An entourage of heroics were on display throughout the yeshiva league varsity basketball playoffs this past week. The action started off with a first round matchup between the YDE Thunder and Waterbruy Wolfback that went back and forth throughout all of regulation and when time expired in the fourth quarter, the score was tied resulting in overtime. In the extra period, the Thunder came up clutch at the free throw line successfully hitting almost all their free throws in crunch time leading them to three point victory.
In the final opening round matchup, the MTA Lions put on a great fight on the road against the Frisch Cougars. Throughout the first three quarters, the game was a story of runs, the Cougars would jump out to a fair advantage, but each time the sharp shooting of Lion’s guard Gavriel Rudman and the tenacious play in the paint by the Lion’s big men would fight off the deficit and even the score.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the fourth quarter was all Cougars as center Ben Haber made his presence felt both from the paint and stepping back to midrange territory to contribute to his game high 20 points, while guard Alex Zakheim on several crunch time possessions turned defense into offense resulting in some exciting above the rim finishes. When the final buzzer sounded, the Cougars held the ten point advantage, but the Lions were able to keep their heads held high after a successful regular season, with a promising Sarachek Tournament coming soon!
While the Cougars were busy taking care of business, the quarter-final rounds were getting underway. The TABC Storm went on the road to face a Flatbush Falcons team, which they beat by a mere one point in a matchup earlier this season. For the Falcons, the story of the game was senior guard Irwin Azar. He understood how this game was to win or go home not only for his team, but for his high school career, so he left it all on the court. Azar scored a season-high thirty-nine points, yet it was enough to stop the high powered TABC offense. The Storm had a very balanced and productive scoring output, with five players scoring in double figures. The depth and skill of the Storm proved to be too much for the Falcons down the stretch leading to a five point victory.
In the other quarter-final matchup to take place last week, the top seeded SAR Sting started their playoff journey at home against the YDE Thunder. With fans crowding the SAR gym everyone knew greatness was in store. The first quarter was a defensive battle with the ball spending more time on the ground than in the basket, with a score of 4-3 in favor of the Thunder going into the second frame.
When the second quarter started the Sting looked rejuvenated and ready to control the game. The defense of YDE was still present, but Sting guard Nitty Hyman took the game into his hands scoring five quick points to take the lead for the first time in the game, and they would never trail after that. As the game continued the margin stayed under ten points nearly the entire time until the fourth quarter. The YDE Thunder are known to have one of the greatest offenses in the yeshiva league, yet in the fourth quarter Sting made their offense seem nearly invisible. After a quick three pointer on the opening possession of the quarter, the Thunder seemed to have a cap on the rim, only scoring one basket throughout the remainder of the game while the Sting continued to add on to their lead. WIth this victory for the Sting they will now face the TABC Storm which is a matchup that will definitely provide excitement.
Make sure to check this section weekly for all updates and the latest news from around the Yeshiva League. Also make sure to check out Yeshiva League Pass on Instagram and their website for nightly updates on varsity basketball and hockey.
Ikey Gutlove is the Jewish Link sports intern. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have interest in contributing to this column by providing stories and updates from any high school athletic teams.