April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JV Cougars vs. SAR Sting, A Battle of Undefeated Teams

The NYC Division leading SAR JV Sting rolled into Paramus on Motzei Shabbat carrying a 9-0 record and ready to take on the Frisch JV Cougars who carried an 8-0 record and held first place in the N.J. Division. What promised to be a real battle between top teams for the Eastern Conference championship turned out to be a blowout, a barn burner, and a nail biter all-in-one.

Both teams came out playing up-in-the-grill man-to-man defense, and the physical play leading to the odd result of both teams being in the double bonus in the first quarter. Licking their chops at the rare sight of man-to-man, Frisch imposed its will on the game. Sophomore Capt.

G Mayer Scharlat shredded the Sting for 12 points in the quarter, including 8-9 from the line. Sophomore Capt. F Andrew Langer had 5, and Sophomore G Josh Chesner added a nifty 4 points in the quarter. Sophomore F Isaac Weinstock sunk a foul shot, owned the boards with four (seven for the game), and played staunch defense on the SAR bigs. Fellow frontcourt man

Sophomore C Zach Cohen netted 2 points and a powerful block to boot as Frisch led 24-12 at the end of the quarter.

As the second quarter began, Langer kept the pressure on the Sting adding 5 more points. He got help from Sophomore Scott Levine (a 3-ball), Sophomore Capt. Jon Seidel (2-2 from the line), as well as Freshman G Isaac Laifer who dropped in 3 points and played tough defense, as usual. With its package of presses keeping the Sting off balance, Frisch extended its lead to 19, and went to the locker room leading comfortably, 46-27.

And then things got weird. As the Cougars subbed generously, and even extended its lead to 25 points at 3:44 of the third period, the boys from SAR would not fold. Matching their starters against Cougar subs from that point on, SAR went on an uninterrupted 15 point run, capped by an Ariel Smith rainbow 3-ball, to close the stanza within 10, at 57-47. Without 7 early points from Sophomore Capt. G Noah Schechter, who was saddled with two fouls in the first half, and a big bucket from Freshman F Sammy Turner, Frisch would have been in even bigger trouble.

Reeling from the dynamic SAR run, the Frisch starters re-entered the game for the final quarter. With 6:21 left in the fourth, Frisch held the lead fast at 10, 61-51, thanks to Langer’s driving and slashing for 4 more points. But the Sting were undaunted, and kept hitting the mark led by Sophomores Smith and Akiva Hain, who each drained 3-balls. A 10-point run culminating in a floater and two free throws from Freshman Dan Wisotsky, and the Sting had come all the way back to tie the game at 61-61.

The conference championship, and more importantly home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, now hung in the balance. The SAR contingent, energized by the epic comeback, was getting louder and louder. Enter Scharlat and Schechter. At the 1:23 mark, Scharlat stepped into a 3-ball and drained it. On the next SAR possession, Scharlat tipped the ball away to Langer. After a Frisch miss and a monster rebound by Gideon “Ben Wallace” Benchabbat, Scharlat drew a foul and hit the front end of a one-and-one to make it 65-61, and on the ensuing miss, stole the ball again. It was then time for Schechter to do what he does. He took it from there, hit two free throws, and after another Scharlat steal, hit two more from the line to seal a huge win, 69-63. Scharlat led the Cougars with 18 points (11-13 from the line), 10 steals and 5 assists (and one resounding block). Langer poured in 17 points and added 7 boards. Schechter netted 11points, every single one a clutch tally.

With the win, Frisch clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs, secured a first-round bye in the playoffs, and raised their record to 9-0 in the Yeshiva League, 12-0 overall.

The Cougars close out the regular season at TABC, and then head north of the border to Montreal for a six-game tournament in advance of the playoffs.

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