By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO March 16, 2007 The Monticello Police Benevolent Association (PBA)/Junior NBA basketball league held its semifinal and final games on Monday night at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School.
This is the eighth year the Monticello PBA has sponsored the league, which is organized by three devoted people Michael Barnofsky, Betsy Conaty and Steve Kapito.
Barnofsky, Conaty and Kapito serve as coaches as well as referees for the league.
The Monticello PBA provides the T-shirts that the young players wear throughout the season.
The four teams of fifth- and sixth-grade boys have been playing games at the Kaiser School for the last six weeks. They teams included: Team A (which wore Blue Monti PBA T-shirts), Team B (Maroon), Team C (Green) and Team D (Gray).
The Gray Team faced the Maroon Team in the first semifinal contest, while the Green Team battled the Blue Team in the second semifinal game. Each semifinal was 20 minutes in duration.
The Gray Team defeated the Maroon team by a score of 14-10. It was an upset as the Gray Team was the higher seeded squad and finished the regular season in second place.
The Blue Team then beat the Green team by a score of 22-4. That result was somewhat expected as the Blue Team was the top-seeded squad going into the semifinals.
The championship game between the Blue Team and the Maroon Team consisted of two halves, each of which lasted 16 minutes.
The Blue Team started the game off by making a 3-point shot. Then the Maroon Team started to pick up the pace and scored four baskets.
The Blue Team swished a few more baskets to retake the lead.
But the Maroon Team then went on a scoring rampage. The players scored shot after shot, which gave them a 16-9 lead over the Blue Team at the end of the first half.
In the beginning of the second half, the Maroon Team scored two points. The Blue Team responded by netting six points in a row while preventing the Maroon Team from scoring any points.
The Maroon Team answered its opponent’s run by scoring four baskets.
The Blue Team seemed to get a second wind with 7 minutes and 55 seconds left in the game. The team scored 12 points in those final minutes of the contest to record a come-from-behind victory, 27-22.
The members of the Blue Team included: Georgie Astras, James Brewer, Tyler Fox, Jocarr Freijo, Naquam Holman, Ben Kapito, Dwayne Lukes, Tiyshan Maxwell, Everson Ogbonna and Trevon Rainey.
The members of the Maroon Team included: Jack Drapkin, Josh Dumas, Jason Gonzales, Timothy Jones, Latique Liles, Christopher Maroldi, Cincere Richardson, A.J. Rodriguez, Nicholas Rodriguez and Albert Toro.
The members of the Gray Team included: Brandon Alverez, Malik Clark, William Clark, Lamar Edwards, Matthew Etkin, Christian Hernandez, Fredy Mendoza, Anthony Morrelli and Lyndell Olmo.
The members of the Green Team included: Chris Biccum, Cory Deitchman, L. Drayton, Jerehmiah Fannings, David Fernandez, Angelo Heimowitz, Jovan Ramirez, David Watkins and Brendon Worell.
Monticello Youngsters Enjoy Hoops Clinics
By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO Thanks to the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department, dozens of Monticello boys and girls now have more basketball knowledge and skills.
Since the beginning of the year, about 50 boys and girls in the third, fourth and fifth grades at Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School in Monticello have spent a few hours each Saturday morning learning all about the sport of basketball.
Under the guidance of Village of Monticello Parks And Recreation Dept. Director Betsy Conaty and volunteers Michael Barnofsky and Ron Moore, the children practiced skills such as dribbling and passing at the clinics in the Rutherford School gym. The boys and girls also learned about the rules of the game, such as traveling with the basketball and committing a foul.
Last Saturday, the youngsters put their skills and knowledge on display during their final clinic. The leaders had the kids in attendance, about 25 boys and girls, count off by numbers and divide into two teams. The teams lined up on the outer edges of the court and each player had a designated number. Conaty and Moore each joined a team, while Barnofsky served as the referee.
When Barnofsky called out a series of numbers, for example “1-2-3,” those players from each team ran out to center court to grab the basketball. Once a player had the ball, he or she and their teammates moved toward their basket while the members of the other team quickly began to play man-to-man defense.
When a basket was scored, all of the players returned to the edge of the court. Barnofsky then called another sequence of numbers so those players could get a chance to compete.
From all accounts, the program, which has been held each winter for the past 15 years, was very successful.
“It was great,” Conaty said. “These boys and girls really learned a great deal. They really made a lot of progress from the first clinic to today.”
Barnofsky was impressed with how well the youngsters played during the game.
“They were dribbling the ball, passing, shooting and playing defense,” he said. “It was nice to see them using those skills and having fun.”
After the game, a brief awards ceremony was held. Each youngster received a personalized trophy, a Junior National Basketball Association/Junior Women’s National Basketball Association players’ guide, a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA calendar and a Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA certificate.