This Week in Yeshiva Basketball
During the first week of the new calendar year, there was continued excitement throughout the Yeshiva League. In the first game of 2022, the Flatbush Falcons played host to the Magen Abraham Kings in a matchup in which both teams were in need of a win. The Kings were coming off a brutal loss against the Kushner Cobras—in a game which they appeared to be the favorites due to previous victories against North Shore and high-seeded HAFTR—but the Cobras prevailed for a victory. This meant Magen Abraham needed a win in order to get back to .500 and make a presence for a possible playoff push. Similarly, the Falcons were pushing for a victory after dropping two consecutive games, most notably to TABC by just one point on their home court. This time around, the Falcons were determined to be the victors at home and definitely relayed that message against the Kings. Right off the jump the Falcons asserted their dominance on both ends of the court. Offensively, senior leader Irwin Azar led the way, channeling his inner mamba mentality (hence his jersey number 24), with 19 points. On the defensive end Flatbush did a tremendous job containing sharpshooters Albert Swaid and Aaron Levy, limiting the Kings to only 32 points.
The following evening the MTA Lions visited the Frisch Cougars. Similar to the Falcons, the Cougars were coming off a home-court loss to the DRS Wildcats, so they were hungry for a win. Unfortunately for the Cougars, star big man Ben Haber suffered an ankle injury off the jump ball which sidelined him for the rest of the game. Seeing their leader go down only added more fuel to the fire as the Cougars’ desire to win continued to increase. With only a five point lead at the half, Haber’s presence was definitely missed, the Cougars took their game to the next level in the second half. Jonny Levine led the way with 18 points, while Frisch outscored MTA 40-20 in the second half to secure the victory.
Thursday evening featured the first tripleheader of 2022, starting off with the SAR Sting driving all the way out to Deal to steal a win on the road against the Hillel Heat. Shortly afterwards, the Waterbury Wolfpack eased their way past Ohr Yisroel for their fourth consecutive victory. Make sure to keep an eye on the Wolfpack, in their five remaining games only one opponent has a winning record. In the nightcap, the Magen David Warriors surpassed the HANC Hurricanes by a comfortable margin. The Warriors were led by Asher Melamed who put on a performance for all in attendance with 31 points and 13 rebounds. He was complemented by teammates Jesse Cohen and Jeffrey Shabot who each had 12 and 10 points respectively.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes this loss was only their first of the weekend. On Sunday, the HANC Hurricanes visited the Max Stern Athletic Center to take on the MTA Lions. For the Lions, this was only their first home game since early November, as they looked to maintain an undefeated record on their home court. The Lions were in full control throughout the entire game on both ends of the court. They suffocated the Hurricanes defensively, forcing many easy turnovers as well as controlled the paint on the offensive end in a full team effort to be victorious.