew
The 8-9 Stars bounced back from last week’s big loss by showing resilience, toughness and grit right from the opening tip in a 19-10 victory. The boys were diving for loose balls and getting their hands on a lot of tipped passes.
Asser Tewodros, who has been showing great confidence the last couple weeks continued his strong offensive play with a sweet finger roll layup to get the Stars on the board. Donovan Blackwin, coming off of a very emotional last game was an absolute beast inside rebounding on both the offensive and defensive glass.
The team has been waiting for one of its most talented players, Dom Kajota to find his rhythm and he rose to the occasion with 4 points 8 rebounds and 2 steals – of which 1 steal and 2 points put the nail in the coffin. Both Travis Waters and Darien Jones stepped up offensively, taking control when they had the ball and both scoring huge baskets down the stretch. Isaac Samy, August Sone and Clark Elliot showed tenacity while anchoring the defense. We also got baskets and great hustle plays from Jacob Ronn, Hunter Esposito-Doi, Julian Haggart and Tavio Esposito-Portillo.
Great team win with everyone making big contributions, but game ball goes to Jake Ronn for filling up the stat sheet despite not scoring a bucket – 8 rebounds 3 assists 3 steals while showing great leadership. — Submitted by Steven Sone
Although the 10-11 boys gave up a great deal of height and weight at Culver City this weekend, they were able to stay in the game with excellent hustle. Timosha Moncher hit a 3 to give them a 3-2 lead at the start and Nifty Tewodros hit a shot and Quest Miller hit a free throw later in the first to keep the game close. Because of the size difference, they were giving up 2-3 shots (or more) on every Culver possession, but the Samo defenders put forth a very determined effort. As their only “big”, Quest was pressed into playing extensive minutes and he responded with a great game on the boards.
Santa Monica was forced to put up plenty of 3’s and Shiva McIntosh hit two of them in the second quarter as part of his 8-point effort. Unfortunately for them, the team went cold in the third period and fell behind by 12 entering the fourth. Evan Daghighian had 8 points on the day and got the crowd stirring with back-to-back 3’s to start the fourth as the team got to within 6 points at 27-21. They then stayed back in a 2-1-2 zone to force Culver to shoot 3’s, but they hit two 3’s to put the game away. Although Samo would lose 35-23, this was one of our best efforts of the summer. — Submitted my Rock Moncher
The 12-14’s played good quality team basketball and everyone contributing in the game can even happen when you suit up and rotate 14 players! Welcome to summer league!
Without sounding like we are repeating ourselves each player really did have a hand in Saturday night’s 22-point victory.
After leading 14-7 at the half, the team kept its composure while picking up the tempo to pick up the win.
This was a night when Samo missed a lot of makeable shots, allowed several three point baskets, & did not communicate enough on the defensive side of the ball, according to at least one coach, but were still able to win this one by a nice margin.
Some of the stats looked like this:
Nicki Reiterer: 9 points and 8 rebounds
Andrew Daouda: 8 points and 6 rebounds
Drew Gelfand: 5 points and 6 rebounds
Kasra Sariri: 4 points and 7 rebounds
Sammy Kohn: 7 points 6 assists 5 steals
Ezra Kreiger: 4 assists
Preston Calder: 3 points
Yissi Tewodros: 2 points 3 steals
Zion Qurtman: 4 points and a lot of hustle
The team continues practice this Tuesday night, where they will work on our fundamentals, improving communication on defense and continue to work on our free throw shooting! — Contributed by Steve Rice
***SANTA MONICA YMCA NOTE***
FINAL PRACTICE WEEK: NO TEAMS CAN PRACTICE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, OR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7 UNTIL GYM IS OPEN AFTER OUR FALL LEAGUE EVALUATIONS ARE OVER.
ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8, 6-7 TEAM FROM 5:25-6:25, 12-14 TEAM FROM 6:30-7:30
ALL OTHER TEAMS MAY ONLY PRACTICE AWAY FROM THE Y
NO PRACTICES THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 10-16 FOR ANY SUMMER TEAMS
TEAMS MAY PRACTICE THIS WEEK BUT ONLY AWAY FROM THE Y