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Lions Devour Wildcats Once Again to Advance to Quarterfinals

Following North Shore's loss to Magen David on January 31st, the reigning champions fell to 5-7 with two games to go—both against the 7-5 DRS Wildcats. With a 4/5 matchup between these two teams almost inevitable, these next two games essentially decided one thing: who would be playing the win-or-go-home game on their own court. North Shore needed to win out to secure a home playoff game, and by coming out victorious in  two hard-fought, down-to-the-wire games, North Shore did exactly that.

As the fans made their way into the Lions’ Den for a highly anticipated playoff game, the presence of the DRS students and parents was definitely felt, as the North Shore supporters were clearly outnumbered. Unfortunately for the hundreds of people who traveled all the way from the 5 Towns, nothing was going to get in North Shore’s path to victory.

Jonah Carmili produced a ridiculous statline of 29 points on 7/10 shooting from deep as North Shore advanced to the MYHSAL Quarterfinals with a drubbing of DRS (Photo Credit: on IG)

North Shore's first quarter may have been one of the greatest the Yeshiva League has ever seen in the playoffs, as the Lions went up 26-2 on 9/10 shooting (including 6/6 from three). North Shore’s lockdown defense and rebounding kept the Wildcats at bay, and PG Jonah Carmili tallied 14 of the 26 first quarter points, 12 of them on four threes.

The second quarter began with North Shore extending their lead to 30 before DRS put up their fourth point. Two more treys from Carmili plus five points from Jordan Zarka helped North Shore maintain control for most of the second quarter. Fortunately for DRS, Joe Aaron started heating up. He finished the period with eight points, some of which were part of the Wildcats’ 7-0 run to close out the half. The score was 39-16 at the intermission.

The Lions came out of the break with the same intensity they had started the game with, responding with a 10-0 run of their own. The Lions shared the ball to perfection, giving up good shots for great, resulting in points coming from all around. North Shore ended the quarter with their biggest lead of the night: 60-25. 

As the game was clearly over heading into the fourth, the Lions took their foot off the gas and pulled their starters with several minutes remaining in the game. The final score was a crushing 75-55, not indicative of how the contest went.

Jonah Carmilli scored a game-high 29 points, including 7/10 shooting from three. Zarka tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds. Ben Abizadeh contributed 10 points and 11 boards for the Lions, and Shai Altman added 10 points. Aaron led DRS with 22 points and Aiden Buchbinder scored 16.

North Shore’s statement victory proves that they are not to be counted out in their repeat attempt, despite their record. They are a team which nobody wants to face right now. Depending on the result of the Waterbury @ HAFTR game on Tuesday, the Lions will either face TABC or Ramaz in what could become a quarterfinals instant classic.

Stats Credit: Adam Etessami (NSHA ‘25)

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