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A Shot For Life Challenge pushed back to accommodate AAU schedule change

Mike Slonina, shown addressing competitors before the 2018 A Shot For Life Challenge, was forced to move the event from the first Saturday in August for the first time in its eight-year history.Betsy Cullen

The eighth annual A Shot For Life Challenge, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been pushed back to allow players to travel to a conflicting AAU tournament this weekend.

The Challenge, which attracts a number of the state’s top high school basketball players to benefit the Dr. Curry Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, is traditionally held on the first Saturday in August, after the conclusion of AAU seasons.

But the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a scheduling conflict – the late start of AAU competition meant “a large portion” of the ASFL Challenge competitors would have to choose between the challenge and playing with their AAU teams in an “impromptu” tournament scheduled for this weekend, according to ASFL Challenge CEO and founder Mike Slonina.


Now, the boys’ division will be moved to Tuesday night (8:15-10:15 p.m.), followed by the girls on Wednesday evening (8:15-10:15) — both at the Starland Sportsplex in Hanover, as scheduled.

“This is the first time in ASFL history that we have made any change to the ASFL Challenge, but as coronavirus has rampaged plans across all industries, it was not entirely unexpected,” Slonina wrote in an email.

When Slonina learned of the AAU tourney conflict on Monday, he didn’t ask for details. Solution-minded, he immediately called all 33 of the Challenge competitors and Starland Sportsplex to organize a new date.

“This is reflective of what A Shot for Life is,” Slonina told the Globe in an interview Wednesday. “Since we started this organization about 10 years ago, we’ve navigated stuff like this before, and we always will. We’ll always solve whatever pops out at us.

“I’m so proud of the players in the ASFL family and program for navigating this with us, and we’re excited to have a great event.”

A number of Globe All-Scholastic selections will compete in the ASFL Challenge on both sides: Anthony Morales (Beaver CD); Will Dorion (Needham); Jack Poirier (Scituate); Bryant Ciccio (Attleboro); James McGowan (Westwood); and Ben Rice (Whitman-Hanson) will represent the boys, while the girls’ All-Scholastic picks include: Shay Bollin (Bridgewater-Raynham); Lauren Beach (Medway); Brenna McDonald (Natick); Maiya Bergdorf (St. Mary’s); Kiara McIntyre (Needham); Megan Olbrys (Norwood), and Olivia Quinn (Franklin).


Bridgewater-Raynham's Shay Bollin will compete in the A Shot For Life Challenge next week.Debee Tlumacki
Boys’ roster:

1. Jay Dieterle (Rivers)

2. Anthony Morales (Beaver)

3. Will Batchelder (Governor’s Academy)

4. Aaron Cooley (Beaver)

5. Will Dorion (Needham)

6. Felix Kloman (Pingree)

7. Jack Poirier (Scituate)

8. Bryant Ciccio (Attleboro)

9. James McGowan (Westwood)

10. Sam Stevens (Williston Northampton)

11. Robbie Stankard (Phillips Exeter)

12. Matt Price (Kimball Union Academy)

13. Mac Annus (Belmont)

14. Ben Rice (Whitman-Hanson)

15. Jarron Flynn (Kimball Union Academy)

16. George Smith (Brooks)

Girls’ roster:

1. Kayla Madden (Ashland)

2. Maria Ollivierre (Beaver)

3. Shay Bollin (Bridgewater-Raynham)

4. Sam Sousa (Rivers)

5. Grace Bennis (Hingham)

6. Olivia Quinn (Franklin)

7. Lauren Beach (Medway)

8. Brenna McDonald (Natick)

9. Maiya Bergdorf (St. Mary’s)

10. Kiara McIntyre (Needham)

11. Emma Simmons (Carver)

12. Rachel McMenemy (Groton)

13. Nariah Scott (Tabor)

14. Kenzie Matulonis (Bridgewater-Raynham)

15. Megan Olbrys (Norwood)

16. Jen Martin (Bradford Christian Academy)

ASFL Home Run Derby

Josh Baez will represent Dexter Southfield and Vanderbilt in the inaugural A Shot For Life home run derby in September.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

For the first time, A Shot for Life will also sponsor a home run derby. On Sept. 12, high school baseball players from Eastern and Central Massachusetts will compete at Austin Prep. A softball version, with a roster to be announced, will run the following day. The baseball roster, including college commitments:


1. Pat Roche (BC High/Boston College)

2. Brant Savage (St. John’s Shrewsbury/Babson)

3. Erik Foster (Xaverian/UMass Amherst)

4. Josh Baez (Dexter Southfield/Vanderbilt)

5. Matt Maloney (Central Catholic/Dayton)

7. Jake Elbeery (Austin Prep/Richmond)

8. Pat D’Amico (St. John’s Prep/Seton Hall)

9. Evan Blanco (Austin Prep/Virginia)

10. Ryan Grace (Concord-Carlisle/Quinnipiac)

11. DJ Pacheco (St. John’s Prep/Richmond)

12. Zach Stephenson (Bishop Feehan/Connecticut)

13. Sam McNulty (Milton Academy/Boston College)

14. Sean McGivern (Lawrence Academy/Bentley)

15. Sean Moynihan (Masconomet)

16. Connor Dolan (Archbishop Williams/St. Rose)

MBCA announces Hall class, Coaches of the Year

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Basketball Coaches Association its 2020 Hall of Fame class: Mike Labrie, Joe Killilea, Ron Spinney, and Mike Vaughan.

Labrie has coached high school basketball since 1982, with 23 years at Chicopee before moving to Springfield Central and Chicopee Comprehensive. In 2015, he recorded his 400th victory after directing Central to the D1 state title in 2012.

Named the varsity coach at Newton South in 1981, Killilea racked up 483 career victories through four decades before retiring in 2018.

Also a member of the 400-win club with 402, Spinney retired after 29 seasons at Winthrop, where he also coached the girls’ softball team to a state title in 1984.

A Mansfield graduate, Vaughan has coached his alma mater for 16 seasons. He was named the Globe’s Division 2 Coach of the Year in 2013 after guiding the Hornets to their sixth consecutive state tournament appearance and the D2 championship final.

In addition, the organization announced its boys and girls Coaches of the Year, who will be honored alongside the Hall of Fame inductees at a banquet scheduled for Nov. 1:


Attleboro coach Mark Houle was named D1 South Boys Coach of the Year by the Massachusetts State Basketball Coaches Association.HOULE FAMILY


D1: Mike Wilder (Waltham)

D2: John Fleming (Winchester)

D3: Michael DiMarino (Hamilton-Wenham)

D4: Paul Rodgers (Snowden)


D1: Mark Houle (Attleboro)

D2: Bob Rodgers (Whitman-Hanson)

D3: Fred Damon (Rockland)

D4: Peter Serino (Abington)



D1: Reece Freeman (Cambridge)

D2: Bob Romeo (North Reading)

D3: Jeff Newhall (St. Mary’s)

D4: Jay Keane (Malden Catholic)


D1: Cheryl Seavey (Bridgewater-Raynham)

D2: Amy Quinn (Norwood)

D3: Diana Newcomb (Rockland)

D4: Chris Tresca (Mashpee)

Jenna Ciccotelli can be reached at