Updated: Sep 7
The setting was perfect for opening night between JEC and Ohr Yisroel. The Thunder traveled to Lubavitch on the Palisades, home of Ohr Yisroel on a beautiful and warm November 6 evening for its MYHSAL opening night, after an impressive run in the Magen David Tournament the week before. Ohr Yisroel had already lost to Frisch and beaten HANC on the road in overtime, and entered with a 1-1 Yeshiva League record.
The gym was packed as this game has become very meaningful for both teams. OY has several former JEC players and Ohr Yisroel's coach was a star at JEC playing for JEC's head coach, Avi Borenstein, and now had his sights set on his alma mater. Both teams highlighted this game in red on their respective schedules due to the rivalry and the sense each team had that this was going to be a competitive and exciting night.
JEC scored first on a shot from junior G Eitan Speyer. From there, the first period was back and forth, and by the time the first 8 minutes passed, Ohr Yisroel had a 14-13 lead. In the second quarter, the combination of JEC's press and both the glass and scoring domination of senior forward Michoel Cornick (12 points in the first half; game-high 16 rebounds) allowed the Thunder to regain the lead, and at the half the score was 28-24 JEC.
Coming out of the intermission, the crowd knew it was going to continue to be a tight match, and the teams did not disappoint. Ohr Yisroel outscored JEC in the third period, 12-10, and going into the 4th period it was JEC 38 and Ohr Yisroel 36--anyone's game.
But it was not! JEC applied its jets in the 4th quarter and changed the tenor of the game. Powered by junior G/F Gavi Walzman's 12 points, the Thunder outscored Ohr Yisroel 21-10, and secured a well-deserved 59-46 victory.
The JEC scoring was exceptionally balanced. Cornick finished with 18 points, Walzman had 13, Speyer and Captain PG Yosef Heller each had 11, and Captain C Akiva Sapieka finished with 10--including 6 in the fourth quarter--and 11 rebounds. Reuven Rozezadeh led the way for Ohr Yisroel with 14 points.
JEC (1-0) next takes on the MTA Lions in MTA's season opener on the campus of Yeshiva University.