Vol. 8 No. 26 - March 19, 2008


Basketball‑season comes to an end

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Dips Ice Cream, with Coach Vic Mattay, beat
Kumon to take the Division II Championship Trophy.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Ross Built with coaches Greg Ross and Reece
Lansberg beat Duncan Real Estate to take the
Division III Championship Trophy.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Island Lumber, with Coaches David Pate and Andy
Jonatzke, beat A Paradise Realty to take the
Division I Championship Trophy.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Connect Cycles, with Coach Scott Nelson, beat West
Coast Air Conditioning to take the Premier
League Championship Trophy.

This past week saw an end to a very successful basketball season, played with grit and determination by all involved, at the new Community Center. The divisions had their respective champs and now it was all systems go again, as we headed into the playoffs. From Division III through to the Premier League, players took their focus off the standings and eyed the prize they would receive should their team make it to the championship and steal the show. Here is how it played out.

March 11
Division III Championship
Ross Built 10 - Duncan Real Estate 8

It has already been reported how these two teams came to meet in the Division III Championship, Ross powered past Coastal and Duncan outclassed LPAC to reach the final. It was fitting really, as it was an ever-ready Ross squad that chased Duncan all the way in the regular season, finally taking it to, and beating its nemesis. Ross Built was stingy in the first half, restricting Duncan to only two points and it would be the fourth quarter before Duncan finally found its feet through Lauren Sapienza and Mikayla Kane. Chase Lewis, voted the league’s M.V.P. for an outstanding season, failed to score this time around, coming up against a resilient Ross Built defense. Maddy and Luke Valadie both scored for Ross and it was Madison Gsell who shone again, pouring in six points to ensure Ross Built was crowned Division III Champions.

March 15
Division II Championship
Dips Ice Cream 12 - Kumon 10

Dips, the regular season champs, sailed through to the championship finals, leaving Kumon and Jessie’s Island Store to battle it out for a chance to face Dips in the playoffs. Kumon had battled hard all season to stay in the hunt against a Dips side, coached eloquently by Vic Mattay, who never looked like finishing second, even when Dips point guard, Johnny Mattay, was out injured. Kumon played Jessie’s in the run up to the final and, as expected, faced Dips for the championship. Both teams started the game in a tentative fashion and Kumon led by two points at the half. It was a low scoring game, defense on both teams was firing on all cylinders, and it could have gone either way. It was an edgy game that didn’t show us a winner until the final minute when Daniel Schroaeder, who has graced these pages many times this season, put in two points, as did Josh Zawistoski, watched on this occasion by a banner waving fan club, to seal the deal and take the game away from a devastated Kumon.

Division I Championship
Island Lumber 33 - Paradise Realty 27

To get to the championship finals A Paradise had to first face a side that tied as Division I champs in the regular season, AMI Sun. Quick out of the gates, AMI Sun led by seven points at halftime but could not contain A Paradise, a team that found the extra it needed in the second half to win this game and move on. In the other game a depleted Air and Energy side just couldn’t stop the other division one regular season champs Island Lumber that had a full squad report for duty. Coaches Jonatzke and Pate, resplendent in their attire, had their eyes on the prize for Island Lumber and the players to get the job done. Coach Chip Armer, having put out a forceful AMI Sun, was there to spoil the party. It was just about all square at half time, end to end, both teams defending well and regulars Savannah Schield and Jack Titsworth scored early for A Paradise, while Wyatt Hoffman and Chris Pate kept Island Lumber in the game. After the half, Island Lumber took charge through Becca Butler, Dale Hoffman and Chris Pate. A Paradise tried hard in the fourth, Wilson Taylor giving everything he had, backed on the score sheets by Trevor Bystrom and Savannah Schield. It just wasn’t enough as their effort was matched point for point by Island Lumber with more from Becca Butler, Wyatt Hoffman and seven big points coming from Joey Garbus. Island Lumber shaved this one and are champs. I do want to mention one player, Jefferson Bachler. From what I understand this is the first time he has played basketball and every time he hit the court he showed application and effort. We have our superstars and I will never tire watching the elite, but we all need our supporting cast and Jefferson Bachler was good in support.

Premier League Championship
Connect Cycles 38 - West Coast Air 34

The playoffs are weird. It’s a phenomenon that is difficult to explain, hard to fathom, and impossible to discuss in the limited space afforded me here. Connect Cycles, one of my chosen picks for the regular season, beat an Island Real Estate team that featured the likes of Amanda Burnet, Christina Natali and Jamison Urch to reach the final. West Coast Air made small work of a hard and determined Rotten Ralphs side to book its place in the final, Matt Bauer sinking 26 points, hoping to build on that performance for West Coast against a Connect side it had lost to twice in recent times. Connect Cycles took control in the first half and was as busy and efficient in defense as Kyle Arrit, Zach Evans, Kara Nelson and Tommy Price were in offense. West Coast never really found its stride, Michael Kirby and Forrest Shield both sunk 12, but Matt Bauer, a powerhouse all season, was restricted to only four points with Whitney Bauer on six. It was Connects day as it managed to hold on against a last ditch attempt from West Coast in the fourth quarter. Well done Connect, good job!

Island team enjoys first win

As the baseball season gains momentum at the Community Center, coaches Mike Brusso and Robert Vita saw their combined hard work pay off as West Coast Surf Shop beat town opposition The Anchor Inn Indians. This is the first time an Island outfit has won a game against a team from Bradenton in many years. It’s the first time in a long time that Island teams have had to face anything other than Island opposition, but low numbers forced Anna Maria Little League off the Island and into the unknown. It’s a challenge that is relished by the coaches and kids alike. There is a learning curve and all teams at this level are practicing hard on all aspects of the game.

Starting pitcher for the game against Anchor Inn was Mikey Ellsworth with Blaine Jenefsky and Henrik Brusso as relief. Pitching is an area where the coaches are putting a lot of focus in practice and they hope to see an improvement as the season progresses. The three pitchers on this night did a good job to restrict their opponents and there was some good work at bat from Amanda Bosch Nyberg with an RBI and Devon Cole hit a triple. Rounding off a successful evening’s work was a play of note from catcher Henrik Brusso who tagged out at home plate to stop a run. West Coast scored eight runs in this game against its opponents’ three and coaches will take many positives into the next encounter.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper