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DocDrew’s Swish Issue 2 Volume 5

By Dr. Paul Drew

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

This past weekend was the beginning of the regular season with all 30 teams, in the Fall Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball league, having their first game.  This weekend also featured our first ever All Girls team in the Majors, the Supremes.  It’s not an easy task to go up against teams of all boys, but these girls are brave, and helping to build the foundation for all the girls in our program to have a goal to achieve, that being able to play in the Majors.  We are all very proud of these young ladies helping to provide inspiration for all the girls that play basketball.

Three Reasons Why Every Girl Should Play Basketball

By Calla O’Neil

Calla O’Neil on left

Basketball has been such an important part of my life and my journey of figuring out who I am.

The incredible sport has affected me in three major ways, and if every teenage girl played basketball, I think their middle school experience would be much more positive.

1: basketball teaches girls how to be an effective leader. When you’re on a team, you consistently are put in leadership situations. You have to learn how to support your teammates during the game, you have to learn how to motivate your teammates when they aren’t giving their best performance, and you have to learn to lead by example and show them what they are supposed to do.

These are all examples of what an effective leader has to do.

Additionally, girls are taught collaboration, which is a key quality of a leader. Whatever you choose to do in life, you have to be able to work with people effectively. Basketball is a team sport and in order to win you must work together as a team and utilize everyone’s strengths, which is important for a leader to do in any type of group project. I have been able to apply the leadership skills that I have learned to school and other aspects of my life, which has really helped me and I think it will really help other girls as well.

2: Basketball introduces girls to people they would never get to meet otherwise. For many girls, their only friends are their school friends because school is where they spend most of their time. However, being on a basketball team gives you the opportunity to meet a bunch of other girls.

Basketball has provided me with nine best friends and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

After a hard and sometimes lonely day at school, I look forward to going to practice and being with my friends. I feel so lucky to have an amazing group of friends that I get to see four times a week, and that’s all because of basketball. Middle school can be a tough place to fit in for a lot of girls, and basketball is a great escape from that and is an opportunity to meet wonderful people.

3.  Basketball allows girls to develop an incredible work ethic. The amazing thing about basketball is that you are not just representing yourself when you are playing in a game, but you are representing your team.

When you are a part of something that is bigger than yourself, you work harder because you don’t want to let your teammates down.

You are pushed by your teammates to be better and you are determined to do your part to help your team win the game. The work ethic you gain by consistently pushing yourself to be as good as your teammates helps you in all areas of life, including school. I think a lot of other girls would benefit from playing basketball and gaining a strong work ethic because it will help them now as a middle school student and later on in life. 

Overall, basketball has made me a better, stronger, and more confident young girl.

I have been able to meet amazing people and have learned so many life lessons through playing this amazing game. I encourage all young girls to play basketball because it has impacted my life in the most amazing way and has brought me so much joy.  And I know it can do the same for other girls.

MARCH 12, 2018


It was the Stellan Haberli show, as he helped the Bluesbreakers win over the Turtles, earning him “Player of the Game”.  Photos by Ralph Haberli 

THE YARDBIRDS’ FIRST GAME IS A HIT SINGLE — September 28th. The start of any sports season is filled with more questions than answers, but the Gold & White Yardbirds showed their love for defense right away. Player of the Game, August Richane had 1 of our only 2 scores. Add to that some incredible steals & ferocious blocks, it was clear at the final buzzer that August was a big reason our team will share top ranking after Week 1. Other standouts include Richard Haro running the offense with poise and determination, Jake Silvera and Oliver Harris added key rebounds in the 4th quarter, plus Dylan Geary scored the basket that turned out to be the difference maker (his first in a YMCA game!). Lastly, for all you Yardbirds fanatics–or those playing Rookie League Fantasy–the Yardbirds should be only getting better next week, as Arya Nawathe is projected to come off the Injured Reserve and play in his first game that counts this coming Sunday. Final Score: Yardbirds barely beat the (awesome) Rascals, 4-3.  Submitted by Coach Pete Harris 

The Turtles Cruz Hecklin shoots the ball.  Photo by Rozlynne Gruft
Referee MJ helps the Animals Keanu Straighter to pass the ball in bounds.

The Bluesbreakers took on the Turtles in their first regular season game Saturday morning.  After some quick warmups and brief instructions, the starting five of Miles Smith, Joaquin Jimenez, Zeke Sarr, Stellan Haberli, and Siddhant Khanna took the floor.

Joaquin Jimenez and Stellan Haberli got the Bluesbreakers on the scoreboard with nifty baskets to open up a quick four point lead.

Siddhant Khanna’s aggressiveness on defense earned him 2 first quarter steals and more opportunities for his team.  

The Blues kept it going in the second quarter with more baskets from Stellan Haberli, and Joaquin Jimenez who finished with 4 points, and also added 2 steals and 1 rebound.  Efe Gocen checked in the game as a substitution at the break and was active on defense leading to some early offense for the Blues. After the halftime free throws, the score was 9 – 3 Blues.

The third quarter started off as a defensive chess match as both teams held their ground and kept either team from scoring. Miles Smith (1 steal, 1 assist) and Zeke Sarr (3 rebounds  and 2 steals) gave great defensive efforts to help the Bluesbreakers stay ahead.  

The 4th quarter got interesting quickly.  The Turtles converted an inbounds play under the basket to break their scoring drought.

The game was heating up again.  That’s when Stellan Haberli decided to put more of an imprint on the game with a flurry of steals and baskets (including one jumper that was assisted by Miles Smith); finishing the game with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals to earn Player of the Game honors.  Final Score: Bluesbreakers 15 Turtles 6. Submitted by Coach Charles Ellinwood

Postgame handshakes between the Zombies and the Animals
Parents supporting the players.


The Revolution Benji Saunders and the Heartbreakers Diego Gonzalez are playing their first season in Bantams.  Photo by JB Saunders 

With basically an entire team moving up from Rookie ball and not a single player with Bantam experience, we knew this team would take some time to find the win column.  To add to the challenge, four of our top players were out of town this weekend, but the rest of the Bosses played hard against the more experienced Beat. Vitalina Moncher lead the Bosses on both ends of the court and Kai Badat scored and showed confidence in his first game against Bantam competition.  Aaron Dyner showed a good handle when bringing the ball up and is very close to breaking through and becoming a more complete player. Our 3 players new to the game and playing their first competitive game of hoops – Mason Alvarez, Terry Gunderson, and Evelia Brea – had solid energy and will be much improved over the coming months.  Submitted by Coach Rick Moncher

Jackson Harper of the Beat, shows off his excellent skills with the underhand shot to the basket, after driving pass the Bosses.  Photo by Amara Hastings

The Cars showed a strong performance in a fierce head to head battle with the Police for the season opener. It was a close game in the first half with both teams playing well defensively, but the Cars pulled away during the second half.  The Cars were led by Wally Levitt with a team high 9 points and Tiam Baraghoush with 6 points and strong rebounding by Louis Meehan-Smith and Constative Avramopoulos. Submitted by Coach Ash Baraghoush 

The Cars Wally Levitt looks over the defense of the Police.  Photo by Corey Smith
Bantam action between the Heartbreakers and the Revolution 

The Pretenders kicked off the Fall Bantam Season with a clash against The Runaways on Sunday morning. With the Pretenders famous song ‘Brass in Pocket’ revving up the team in pre-game warm-ups, our team got off to a fast start that we never relinquished. Bottling up our opponents with great defense, we then used some solid passing that led to some easy fast break and half court baskets.. Dylan Kravitz led a balanced attack with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Co-Players of the Game Victoria McNary and Taylor Summers combined to grab over 10 rebounds and close to 10 steals, which led to many of our points. Noah Norman had a great first game as well with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Our balanced team effort included baskets by Ethan Pages and Aidan Hill and good defense from Christopher Brehme and Brendan Still.  Final Score: Pretenders win 22-10. Submitted by Coach Bill Kravitz

Tip off between the all girls team of the Runaways against the Pretenders.  Photo by Stacy Kravitz
The Police Jaxton Moore launches the shot over the Cars defense.  Photo by Corey Smith
Jackson Harper of the Beat, jump shoots over the Bosses defense.  Photo by Melissa Steelman
Atticus Sparks of the Beat, drives to the hoop, as his teammate Laila Elliott sets the screen on the Bosses defender.  Photo by Melissa Steelman
The Police Ryan Drew is being guarded by the Cars defense.  Photo by Kristin Massett

Their first Bantam game of the Fall season kicked off between the Police & Cars.  Cars came out to an early lead and not until the 3rd quarter did the Police make a real run to pull within 1 point.  The Police had a full 10 man roster and gave every player equal playing time. The Cars were short with only 6 players allowing a few of their stronger players more time on the court.  By the 4th quarter the Police defense and firepower just wasn’t enough as they allowed Cars to take this one 25-15.

Nonetheless, the Police still did some great things…Jaxton Moore connected on 4 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, a steal, and a block.  Brandon Israels played tough defense all game, added 3 points including a free-throw, and a rebound. Tristan Hayes added 4 points, 4 rebounds, a steal, and an assist.  Theo Richards held strong defense, had 2 points plus pulled down 2 boards. Ryan Drew dropped 2 points on a pair of freethrows, and snagged a rebound and steal. Nick Varo had 3 rebounds, a strong 3 blocks, plus an assist.  Logan Cappicille had 2 rebounds, a block, and an assist. Roman Gabriel had 2 rebounds and an assist. Jackson Garrett & Xander Zhou had a rebound a piece in their Bantam debut. Submitted by Coach Holden Hayes 

The Cars Tiam Baraghoush is being guarded by the Police Theo Richards and Brandon Israels.  Photo by Jane Schmitz
Happy faces after their first Bantam game.  The Bosses Kai Badat and Mason Alvarez. Photo by Tait Alvarez
Revolution defending against the Heartbreakers final shot of the game.
Post game sportsmanship by the Revolution and the Heartbreakers.  Photos by Brian Wong
Constantine Avramopoulos-Orlandos (MVP) during the game between Cars & Police this past weekend with coach Ash Baraghoush.  Photo by Nikolette Orlandou

The Revolution’s first game of the season against the Heartbreaksers was a sportily contested but low-scoring affair that ended in a tie. The boys gave a great effort, led by Elliott Ma with 4 points, 3 rebounds and a steal.  Alex Ma chipped in 2 points and a steal, and Wiley Scheflen rounded out the scoring with a free throw. The rest of the team chipped in with great effort and strong defense including Jonathan Watson with 3 rebounds, Teddy Chang with 2 rebounds, Rhys Scheflen with a steal and 2 rebounds, Axel Trussler with a rebound and a steal, Brooks Stuber and Alden Wong with a rebound each and Benjamin Saunders with a steal.   Submitted by Coach Sarah Scheflen 


Off to the races, as Dagmawi Ayele of the Drifters drives up the court, against the Whispers.  Photo by Amara Hastings 
Coach Tony McLaurin organizes his Delfonics team.  Photo by Elaine Kaplan
The Drifters Conor Durcan waits to see which direction the Whispers Marko Zelenovic will go.  Photo by Declan Durcan

*Game of the week*

Unbelievable Finish Propels Impressions To Opening Week Win Over Coasters

Theo Haberli hit a long jump shot with under 30 seconds to go in the game, followed it up with a half-court shot at the buzzer, and Matthew Scholze then went 3-4 on free throws to propel the Impressions to a miraculous 33-31 win over the Coasters in the teams’ Minor Division opener.

The Impressions got off to an early 4-0 lead on baskets by Veronica Machala and Luke Hill, but trailed for most of the remainder of the game, including being down 18-12 at the half.  But they hung around with the Coasters, playing great defense, led by Nicholas Huether, Josie Casas and Julian Weinerman, to keep the game close. But all seemed lost late, down seven with under 30 seconds to go.  That’s when Haberli came down and hit a deep jumper to cut the lead to four. The Coasters missed late, the ball going out of bounds with three seconds to go. The Impressions inbounded the ball to Haberli, who hustled up court and tossed up a half-court shot that was nothing but net as time expired!  The Impressions were now down just one. The Coasters went 0-2 on free throws, bringing Matthew Scholze to the line to conclude the heroics. He calmly swished his first three of four free throws, giving the Impressions the win as bedlam ensued.

 Haberli led the Impressions offense with 13, Scholze had seven, Machala had four, Hill, Weinerman and Miles Boelke all contributed a basket, with Boelke particularly impressive moving the ball and getting others involved.  Huether was a beast defensively on the boards and the glass, Casas defended just about everyone, and James Petrovich had a smooth all around game on both ends of the court.

 Although this one will be remembered, rightly so, for Haberli’s and Scholze’s heroics, the game itself was an excellent one, with both teams moving the ball well, playing aggressive man-to-man defense, showing toughness on the glass, and everyone showing growth and development in their games.  If these two teams meet again down the line it is guaranteed be quite a battle. Submitted by Coach Eric McDonough

Platters resting at halftime.  Photo by Noelle Lewis

On Saturday, the Clovers opened the season singing a sweet tune with an impressive 48-18 victory over The Express. During the first two quarters, the team executed an intense “Please Don’t Mess With Me” half-court trap that led to countless fast break points and easy buckets. All 9 Clovers that played – got in the scoring column.

The Sikora brothers led the way with a combined 20 points- Player of the Game, Guy hit doubles digits with 12 and Leo scored 8. Jonathan Shu tallied an efficient 8 points, Rowan Booher and Leo Mooney aka the SMASH brothers contributed 6 each and Aidan Man and Ryan Schuster pitched in 2.

Jonathan Shu was a beast on D with 3 blocks, while the Sikora brothers each grabbed 6 boards. Leo Mooney and Ryan Schuster both exhibited great floor leadership with 3 assists each.

A huge shout out to Rayan Etemadnia and Dominic Drew who each scored 2, had multiple rebounds, a steal, and showed great defensive poise and discipline during their first Minors game!

The players have embraced the intense D and high pace style. If the Clovers continue to play disciplined, fundamental, unselfish basketball, this will be a season to “Love, Love, Love”.  Submitted by Coach Jonathan Schuster 

The Express Sean Saunders with the ball, against the defense of the Clovers
The Coasters played hard in a dramatic last second loss this weekend.  Parker Keslow goes for a layup. Photo by Coach Photo by Kerri Keslow


Tip off between the Godfathers and the Wonders.  Photo by Conor Muldoon

The following are all photos by Louis Yansen

The Temptations Jahrid Longsworth with the jump shot.
The Parliaments Sebastian Ramirez gets the shot up over the defense of the Temptations 
The Parliaments Sasha Yansen drives to the hoop to the excitement of his teammates on the bench.
The Parliaments Dean Phalen gets his shot over Temptations Hunter Esposito-Doi
The Temptations Keenan Bryant and the Parliaments Danilo Samardzija reach for the ball
The Temptations Quest Miller knocks the ball away from the Parliaments Sebastian Ramirez 
The Parliaments Joey Little drives to the bucket.
The Parliaments Sebastian Ramirez received “Player of the Game”

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 the Kravitz family.  Aside from being my neighbors, the Kravitz family is very involved with the Santa Monica YMCA youth basketball program.  Dylan has been a player in our league for the past couple of years, and is well liked by his teammates and everyone involved in the program.  Bill has not only helped me co-coach the Summer U9 team, but has been a coach in the program for the past several seasons, and helps to motivate and develop his young players.  He is currently coaching his son Dylan on the Bantam division Pretenders, a team name that I gave him to celebrate his Ohio roots, along with the colors of his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers.  Stacy always takes on the duties as team manager, and helps to keep everyone organized and focused. I had the opportunity to ask them some questions for The Swish.

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about playing basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Dylan:  I like making new friends on each team every season.

DocDrew:  Which are your favorite memories or moments during your playing career at the Santa Monica YMCA? 

Dylan:  When I made the Bantam All-Stars, it felt great.

DocDrew:  Who are your favorite players and why?

Dylan:  Damian Lillard because he makes a lot of deep threes.

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy most about coaching youth basketball at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Coach Bill:  The reward of seeing kids learn the game and grow as players as the season goes on. I also love the camaraderie of the kids as they spend more time together. The team starts to become its own little family which is great for them and great for the coaches.

DocDrew:  Who inspires you as a coach?

Coach Bill:  All the other Y coaches. They all dedicate their time and energy to the program and all have great drills and lessons for their teams. Watching the other coaches pushes me to be a better coach every season from what I learn from our opposing teams.

DocDrew:  What do you enjoy about your family participating in the youth basketball program at the Santa Monica YMCA?

Stacy:  I love the community we have become part of and enjoy getting to know the other families who participate in this great program.  I continue to be inspired by the sportsmanship and good citizenship that the Y program teaches to youth and parents. It is a pleasure to see our child develop teamwork, confidence and be mentored by parent leaders like Bill, Peter, Paul and MJ.  

Kravitz family:  Coach Bill, Dylan, and Stacy

Strong families help to strengthen the youth basketball program at the Santa Monica YMCA.  We give many thanks to the Kravitz family for all they give to keep our program strong and successful.


Congrats to Bantam Bosses player Vitalina Moncher on winning her judo championship this past weekend.  Photo by Rick Moncher


SAT     9/28/19   


Bluesbreakers    15, Turtles 6

Zombies 8, Animals 2

Yardbirds 4, Rascals 3


Clovers 48, Express 18

Whispers 8, Drifters 27

Coasters 31, Impressions 33

Delfonics 18, Platters 19


Supremes 16, Commodores 41

SUN    9/29/19


Pretenders 22, Runaways 10

Revolution 7, Heartbreakers 7

Police 15, Cars 25

Bosses 6, Beat 17


Miracles 47, Spinners 55

Godfathers 34, Wonders 42

Parliaments 40, Temptations 37


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.


Bluesbreakers 1-0-0, 5 points

Yardbirds 1-0-0, 5 points 

Zombies 1-0-0, 5 points

Rascals 0-1-0, 1 point 

Turtles 0-1-0, 1 point 

Animals 0-1-0, 1 point 

Beat 1-0-0, 5 points

Cars 1-0-0, 5 points 

Pretenders 1-0-0, 5 points

Heartbreakers 0-0-1, 3 points 

Revolution 0-0-1, 3 points 

Runaways 0-1-0, 1 point

Bosses 0-1-0, 1 point

Police 0-1-0, 1 point

Clovers 1-0-0, 5 points

Impressions 1-0-0, 5 points

Drifters 1-0-0, 5 points

Platters 1-0-0, 5 points

Delfonics 0-1-0, 1 point

Whispers 0-1-0, 1 point

Coasters 0-1-0, 1 point

Express 0-1-0, 1 point                                           
Parliaments 1-0-0, 5 points

Commodores 1-0-0, 5 points

Wonders 1-0-0, 5 points

Spinners 1-0-0, 5 points

Supremes 0-1-0, 1 point

Miracles 0-1-0, 1 point

Godfathers 0-1-0, 1 point

Temptations 0-1-0, 0 points (-1 for unsportsmanlike technical foul)               

Upcoming schedule 

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

R=Rookies, B=Bantams, MN=Minors, MJ=Majors

SAT    10/5/19

17    10:30 AM    MJ    Wonders    vs    Supremes

18    11:40 AM    MJ    Miracles    vs    Parliaments

19    12:50 PM    MJ    Temptations     vs    Godfathers

20    2:00 PM    MJ    Commodores     vs    Spinners

21    3:10 PM    B    Runaways    vs    Bosses

22    4:20 PM    B    Heartbreakers vs    Pretenders

23    5:30 PM    B    Police        vs    Revolution

24    6:40 PM    OPEN

SUN    10/6/19

25    10:30 AM    R    Rascals    vs    Blues

26    11:40 AM    R    Zombies     vs    Yardbirds

27    12:50 PM    R    Animals    vs    Turtles

28    2:00 PM    MN    Delfonics    vs    Drifters   

29    3:10 PM    MN    Impressions     vs    Platters

30    4:20 PM    MN    Express    vs    Whispers

31    5:30 PM    MN    Coasters    vs    Clovers

32    6:40 PM    OPEN

Thank you very much, 

Dr. Paul Drew, youth basketball coordinator at the Santa Monica YMCA,  editor and publisher of Swish

in Sports
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