July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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JV Cougars Take MYHSAL Basketball Championship

The junior varsity Frisch basketball team played in the championship game on Sunday in the Max Stern Athletic Center at Yeshiva University. The Cougars were chasing a perfect season and a back-to-back championship win. As if that wasn’t enough, the championship game was staged as a rematch of last year’s championship game against SAR, which resulted in a one-point win for the Cougars on a game-winning foul shot. While Frisch beat SAR twice this season, each game went into overtime and they were incredibly hard-fought games. The stage was set for an exciting championship game, and both teams were ready to play their best. Before tip-off, each of the players’ names were announced and the teams’ anthems were sung; the much anticipated game was ready to begin.

From the start, both teams looked like they belonged. The game began very close, with the lead going back and forth and both teams playing aggressive defense. After the first quarter, the score was a low 12-9 in favor of Frisch. When the second quarter began, once again, it was an equal battle. However, in the last three minutes of the half, the Cougars took advantage of their rebounding and strong team play and went on an 11-0 run. Jack Stepner capped off the run for the Cougars with a three-point fadeaway buzzer beater to give the Cougars momentum before they headed into the locker room. The halftime score was 28-17.

After the break, both teams came out very aggressively, but the Cougars looked stronger than ever. They were all over the floor, pressing SAR and looking for easy steals and layups. The SAR team finished the third quarter down 46-35, and the players looked discouraged. However, as all good teams do, the SAR Sting went on a run of their own, cutting the lead to nine midway through the fourth quarter. Yet, with each basket, the Frisch Cougars responded to the SAR push with a clutch free throw or a fast break layup. Frisch held on to finish the game, with the final score of 68-55. The Cougars successfully completed their undefeated season, repeating as back-to-back champions.

Jack Stepner led the way for the Cougars with 21 points, and Stevie Paul chipped in with 14. Judah Strulowitz finished with a double, putting up 13 points and coming down with 10 rebounds. Asaf Miller finished with 7 points of his own and distributed 10 assists. Noam Kuritzky and Moshe Shoenfeld were both stellar with their defense, and Jack Levine and Evan Chesner provided valuable minutes off the bench. The freshman crew of Max Mayerhoff, Jack Reinhart, Benny Matheson, Jake Fromen, Joey Strobel and JJ Blinken provided length and depth to the already talented and strong Frisch Cougars team. Their efforts during practice all year and their dedication and devotion along with all the players on the team made this a team, in the true sense of the word.

The Frisch Cougars are now the undisputed yeshiva league champions, finishing off their memorable season with a staggering record of 16-0. This included a perfect 10-0 season; a 3-0 record and tournament champions in the highly-regarded Emunah Rubenstein Memorial Tournament; and a 3-0 playoff record culminating with the MYHSAL championship, their second in a row. Thanks to the great coaching of Dovey Forman and Gabe Davidoff, the Cougars were able to accomplish all of their goals. Two years with two championships is a special thing, and can never be taken away from this team.

By Stevie Paul

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