Downtown basketball season opens with tight contests

Josh Leitner’s Blazers defeated Frank Karam’s Lakers in an exciting game on Thursday to launch the 2009 season for the fourth and fifth grade boys division in Manhattan Youth’s basketball league.  The Lakers were at full strength, using all the players on their roster, all of whom pitched in to close the gap to only two baskets: Ben Karam, Carlton Esdaile, Jr., who racked up a number of the baskets, Jackson Kaufman, Jack Vegas, who played an excellent defensive game, Jackson Robbins, Dante Secada-Oz, Kevin Wu, and Hans Prakash.   

The Blazers’ Oliver used his height advantage well snagging a lot of rebounds.  Other Blazers included Gabe Leitner, Douglass Stapler, who also played great defense with many steals, and Brandon Mirabella.

In the second game, Tyler Adams was the first to put the Mavericks on the board with a fine layup. Ryan Porcaro answered with his own basket, tying the game and setting the score for an exciting match with the Spurs. Will Goldstein threw in from the side, to the constant chant from Coach (and dad) Matt Goldstein: “Slow, slow!” as he set up the pick.  His fine passes to brother Trevor and teammate Tyler Rohan resulted in more baskets for the Mavericks, but between Porcaro’s quick moves and the combo of Greg Elefterakis, Jr. and Graham Nelson, and consistent moves from Gregory Mack, the Spurs moved ahead. 

At the end of the first quarter, referee Frankie Alameda called a foul on the Mavericks, allowing Josh Steinberg two free throws, both of which went in with a swoosh.  The Mavericks tried to get it back in the second half, with great rebounds by the towering Aidan Ostermaer and under-the-basket readiness by Jim Huynh, but missed baskets and turnovers kept the action on the Spurs’ side.  Rohan’s hook shot earned him the nickname “Reggie Miller the Second” from Frankie, but it was not enough to even the score.  The Spurs won 30-26.