MAGIC AND DOCS STAY PERFECT
BANTAM AND MINOR SHOWDOWNS THIS WEEKEND
Saturday began later than usual by several hours due to the annual “Healthy Kids Day” celebrated nationally at the YMCA and elsewhere. As such, we had games and booths and two bounce houses on hand, both of which were fully operational, blowing with loud fans throughout the first game of the afternoon, a Minor League affair won by the Wizards over the Pistol Petes 28-19.
The Wizards put this one away rather early, outscoring the Petes 10-0 in the second quarter, then coasting home. Josh Birnbach returned to action and led the winners with 9 points. Chloe Dayyani got the team off in the right direction with two first quarter baskets, and also grabbed double figures in rebounds on the day.
Odin Williams grabbed a dozen rebounds and scored half that many points in the loss. Jonathan Lin scored his first Minor League basket for the Wizards as did Kingston Ansari.
— Despite neutralizing big man Jaxson Glowacki rather well on the defensive side, the Pearls still could not score enough to make a difference in a 19-14 loss to the Skywalkers. Milyon Mitchell scored 7 and dominated the floor on both ends in the win. Glowacki for his part did manage to grab ten boards, and Cy Backen had a standout 5 steals. Conrado Farrell scored his first two Minor League baskets this season in this game.
More enthusiastic than their last outing to be sure, the Pearls got single baskets from four players, but until that improves, victory seems like it might be a far away dream.
In the Bantam League, the Palominos routed the Appaloosas 32-17. Jake Ronn was just about unstoppable scoring 11 in this one and had a very busy stat line. Olive Poulos dropped in four shots up close (incidentally, her first baskets of this season all in the same game!) and Kate Beckerman had a career high 7 points as just about everything went as planned for the Pals. They do have a lot of size, but their problem was putting the ball in the hole. If they’ve figured that out and stay consistent, they may be the team to beat come June.
The Palominos jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and were still comfortably ahead 13-5 at the half before the Apps’ Matt Scholze hit a long jumper and Amiel Doustan a layin to trim the advantage to 13-9 early in the third quarter before Ronn’s shot stopped the bleeding. Then Poulos dropped in a bucket off a nice pass from Isla Hagan and the comeback was stopped in its tracks.
SATURDAY GAME OF THE DAY
— The Colts saw the Thorobreds get out front early on a pair of three point shots by Griffinn Boccella and Evan Chang, invoking the little used Bantam League “Dalton White” rule that allows defensive teams to then guard a three point maker outside the three point line for the remainder of the game.
Two minutes into the second quarter the Colts tied it on shots from Asser Tewodros, who led all scorers in the game with 8 points, and Rowan Booher. The Thorobreds regained the lead just before the sub break on a hoop by Asa Stiehm. It was still 11-10 in their favor at the intermission.
Jason Tun put the Colts on top by a point with a nifty turnaround from ten feet out on the left wing to start off the second half scoring. Tewodros gave his team a three point cushion shortly after that.
In the fourth, Tewodros tossed in a right baseline shot off of an inbounds pass and it was 16-11. Even though Stiehm scored to cur the lead to 3, it quickly climbed back to insurmountable status on Miles Aguilar’s two late baskets to seal the game.
Aguilar, one of the shortest members of his Colt team, managed to share high rebound honors in the game with team mate Connor Wong and Thoro center Alex Brick, all of whom had 9. Justin Tun played a fine game for the winners scoring 6 with 8 rebounds.
The Major League’s lone game came down to the flurry of points in a row scored by the winning Captains in the fourth quarter of a tension filled and tightly contested game.
Trailing 28-25 with roughly 6 minutes to play, it went down like this: Pierce Nevell first scored steal of an inbounds pass and layin then on a long pass off of a steal on the press by Etain Dayyani.
After Timosha Moncher slowed down the Colts with a three pointer to draw his Goat teams to within one, Eli Levi answered with a three point shot of his own. Then Casey Christmas took over, scoring on a layup, followed by a steal and a ten foot swish and it was 36-28 Captains. It ended 38-33 in regulation time for the Colts.
Christmas had a 13 point/10 rebound double double. Dash Decker had 9 including a very athletic one hand floater from the right baseline that drew loud applause from the late afternoon crowd.
On Sunday, it was time for all of the teams that had not done so the previous week to take their pictures and play more games.
Play opened with the Bantam Leaguers, and the Palominos took over at least momentary possession of first place with a good looking effort and 28-20 win over the winless Shetlands. With the win, the Pals became the first team this season to hit the four win plateau. It was never really a contest with the Pals building up a 14-2 halftime edge before letting up. Kate Beckerman, Olive Poulos and Jake Ronn did it inside and out with 6 points each, and Ronn had ten more rebounds than points. Tyler Xie added 15 more and Alex Wray and Olive Poulos split 17 as the Pals outrebounded the Shetlands by a whopping 62-20 margin.
Lincoln Barnes had 6 in the Shetland effort.
— The Broncos kept pace and still have one more game to play than the Palominos, when they topped the Clydesdales 19-17. Max Lewis’ pass to Grey Broderick with 4:20 to go in the game to give the Broncs a 13-8 lead—all 8 points belonged to the Clydes Clark Elliot at that point, and the only other player with a regulation point was Marko Zelenovic with a free throw.
Julian Haggart led the winners with 6.
Up higher in the Minor League, the Skywalkers wore down the Admirals and won a good game 25-21.
The Admirals had a lead most of the way, getting out to a 7-0 lead after one quarter but seeing that whittled to just three points in the mid-third period.
The Ads lead was just one after three quarters at 16-15, but Admiral stalwart Ben Adelman fouled out of the game contesting a loose ball just seconds into the final period. From there, things did not go as well as they might have liked.
Alejandro Poza gave the Walkers their first lead on a shot from the left baseline off of a nice pass from Conrado Farrell. Nifty Tewodros put the Admiral back on top but moments later that went away as Sasha Yansen dropped one in on another Farrell dime.
Jax Glowacki converted his first field goal of the game on a follow shot with just 3:30 to play to make it 21-18. A Milyon Mitchell layin a minute and a half later sealed the deal. He finished with 6 to lead the winners. Aidan Murphy was a very important pat of the victory as he showed up at half time and grabbed ten rebounds in less than half a game. Glowacki had 14 more. Joey Little played his best game of the season by far, scoring 5 with a like number of rebounds and steals.
Cy Backen also played well. The Skywalkers had a 50-36 rebound advantage, and one of 14-5 in steals. Abel Antal led the Admirals along with Jayden Fishman.
— In game two, the Doctors stayed perfect on the season at 4-0 with a 38-32 grind it out victory over the Mambas. It was a tense affair until right near the end.
Brayden Stoll’s first bucket from the left side put the Mambas on top 18-16, prompting a Docs timeout with 5:54 left in the quarter number three.
Stoll’s pass to Cameron Rowe resulted in the game tying basket. Jacob Puente scored and was fouled but did not convert the free throw making it a two point Doctor lead. Rowe tied it again from the right elbow on a pass from Keean Stoll, then he remained hot with his third basket of the quarter to give the Mambas the lead at 22-20. Not finished yet, Ryan Kazerani hit a three pointer at the buzzer to put the Docs back in front.
In the fourth, it was more of the same, Brayden Stoll dropped in a three en route to an 8 point/13 rebound day to put the Mambas back on top by a deuce.
Out of the final sub break, Kazerani tied it up at 25-all. Then Jacob Burrows took over and scored on back to back trips, first on a pass from Kazerani and then with 1:40 to play to make it 29-25. Kazerani’s second trey put the game out of reach. He finished with 10 points, but it was the consistent inside dominance of Puente who scored 16 points on 23 rebounds that was the unanswerable in the win. Jackson O’Neal played well for the Mambas as did Dom Boccella.
For the first of only two times this season, the Major Leaguers all had games on the same day. The next will be on May 21, and by then the die will have been cast and the post-season tournament will have begun.
In the opener, the Magic stayed perfect at 4-0 with a tough-it-out 40-37 winner over the Big Dippers. Pretty good game for most of the way, but the fourth quarter was “magical” you might say. Nasir Luna’s 3 pointer put ‘em up 32-25 with 3:40 left, then Bruno Picazo’s second bucket of the game made it 34-25 with 2:20 remaining. His older bro, Miguel was the story in this one for sure: he worked hard for 20 points, 13 rebounds and had 4 assists to go with it all. Nine of his points were on shots beyond the arc. Luna netted 14, Luke Lauire continues his strong overall play with 10 and 8 rebounds and Yissi Tewodros had 7 steals and was tough on defense in defeat.
— The Goats handled the improving Legends 41-34. Dash Decker scored 14 and Zion Qurtman 11 to offset a good 13 point/15 rebound effort that is becoming almost mundane for Drew Gelfand of the Legends. Jared Lewin returned to action and was a great help barely missing a double-double.
GAMES OF THE WEEK
–The Dreams let one get away, losing a ten point third quarter lead and the game to the Glide, 43-41.
It had the look of a good game early on, and when Major newcomer Khaelan Zietlin hit a three point shot the Glide led 10-9 two minutes into the second quarter.
Out of the sub break, Marcus Hevesy-Rodriguez made it 14-9 with a swish from the left. Andrew Daouda, who led his team on the night with 16 points, brought the Dreams back to within three, and then scored again on the next trip to make it 14-13 with 2:20 left in the half.
Time enough for Michael Hanasab to drop in a three deep from the left corner to put the Dreams back in front. But a Ben Turkel layup, one of many in a 14 point/8 steal game for him, tied it once again.
Cole Parisi of the Dreams and Dylan McFarland each scored for the Dreams, the latter at the buzzer to give them a 20-16 half time advantage.
Racehorse pace, lots of scoring, fun for all. In the third, most of the early damage was done by the Dreams, who went ahead by ten at 31-21 before the roof cracked open and eventually caved in.
By the time Turkel layed on in with 1:00 to go, they had clawed to within 1 at 37-36 and the gym was a going wild. With the press operating in full gear, Zach Jacobs (13 points) stole a pass and went in deep again the bigger Daouda, but managed to get it airborne and drop it in off the glass to put the Glide up 38-37. Jacobs scored again before Daouda stopped the bleeding with a basket, but even with post-game free throws, there was nothing to be done, and the Glide had pulled it out.
That press we spoke of? It led to the stat of the game: a 25-9 advantage in steals or the winners.
— Not to be outdone, at least not much, the Captains out dueled the Big O’s in the nightcap 47-42. Same sort of game, totally, close and crazy just about the whole way.
The O’s led 16-9 n the early second, and four minutes later trailed 17-16. Kasra Sariri, known more for his inside play, showed some versatility with a three point shot off of a pass from Ezra Krieger to put the O’s in front 29-28 with 2 minutes to play in the third quarter. Sariri and Kreiger teamed up for 26 points and 22 rebounds on the night.
Pierce Nevell’s three pointer gave the Caps the ad again 31-29 with 1:30 left in the third. Kreiger then assisted a driving Xailoh Hermosillo, who played his best major game of his young career, but Nevell countered to make it 33-32 Captains after three.
In the fourth, Eli Levi, every game more and more comfortable in the big leagues, opened things with an and-one that he later converted. Kreiger tied it with a three pointer. Luca Bainbridge, just getting his feet wet in his first season in the top division here, scored a rare basket and the O’s thought at the time that maybe things were going their way.
Don’t tell that to the Captain’s captain, Casey Christmas, who came on strong down the stretch. He scored to tie it. Kreiger put the O’s back in front. Christmas tied it again, then hit a toilet bowl shot (around and around before it went down, right?) on a pass from Preston Calder forcing an O’s timeout trailing 41-39 with just 1:39 to play.
Sariri tied it again with 1:04 to go. It was the last basket of the game. In post game free throws, the Captains had the decided advantage, hitting 5 of their 7 to the O’s 1 of 3 and that was the ol’ ball game.
Christmas had a special game: 28 points, high for any Major Leaguer this season and a top three game all year, 23 rebounds (second best this season in the majors) and 7 steals. Fabuloso!
This week’s treats: On Saturday the Rookies swing back into action, with the best of the three game early set at 12:50 in the afternoon featuring the Monsoon and Typhoons.
That’s followed immediately by the major Magic game where they try to go to 5-0 against the Dreams.
Sunday at 11:40 a.m. try out the Major Captains then trying to make it 5-1 vs the Glide. These Major games have all been pretty fierce.
At 12:50 p.m. is the highlighted game of the weekend, a chance to see the top two Bantam teams for the first time as the Broncos, assuming they win over the Shetlands on Saturday, at 4-1 vs the 4-2 Palominos. First place on the line in this one and also a chance to see two of the division’s best players head to head for the old “eyeball test” when Jake Ronn meets Julian Haggart.
Later on at 5:30, the Minors top two go head to head, the 4-0 Doctors put it on the line against the Skywalkers who ought to be 5-1 if they take care of Saturday business against the Pistol Petes. But we’ll see about that.
Teams do sometimes take a weekend off, and teams also sometimes play more than one time on a weekend, but never more than once in a day.
There is a minimum playing time limit of half the game, however that will not be the case if all 11 players on any of the three (1 Rookie, two Minor) teams carrying 11 players happen to show up on the same day. If that’s the case, the players will be placed into a rotation by their coach and they will play as much as possible. The league office tried to make sure teams only carried ten players, but it was not possible to do it exactly that way this time around.
Each division has some different rules. In the Rookie League, the ball we use is a youth ball (27.5), baskets are lowered to 8 feet, and no defense is allowed outside of the three-point line.
In the Bantam League, the ball is an intermediate ball (28.5), and the basket is set at 9 feet. In the Minor league the basket is raised to ten feet and the defense may come out to half court. In the Major league the ball is a regulation-sized ball, and teams may play full court defense.
In each division, players fouled in the act of shooting will shoot those free throws at the end of each half. If a team gets ahead by 15 points, they must back up defensively to the next line. In the Majors, that means half court, in the Minors that means the three point line. In the Bantams and Rookies that means inside of the key. If the lead increases to 20, they back up more, or in the case of Bantams or Rookies, play mild defense if any at all. If it goes to 25 or more in the Majors, they back up in to the key. Teams may, but do not have to come back out on defense if the score reverts under those margins.
You can expect an edition of the league newsletter each week, usually by Tuesday, depending on how much other work I have to do. It is my primary way of contacting you, so please read it thoroughly each week. Feel free to forward it to those who might like to see a copy.
Please do not coach your children from the sideline. It hinders what the coach might be saying to them and is confusing.
If your child is injured during the course of the game, please hold off on the urge to rush out onto the court. Give them at least 30 seconds to gather themselves (unless you absolutely KNOW it to be a major injury). The game referees and your coach will be first responders and make sure the player is okay and assess the situation. Usually after 30 seconds the player is either back up and ready to play, or sometimes heads to the bench for a breather and to regroup. You can visit them on the bench at this time if you wish.
If the player is more seriously injured, certainly we want you to come out to your child, just give it a little time before you do.
Please no food or drinks in the gym other than bottles with caps screwed on well. No gum, of course.
All spectators must sit on the benches provided or stand behind them, do NOT congregate in the entrance to the gym, and you may not sit along the end of the court. You may bring your own sports chairs, provided they do not scratch the surface of the gym floor.
Please clean up the spectator area after your game and leave it nice for the next fans who are coming in.
Also be sure to have your team players (your kids!) clean up under their bench when the game is over, or assign a parent from your team to do so each game.
At the end of the day, please assist in gym clean up and putting away the benches and chairs into the equipment closet.
Any items left at practices are turned in by our custodial staff to the front desk and placed in our lost and found. Bringing expensive items to a game is never a great idea. If the director finds any items at the end of a game day, he places them in his office.
If you have an issue with your coach, please bring it up with them. If you do not feel comfortable doing so alone, have another parent listen as you speak to the coach. If you still can’t iron out a solution, we will set up a meeting with me and the coach and you all in the same room face to face.