Capture Playoff Victories Over RYNJ and JEC
Noam’s game against RYNJ was the third time the teams matched up this season. The Noam Knights won the first two pretty easily, but in both games RYNJ challenged them with their physical play—they could not be taken lightly.
For this third encounter, the Noam gym was rocking with fans from both sides. RYNJ came out hot and built a 7-point lead. Noam could not get anything going and struggled to hit shots they had been making all season. Midway through the second quarter, a driving layup between two defenders by Gabi Antosofsky (4) ignited the Knights. They cut the RYNJ lead to 1 by halftime, and raced out to an 8-point lead at the start of the second half. This burst was led by the dominating inside play of Billy Krause. RYNJ refused to quit and clawed their way back into the game.
The fourth quarter was nip and tuck. The momentum seemed to be shifting to RYNJ but key offensive rebounds by Billy Krause and Ari Kaminetzky helped Noam stay in front. The game came down to the last possession. RYNJ had the ball, down by 3, with ten seconds left. Noam applied intense defensive pressure and the buzzer sounded before RYNJ could get off a shot to tie the game.
The Knights were led by Billy Krause (13), Yoni Mann (12) and Yehuda Mirwis (8).
For the semifinals, the Knights traveled to Elizabeth to face a tough JEC team. Pulling out all the stops for the big game, JEC introduced the starters of both teams and had renowned Jewish music star Ira Heller sing the National Anthem and Hatikva—pretty impressive for eighth grade Yeshiva League Basketball!
JEC jumped out to a 5-1 lead and the hometown crowd was going wild. After an early timeout, the Knights settled down. Billy Krause got things going with an electrifying steal and driving layup. The defensive pressure picked up, shots started to fall, and when the dust settled, the Knights had gone on a 28-4 run to take a 29-9 lead into halftime.
JEC continued to play hard in the second half, but by that point the Noam lead was too great and the Knights coasted to a big victory.
JEC was led by the 3-point shooting of Hillel Glick (11) and the inside play of Yitzy Weis (8). Yoni Mann (22) and Billy Krause (14) were outstanding for the Knights. Yehuda Mirwis (9) came off the bench to play a significant role as well.
It is now on to the finals, where the Knights will play either Yavneh or Ramaz.