On February 4, the Bruriah Lightning basketball team made the long trek to Long Island to take on the SKA Sonics in a much-anticipated thriller game. The game was a repeat of last year’s championship game, in which the Lightning lost by one basket, and a game earlier this season in which the Lighting lost by one point. Bruriah stepped up its game and took to the road determined to bring home a win.
Ilana Markowitz (junior, Teaneck) opened the game by doing what she does best: drove the baseline to get an easy bucket. The Sonics immediately tied the score at 2, showing they also came to play. The Lightning set the bar high for this game and went back into Markowitz on its next possession. Markowitz drove again, got fouled, and hit both shots, putting the Lightning ahead; and they never looked back.
With contributions from seniors Shayna Schwartz (captain, Staten Island) and Shayna Rosenzweig (Hillside), who controlled the offensive and defensive boards, the Lightning turned its 4-2 lead into a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. Sophomores Talya Markowitz (Teaneck) and Sarena Wiedekehr (Teaneck) each added buckets to help extend the lead.
With each tick of the clock, the Lightning’s passing got better and their defense got tighter, limiting SKA’s shots. Along with Rosenzweig and Wiedekehr, Rina Finkelstein (sophomore, Teaneck), and Shira Alter (senior, Teaneck) upheld the Lightning’s stellar defense, intercepting its passes and stopping its shots.
The Lightning added 6 points to its lead in the third quarter, with a 3-pointer and foul shots from Talya Markowitz, while strong defense held SKA scoreless. The quarter with a Bruriah 31-19 lead.
Bruriah threw everything it had at SKA in the fourth quarter. With superb passing, relentless defense, and clear communication, the Lightning won and improved its standing to 7-3; SKA is currently 9-1, having lost only one game in the last two years.
The Lightning’s five seniors Alter, Orit Reiter (Staten Island), Schwartz, Rosenzweig and Elisheva Pfeiffer (Teaneck) sealed the win by playing together for the final 30 seconds of the game. To quote Coach Susan Rifkin, “From a coach’s perspective, the best part of this game was seeing how happy they were and how much fun they had while playing.” The Lightning close out their regular season with away games at Shulamith and Ilan.
By Talya Markowitz