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#1 Seeded Frisch JV Knocks Out HAFTR in Quarterfinals

Last Wednesday night, February 28, the HAFTR Hawks headed to Paramus to take on the Frisch Cougars in a boys JV basketball quarterfinal match. The #1 seeded Cougars looked to avenge a nail-biting loss to HAFTR in the Katz Yeshiva High School invitational tournament. The outcome of this game was much different than their battle in Florida.

A 3-pointer by HAFTR’s Nate Meyer helped the Hawks jump out to 6-0 lead to kick off the game. Frisch proceeded to lock in with a 10-0 run of their own, and concluded the first quarter up 13-8, led by six points from Jon Milgrom and five from JV Yeshiva League Pass All-Star, Isaac Stepner.

The second quarter was even for the most part, until HAFTR decided to employ a very bold strategy. After pulling within one point, their game plan was to hold the ball at halfcourt for the remainder of the quarter, and take the final shot. HAFTR held the ball from about 3:30 left in the half until there were just over 40 seconds remaining, when they missed a three. HAFTR got the offensive rebound, only to miss again, leading to a Frisch fast-break layup by Milgrom off a great pass from Nathan Neufeld. Frisch went into the locker room up 19-16.

Frisch avenged one of their only losses this year, to HAFTR in Boca, by knocking out the Hawks en route to a semifinal berth.

A jump shot from Asher Freundlich to start the third brought HAFTR back within one, but Frisch’s Noam Grossman immediately responded with an old-fashioned three-point play, putting the Cougars up four with seven minutes left in the quarter. That is when HAFTR employed their strategy again, holding the ball by half court with little ball movement and motion. This came as a shock to many fans, as HAFTR was down by two possessions when they decided to start this strategy up again. HAFTR held the ball for the entire remainder of the period, just to airball a three-pointer at the buzzer.

In the fourth quarter, HAFTR realized that they had to actually play basketball if they wanted to win this game. Luckily for the fans, they did just that and made it a contest. With just over six minutes remaining, a three by Frisch’s other JV Yeshiva League Pass All-Star, Jesse Reinhart, brought the Cougar lead up to nine, but HAFTR’s Jojo Kaplan responded with a trey, followed by an and-one, cutting the deficit to just three. On the ensuing HAFTR possession, with a chance to tie, Milgrom stole the ball and found Grossman for an easy layup. The two teams battled back-and-forth for the rest of this thrilling fourth quarter, with Frisch still being up five when there were 50 seconds on the clock. Two clutch free throws by Zeke Ufberg iced the game, and the Cougars ended up victorious, 38-31.

Milgrom finished the game as the game’s leading scorer with 14 points. Stepner added nine for Frisch, while Grossman had 7. Frisch will now take on Hillel in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

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