Volume 21, Number 39 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | February 6 - 12, 2009
Mavs hang tough against dominating Kings
The Downtown Basketball League game between the Mavericks and Kings last week started off with an official introduction of referee Frankie Alameda by Paget Williams, set to the Monday Night Football theme. Both teams of fourth and fifth graders took to the court with great energy, but the Kings, who actually might be Giants, dominated immediately.
Those players who weren’t over 5’ made up for it with excellent ball-handling and defensive skills. Zak Wegweiser led the Kings in baskets and steals, always able to count on rebounds and boxing out by teammates Clyde Huibregtse (towering over almost everyone at 5’2”) and Sam Liberman (5’1”). Trevor and Will Goldstein (both 4’4”, with a combined weight of 107 pounds) did their best to weave in and out, and Aidan Ostermaier (5’2” and 115 pounds) caught on to his innate ability to rebound, but by the end of the first quarter the Kings were ahead 10-2. The Mavericks handled the ball and passed well, but their shots seemed to be repelled by the baskets! Tyler Rohan (4’10”) played strongly and consistently for the Mavs, leading in steals. When the whistle blew at halftime, the Kings were ahead 16-6, with all six points scored by Tyler “Spud Webb” Adams.
The music fittingly changed to the theme from “The Exorcist” for the halftime break. Matthew Goldstein encouraged his players, who tried not to look at the dismal score (which was subsequently removed from the scoreboard), and the second half began. Despite attempts by other Maverick players Alex Nimura and Jim Huynh, the Mavs could not catch up to Wegweiser’s behind-the-back dribbling and high field goal percentage. Humberto Rivera tripped over the ball and held onto it for another Mavs possession, but was foiled by the fast moves of Ian O’Connor and Alex Hirsch, each of whom scored two baskets for their team. The Kings, including Morris Katz, kept the ball under the basket, and in one possession, shooting, missing and rebounding seven successive times.
Adams, who at 4’6” and 70 pounds, led his team in scoring (6 baskets and two free-throws) and added another basket in the third quarter, but by the end of the quarter, only those keeping notes knew it was 24-8. The Kings continued to pile on the offensive pressure, including another basket by the Kings’ Liberman, which was met by enthusiastic cheers from Grandma Shirl.
Despite the deficit, the Mavericks played an outstanding fourth quarter. One interesting play was an assist by the Kings’ James Borelli, who later laughed off his rebound of a Mavericks’ shot, which he put right back up towards their basket. His missed shot was rebounded by Ostermaier, who scored his first basket of the season to happy cheers from the crowd. It was a humbling experience for the Mavericks, who just last week showed their mettle against the Rockets. One Kings fan commented, “All your team needs is a good barber!”
Ironic, since Lance Lappin sponsors the team.
The Mavericks look forward to higher field goal percentages (and shorter bangs) for next week’s contest.