B-ballers hang up their laces and nets for the season
The two Manhattan Youth Basketball League teams who had yet to face off in the season ended with a tight match last Thursday night at the P.S. 89 gym to close the season. The Lakers (2-7) and the Mavericks (1-8) seemed to be well-matched fourth and fifth graders at the first jump ball. Carlton Esdaile’s two baskets for the Lakers in the first quarter were evened out by the Mavs. Trevor Goldstein brought the ball down, and while teammate Tyler Rohan set a pick, Trevor’s basket went wide as he was fouled by Esdaile. Goldstein’s two free-throws went in with a swish. A coast-to-coast drive for Tyler Adams resulted in his first layup of the evening. Aidan Ostermaier drew his first foul of the season. Jackson Robbins wrestled over a rebound with Trevor, and Esdaile and Adams tripped over each other a bit, keeping the score tied 4-4 in the first quarter.
At the top of the second quarter, the Mavs’ Rohan sunk a beauty from three-point territory. Esdaile answered with his third basket, and Ben Karam scored as well for the Lakers, and despite Esdaile’s well-aimed bomb from half court at the whistle, the quarter ended with a 10-6 score.
Substitute coaches Chris Rohan and Alex Sierra crammed several coaching tips into the break, while the Lakers’ Frank Karam did the same with his team. Ref Frankie “DJ” Alameda kept the atmosphere lively with music, and the second half started off with a bang. Dante Secada-Oz scored for the Lakers. Teammate Hans Prakash demonstrated quickness and great ball-handling skills and added another two. Tyler Rohan and Trevor made two attempts to even it up, but it was Adams who grabbed the rebound and sent the ball in. Jackson Kaufman had a great steal and drove down court, but couldn’t find a parking space. Adams’ rebounded it but was double-teamed by the Lakers. Trevor’s ensuing foul shot missed the net, but his brother Will, coming off the bench but still nursing an injury, scored for the Mavs at the last second, bringing the score to 15-12, Lakers.
Secada-Oz replayed his third quarter starter with a bucket in the fourth. Will answered with his own. Rohan was fouled, and both shots went smoothly in. He followed that up with a steal and a layup. The Mavericks were on fire with their most tenacious playing of the year, including three awesome rebounds by Jim Huynh and strong defense. Ostermaier continued to improve on rebounding, setting picks and blocking field goal attempts with his height, frustrating the Lakers. Esdaile slammed him to the ground, and a flagrant foul was called on the Lakers. The Mavs were unable to score on the foul shots, though, nor were they able to make good with the possession following, and they were down by 4 with 20 seconds left to play. The Mavericks’ diehard fans were at the edge of their seats, but they could not score at the end. The Lakers won, 23-19.