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Doc Drew’s Swish Volume 1, Issue 4

Welcome to the fourth issue of volume one of Swish, a weekly periodical with recaps and photos of Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball games, and other pertinent info such as standings, schedules, announcements, and updates from the program.


Let’s admit that at one time or another in our lives, we have yelled or said something to a referee in regards to a call that we didn’t agree with.  But referees really don’t make bad calls on purpose, and in actuality, we should assume that all their calls are correct, or their interpretation of the rules.  

It’s hard with human nature to resist saying something when we don’t like the call, but we need to set an example for the younger generation.  My Bantam team was having a moody day at practice this past week, and started arguing the calls that I was making in our scrimmage.  It got to the point which I stopped practice, made everyone sit down, and explained to them that you can’t argue with the call that a referee makes, and to continue to play, and forget about it.  ‘No whining! No complaining!  Just play!

It’s hard to teach kids this concept, because they watch games on tv, and see their favorite players arguing with the referees.   Remind kids that the players on tv are professional players, and this is not what youth basketball is about.  In our YMCA basketball league, we have other coaches, parents, and volunteers referee the Rookie and Bantam divisions, and the referees for the Minors and Majors come from the “Make it Official” group that is hired by the Santa Monica YMCA.  All referees do their best to teach players the rules of the game, and in divisions with younger players, the referees will take the time to explain why they made the call, and will help the player understand how to use the correct skills to avoid getting called for that violation.  Remember, Santa Monica YMCA basketball is a developmental and recreational league, and kids are there to learn and enjoy the game.  Without these great referees, there would be no league for our kids, and please thank them after every game for making the commitment to help our children.

Here’s some helpful tips for coaches and parents for treating referees from

Treat them with respect. Our players see the way we treat the referees and we should teach them to respect others and learn to communicate without yelling uncontrollably. Referees are humans and they like to be treated with respect. Talk to them. Ask questions in a non-aggressive tone.

Not to mention, it’s very important to teach today’s young people how to respect authority. It also teaches players not to blame others and to be held accountable.

Create a dialogue and learn their names. Referees will respect you and like the fact that you’re talking to them like they are a human being. It’s also a good idea to learn their first names, so you can effectively address them during the games. The chances of them responding or listening increase if they hear their name.

Chat with them in the pregame. One thing I always like to do is talk to the referees in the pregame warm-ups. I might even give them a heads up that I like to ask questions on calls, so I can teach my players and I would appreciate it if they took a few seconds to explain the calls to me when I ask them about a call. This is a great time to get a point across about the rules of the game.

Apply the golden rule. If you treat the referees like you would want to be treated, you’ll develop a quality relationship with them. Most often, this will lead to more calls in your favor.

Question their call in an assertive, but non-aggressive manner. If you question a call in a reasonable tone, the refs will be more likely to listen to criticism. If you’re yelling and screaming the whole time, they’ll probably tune you out.

Create a great environment for them at your home games. When you host a game, you should greet them and make them feel as comfortable as possible. It’s important to make sure beverages and food are provided to the refs as well. This great treatment can go a long ways. It’s also beneficial for you and your administration to make sure that your fans create a great atmosphere, but in a positive manner. No heckling and berating the referees.


With only 5 players making the game, I felt very good about our Bulldogs, as having the continuity of each player playing the same position the entire game is a huge advantage. What I didn’t expect is the offensive onslaught those 5 players put on.  By the time the game was 10 minutes old, every Bulldog had scored.  Vitalina Moncher had 7 steals to start the game and may have surpassed her older brother Timosha’s all-time YMCA steal record of 19 had we not pulled back the Bulldogs from the second quarter on.  Bella Kariger was her usual threat on both ends of the floor with a points-rebounds double-double.
The real story of the day was the superb play of the other three players – Aiden Harvey, Luca Samson, and Conor Durcan.  All three had career days with multiple buckets, rebounds, and steals.  Everyone played unselfish basketball with plenty of passes to teammates for open shots on the offensive end; while all 5 players rebounded and played very tough defense.  Without question, this was one of the most impressive team performances I’ve seen in my 15 seasons of coaching.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

After having everything go our way in our Saturday victory, the Crows gave our Bulldogs a tough fight on Sunday morning before we prevailed 8-6.  Vitalina Moncher had 3 of our 4 buckets, but Conor Durcan, Aiden Harvey, Bella Kariger, and Brendan Still all had nice games in the paint for us.  We had lots of good shots due to the excellent effort on the part of all 9 players who came.  Although we hit the halfway point at 4-0, we still have plenty of work to do on remembering our roles on defense, as well as player and ball movement on offense.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

After a tough loss last week, the Tigers roared back this weekend with back to back wins.  Leading the team was Iwa Heshim and Wally Levitt with strong performances from Jake Silvera, Sylvi Levitt and Louis Meehan-Smith.  Submitted by Coach Ash Baraghoush

On a warm and sunny Sunday, the Cats celebrated an exciting victory over the soaring Hawks, ultimately winning 11 to 4.  A few minutes into the first quarter, Tara Gohill (#3, Cats) scored a jump-shot; Tara followed this up with a free-throw at halftime where the score was 3-0 in favor the Cats.
After the halftime break, Rowan Woodruff (#21, Cats) scored a jump shot followed by a drive by Alden Wong (#2, Cats) from half-court to the rim for another bucket.  With 15 seconds left in the 3rd, Axel Trussler (#5) squeezed by a couple defenders and scored 2 points; Axel then followed that up with another jump shot with 4 minutes left in the game.  The game ended with the score 11-0, but Chase’s (#40, Hawks) amazing 4-for-4 free-throw shooting netted the Hawks 4 points.  Go Cats!  Submitted by Brian Wong

Rookie Cats and Hawks posing for post game. Photo: Courtesy Brian Wong.

Rookie Swans vs Tigers.  It was a close matchup the whole way.  For the Swans, Benjamin Bassett started off scoring with a basket and Tigers matched for a tie in the 1st quarter.  Tristan Hayes scored a basket in the 2nd quarter and pulled down a gang of rebounds and a steal along with Max Enenstein & Lara Masood, and Jonathan Watson hustling on defense for a steal a piece as well…Brandon Israels scored a basket plus a foul free-throw at the half and he and Jon Watson took turns playing pretty tight and tough defense on standout Walker Leavitt of the Tigers throughout the game.   Second half was close again the whole way – Jon Watson added a basket along with rebounds and steals from several players before Lara Masood sunk an end of game free throw that ended up being just one shot short of a win for the Swans as the Tigers took it 9-8.  Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes

Hawks vs Bulldogs:  The Hawks faced some very tough competition vs. the Bulldogs. The Hawks fell behind early against a feisty defense, but got back into the game with multiple buckets from Chase Jenkins, who finished with 4 points.  David Casparian and Kingston Andes scored their first baskets of the season, with a Diego Gonzalez assist setting up Kingston’s score. Ryan Drew was strong on the boards again; helping his team on both ends of the floor. Showing a ton of competitive spirit, Juney Jones continues to impress as a defensive stopper, collecting several steals in the game.  Spencer Nelson also mixed it up in the paint and came away with a steal and a rebound against the taller Bulldogs.  Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood

Hawks vs Cats:  Coming off a tough game the day before, the Hawks had another battle with the Cats. On a day where shots were just not falling; rebounding and defense were the keys to staying competitive.  Kingston Andes led the way with inspired defense and rebounding to keep the Hawks in the game.  Ryan Drew and David Casparian also brought great effort, picking up several rebounds and steals.  The rest of the Hawks chipped in to make the game interesting.  Juney Jones was a tough on-ball defender all game long, adding more steals and rebounds to her resume. Not to be outdone, Devon Shao and Regan Shao were both active on defense, with Regan picking up her first steal of the season.  After drawings two shooting fouls, Chase Jenkins went 4 for 4 at the charity stripe to put the Hawks in the scoring column.  Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood

It was a battle for 1st place in the Rookie League this past week as the once beaten Crows took on the undefeated Bulldogs. What followed was a close, hard fought defensive battle that ended in a 8-6 win for the Bulldogs. In a tight game throughout, the Crows were led by Alan Larkin’s 3 points, with Veronica Machala and Ethan Pages chipping in 2 points and 1 point respectively. But the big story for the Crows was their defense. With their high powered offense stifled by the suffocating Bulldog D, the Crows were able to make it one score game thanks to the play of Catherine Casas, Scarlett Harris and Oliver Harris on the defensive end helping to keep the game close to the end. The Crows record now stands at 2-2.  Submitted by Coach Bill Kravitz


The Bantam Titans played with great energy and effort in a tough matchup against the Bengals on Saturday afternoon.  All ten players showed up ready to play and the energy from the team was great from the opening tip until the end.  Alex Ma and Archer Aguilar scored some early baskets while Luke Hill had a few good steals in the first half, but the Titans found themselves trailing at halftime.  The team kept playing hard in the second half and there were contributions from everyone to eventually close the gap.  Ronan Hill, Kaden Friedman, and Rayan Etemadnia played great defense while Liam Mulholland collected rebounds.  The team never gave up and their efforts were rewarded with timely baskets by James Petrovich and Ivan Gatynya in the closing minutes of the game.  The Titans ended the game in regulation down by one point – however some great free throws by Archer and Erol Besincioglu brought the team a victory.  Great effort and a lesson learned to never give up!  Submitted by Coach Michael Ma

The Bengals played a nailbiter against the Titans that came down to free throws in the end.  Even though we lost the game by one point on a free throw, it was a well played performance by both teams.  Baskets were scored by Kai Mavasse, Gavin O’Brien, and Asher Zaczepinski.  Congrats to Jahveed Braham on having three baskets. Good quality defense was played by Alex Segil.  I was impressed by the good communication of the Bengals on choosing their own defensive assignments and the fact that all players got shots at the basket, and we had fast break opportunities with good passes up the court.  As I told the team, keep your head high, you played very well, it could have gone either way.  Hats off to the Titans for making a great comeback. Submitted by Coach Paul Drew

Bengals discuss strategy at halftime in their game against the Titans.  Photo: Robin Feinberg

The Steelers had an impressive showing of only four players late on a Saturday evening. Despite being 5-on-4 against an older and taller squad – and not being able to ever take the bench to catch their breath – the young team collectively scored a surprising 11 points.  Miles Boelke, Mason Mahmoudi, Ben Steelman, and Kahlo Lemond kept their spirits up and fought hard with grit and tenacity the whole game, each demonstrating excellent teamwork and passing as they got double-teamed by the defense. In the end, the scoreboard did not show a win for the short-numbered squad, but they all came out smiling, proud of a job very well done! We are all so proud of how they faced the odds. Their achievement is a great win in our book! Keep up the great work, guys!  Submitted by Coaches Wendy & Xailoh Hermosillo

Erol Besincioglu, of the Titans, launches his shot against the Bengals.  Photo: Apolonia Drew

The Bantam Bucs came up with another “W” Saturday night, holding on to defeat a determined but undermanned Packers squad.  Marina Shickler took home official YMCA Player of The Game honors after dropping a valuable bucket and coming up with numerous defensive plays and important rebounds.
This game also marked the return of Monika Diaz, who was a powerhouse on both ends of the court.
The only all-girls squad owes much of its success this season to good old fashioned teamwork and arguably the league’s best zone defense.  Submitted by Coach Sean Daly

The Buccaneers employ their zone defense against the Steelers.  Photo: Sean Daly


The Vikings fell 22-17 to the Bills on Saturday, in a fun, entertaining, back-and-forth contest that was close throughout. The Vikings started out with only 5 players, but this seemed to really help them lock-in on defense and get in a groove on offense. Great ball movement on offense had everyone involved. However, in the end, the defense just couldn’t find the answer to Hunter Esposito-Doi, who was hitting shots from everywhere, even when tightly contested. On the Vikings side, it was truly a team effort, with a bunch of players scoring.  Highlights came from Max Hinton, who knocked down his first bucket of the year on a nice looking pull-up jumper, Isaac Samy, who executed a pro-style pocket pass that led to a teammate’s basket and Rowan Booher, who played with great confidence and did his best James Harden impression, incessantly driving to the basket.  Submitted by Coach Shannon Booher

The Bills came out strong in the first quarter, scoring 8 and holding the Vikings to just one basket. Weston hit a couple jumpers and Hunter scored on a fast break.  Emilia scored on a bank shot, with the assist coming from Alex after an offensive board. Then the Bills went cold, giving back all of their lead. Weston had the only bucket for the Bills in the second quarter, a breakaway layup. It was tied 10-10 at the half.  Hunter had two baskets to start the third quarter.  Priya had a nice bank shot too.  It was a close

The Bills Priya Mavasse passes to a teammate in Minors action against the Vikings.  Photo: Kerri Keslow

game going into the fourth quarter, but then Hunter exploded for four baskets to seal the victory for the Bills. Alex was awarded player of the game thanks to his dominant defense and rebounding.  Submitted by Coach Jonathan Wray


With quite a few fast players who can handle the ball, the Raiders were able to keep up with our pressure defense until we broke through late in the game with a big run.  Sam Rubin kept us moving along and when he tired a bit, Timosha Moncher kept pushing the pace.  It was a close back-and-forth low-scoring affair the entire first half, as the Raiders kept the pace fast enough to not give us enough time to set up our defense.  Both teams put up big points in the 3rd quarter, but we caused 5-6 turnovers in a 2-minute burst that put us up 10 and was the deciding factor in our victory.  Sam and Timosha put up their usual busy stat lines and Dom Kajota played well on both ends.  All 9 players again showed up and all played better than our previous disappointing game.  Bruno Picazo, Jesse Lister, and Xavier Echiribel also hit buckets and Lukas Greblikas and the Farzam twins, Ben and Joe, all helped contribute to a hard-earned Packer win.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

This Week’s Profile:

Each week, Swish has a profile of a coach, player, or someone in the program who inspires all of us involved in Santa Monica YMCA basketball.

This week’s profile is of Santa Monica YMCA interim youth basketball director:  Christian Gonzalez

Christian Gonzalez is the current interim youth basketball director, and is also involved with many other functions at the Santa Monica YMCA.  Christian has been given the task of making the transition of the program go as smoothly as possible, after the retirement of past director Peter Arbogast.  You will often see him in the office or behind the scoreboard, keeping stats for the games.  He also brings me the score sheets to my home on Sunday evenings, in order to make sure that I can put all the scores and current standings in the Swish.

DocDrew:  “What’s your favorite part about being the interim director?”

Christian:  “My favorite parts about being the interim director for the youth basketball program is creating a league that pleases all the participants in this program. From the coaches, parents, and especially the kids. It gives me great joy when I start creating the season and seeing it go through out the year. But what really makes this program special are the families that continually come and give it everything they got. To see every kid, play and work on building their basketball ball skill is very impressive. I also like seeing the passion that comes out of the kids, from cheering on the bench to helping in the game. It shows the growth these kids have. I really would like to appreciate everyone in the basketball program because without them there wouldn’t be a program to start with. I am always happy when I hear everyone’s experience about the basketball league and give me a piece of advice through the transition. Overall though like I said the best part about this program is the families that help make it what it is.”

DocDrew: “How’s the challenge been of managing the basketball program?”

Christian: “It’s a fun challenge managing the basketball program. I took it as a big puzzle when I started this program. I biggest part was scheduling and making sure I am accommodating everyone request from the dates they can practice to having their friends on the same team. This also includes making sure the friend can play the same day. But once I get everyone schedule in the rest comes by itself. What I mean by this is that my job is partly done, and I did my best to make everyone is happy. Then seeing everyone play is the greatest achievement of this program.”

DocDrew “What do you see for the future of the program?”

Christian:  “What I would like to see for the future of this program is that the connection between kids stays strong. I hope the kids learn that being apart of a team is like being in a small family. They have another brother or sister to hangout with. I would like to see this program stay strong and continue to see it full every season. I would love to have it grow and do even more. I like to make more improvements and make sure that I get all recommendations from the parents and kids. I would want this league to feel that the parents and kids are even more then they think.  What I mean by this is that, I would like the parents and kids to feel that they are running the league and I am just part of making sure they get what they want. It is an extreme pleasure and gratitude to all the families, coaches and volunteers that have welcomed me in this new journey we are all taking. I hope to also have this league stays as great as the man before left it, Peter.”

We can’t thank Christian enough for his hard work and dedication in helping to keep the youth basketball program running at a high level, and helping the kids enjoy the game of basketball.


Saturday October 20th


Bulldogs 26, Hawks 10

Tigers 18, Cats 4


Titans 17, Bengals 16

Buccaneers 16, Steelers 11


Vikings 17, Bills 22


Broncos 56, Ravens 43

Panthers 36, Raiders 43

Dolphins 31 , Rams 41

Sunday, October 21st


Crows 6, Bulldogs 8

Tigers 9, Swans 8

Cats 11, Hawks 4


Jets 4, Packers 19


No games scheduled


Dolphins 37 , Broncos 77

Panthers 33, Rams 40

Raiders 37, Packers 43

Ravens 34, Colts 39


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


Bulldogs 4-0-0, 20 points

Tigers 3-1-0,  16 points

Cats 2-2-0, 12 points

Crows 2-2-0, 12 points

Swans 1-3-0, 8 points

Hawks 0-4-0, 4 points


Titans  4-1-0, 21 points

Broncos 3-0-0, 15 points

Packers 2-1-1, 14 points

Buccaneers 2-3-0, 13 points

Bengals 2-2-0, 12 points

Rams 1-1-1, 9 points

Steelers 1-3-0, 8 points

Jets 0-4-0, 4 points


Chiefs 3-0-0, 15 points

Bills 2-1-0 11 points

Eagles 2-1-0, 11 points

Giants 2-1-0, 11 points

Seahawks 2-1-0, 11 points

Vikings 1-2-0, 7 points

Bears 0-3-0, 3 points

Falcons 0-3-0, 3 points


Rams 4-0-0, 20 points

Broncos 3-1-0, 16 points

Colts 3-0-0, 15 points

Packers 2-1-0, 11 points

Dolphins 1-3-0, 8 points

Raiders 1-3-0, 8 points

Ravens 1-3-0, 8 points

Panthers 0-4-0, 4 points

Upcoming Schedule

All games are played in the gymnasium of the Santa Monica YMCA








Thank you very much,

Dr. Paul Drew, editor and publisher of Swish

in News, Sports
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