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Baby Runz (week 2)

By Ty Postell, 10/06/23, 8:15PM PDT


Week 2 of the Baby Runz was another fun filled day of basketball for the little tikes. Wit a number of competitive match ups, battles of the undefeated and a race to the top between Younglife Athletics, NY Gauchos and AL3 Elite.  

For the others it was redemption time as they all finished the first week winless. It was obvious every got back in the gym with a purpose, showing improvement in many aspects. Nothing comes easy at the "RUNZ", they got the message and responded.    


The day started off with Paramus Spartans v NJ Raptors and as predicted the " Mighty Spartans" came in ready to go !! The little ones showed improvement and were locked in defensively as their zone caused both opponents headaches.  They battled against a much bigger raptors team losing by 8pts, with a great effort from 32' Brielle Pantiliano w/ 7pts and a number of steals.

They showed the same intensity against the Baby Aces, down to the wire. A defensive battle as the Aces 33' Janiyah "Fatty" Wilson pressured guards all over the floor while newcomer 32' Brianna Hill made her presence felt finishing with 8pts. With no Brielle Pantiliano, 33' Sofia Manzano handle the pressure well and 32' Riley Reed took over the scoring load finishing with 10pts. The Aces closed the game out with a clutch free throw by 31' Lucy Valente for a one point victory.

In the most anticipated game of the day NY Gauchos versus AL3 Elite, both undefeated and ready to maintain that mark. NY gauchos had other plans as the game was close until 31' Abella Ashley stepped up, controlled the boards and creating havoc defensively which frazzled Al3 leading to a run. In comes 32' Laila Johnson, who showed up late but checked in and score 6 straight to get the Gauchos going and they never looked back winning going away. 

The Younglife athletics team dropped out of the #1 spot losing  two games to AL3 Elite & NJ Raptors in lob sided loses on the day. The defensive effort of 34' Aubree Smith and 31' Jalena Ako was fun to watch while 32' Amari Price took on the scoring load with 11pts and 21pts respectively remaining the leagues leading scorer.      

If your in the Northern NJ area this weekend stop by Immaculate Conception HS and catch some of the action as we enter week three, with the last regular season games and the playoffs begin !!

Spot Light

32' Abella Ashley / NY Gauchos Slim with long reach as she created multiple deflections/tips that turned into transition buckets. She is aggressive on the boards, has good hands, and gets up the floor with long strides with ability to finish. One to watch

33' Riley Weed / Paramus showed a lot of toughness and competitive nature. The lefty stepped up big as she scored all but two buckets for her squad in game two of the day.  Very effective getting to her left hand, turning the corner and finishing with a floater or midrange jumper.  " Reliable Riley" stepped up big time.  

33' Sophia Manzano / Paramus Spartans showed improvement handling the point. She was dubbed "the poised one" as she used her pivot well, escaped out of traps, making great passes to teammates and minimized her turnovers. She added a bucket or two as well, definitely came back week two focused and it showed.  

31' Amiah Carter / Arieee 3 Elite - One of the most athletic players in the league, her speed and quickness set her apart. Extremely physical, exploded through defenses, plays downhill and  was hard to contain with a head of steam. Kid plays with force.

Notable:  Brianna Hill / Baby Aces, Laila Johnson / Gauchos, Brielle Pantiliano / Paramus Spartans

Just getting started

34' Aubree Smith / Younglife Athleics -The competitive dancer who has recently begin playing basketball showed up.  She is all out energy, speeding teams up causing turnovers keeping her team in games. Her balance and agility are in tune, played very aggressive not shying away from the bigger girls at all. We loved watching this little one compete, think she has the bball bug now.

31' Jalena Ako / Younglife Athletics - Little frame but big hustle and another one just getting comfortable in live games. She has a nose for the ball and wasn't afraid to mix it up, winning nearly every 50/50 possession. She processes information quickly and translates it to gameplay, very solid attribute.  She will put it all together soon.  

33' Janiyah "Fatty" Wilson  passion is written all over her face. She plays hard every play and with aggression on defense, absorbing bumps and bruises along the way but keeps after it. With a solid pedigree, we've seen flashes out of the lil 3rd grader that shows where the work can take her and she's hard hat type.