July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

MGBL Championship Sunday

By Alan White

Sunday, March 24, the third day of spring and the ending of the MGBL Championship Sunday. In the second grade championship game, the #1 seed Malka Abrahams-Links Residential team faced the Cinderella third rank seed Rangers. Malka Abrahams-Links Residential finished the regular season with six wins and one loss; losing only to their final opponent, the Rangers. The Rangers had five wins and two losses and seemed to have dialed the right number defeating the unstoppable Malka Abrahams-Links Residential in the regular season.

Malka Abrahams-Links Residential, at the tip-off, drew first blood. Two quick baskets by Jonah Lerer. The sensational first grader grabbed the tip, drove straight to the basket hitting a short jump shot from the left side of the court, all net! The second play of the game was a steal by Lerer who led with a fast break but missing from the same spot. No worries, Amitai Goldsmith rebounds the ball for a putback making the score 4-0. The parents were amazed! And the Rangers were ready with Menachem Wiederkehr, the first-grade titan for the Rangers answered back—scoring a slashing drive to the basket between two defenders for two points—making the score 4-2. The Rangers rallied for a slim 12-10 lead to enter the second quarter with momentum. In the second frame, the Rangers started where they left off in the first quarter, but the Malka Abrahams-Links Residential boys held tight as the Rangers extended their lead to 21-15 at halftime.

In the third quarter, team Malka Abrahams-Links Residential slowly began to chip away at the deficit, capped by back-to-back buckets from Goldsmith the third quarter ended at 29-26. In the final quarter, the Malka Abrahams-Links Residential team showed no sign of rolling over, baskets from Dovi Frohlich and Lerer giving them their first lead since the opening minutes at 37-33. The Rangers had more fight. Moshe Oshinsky scored four points tying the score at 37 points each. With only 10 seconds on the clock Eitan Rovener was foul on a drive to the basket and clinched the game making two clutch free throws that claimed the match. The Rangers had 10 seconds to tie the game but fell short. The championship game MVP trophy went to Goldsmith for his tremendous effort on the boards and clutch shooting.

By JLNJ Sportsdesk

In a game showcasing two really strong teams, Chai Lifeline defeated Goldman Orthodontics 53-51. In the first period Chai took the lead 13-11 on balanced scoring from Avi Winslow, Moshe Strulowitz, Yosef Rosenberg, Yishai Neiss, Dov Klar and Shlomo Wenger. Goldman was led by Zachary Milgrom (seven points) and baskets from Jonathan Milgrom and Jonathan Billauer. In the second period, Goldman picked up the pace and took a half time lead of 25-23 with additional baskets from the Milgrom brothers and Billauer. Chai was led in this period by Strulowitz with seven points. In the third and fourth periods the teams traded baskets throughout and picked up their defense and heading to the final period with Goldman leading 41-38. Klar was strong on both ends of the court, grabbing rebound after rebound and forcing Goldman to take some off balance shots. The final period saw the most scoring of the game. Chai started strong with two quick baskets from Klar to take the lead. But Billauer countered with a three-point play to retake the lead for Goldman. A free throw from Wenger and two more baskets from Strulowitz gave Chai a three point lead. But Zachary Milgrom and Goldman would not give up as he added two free throws to cut the lead to one. A basket from Wenger and free throws from Neiss and Rosenberg sealed the game for Chai.

Zach Milgrom led all scorers with 22 points, Billauer had 19 and Jonathan Milgrom added 10 for Goldman. Chai was led by Strulowitz’s 15 points, Neiss 10, Wenger and Rosenberg each with five and Winslow with four. It was a true team effort for Chai and Klar was named game MVP adding 14 points and 18 rebounds for Chai providing them with numerous second-chance opportunities on offense.

Thanks to the volunteer coaches, supportive sponsors and families and of course the boys for a great season.

By JLNJ Sportsdesk

After two thrilling semi finals game earlier in the day, the stage was set for the 3/4 grade championship game at 1:30 p.m. In front of a packed gym, only the two top seeded teams remained: Coolkippahs working on an undefeated season and Tree Point Play. Tree Point Play only had one loss on the season when the two teams met over three months ago in week two of the season. The first few plays saw Coolkippahs’ big man Isaac Stepner take the ball to the hoop for 10 of his game high (and possibly 3/4 grade playoff record) 40 points. In the second half of the first quarter Tree Point Play went on a run while Stepner was on the bench and finished the quarter up 12-10. The second quarter showed Tree Point Play’s gameplan, they tried to smother Stepner, throwing two and sometimes three players on him to deny the ball and keep him off of the offensive boards. On the offensive side Tree Point Play displayed some terrific ball movement with almost all of the players scoring, but the story of the game was Jacob Gervis. Gervis swished and dished himself to a playoff double double with a team high 28 points (10/11 from free throw line) and 11 assists, picking up the game MVP award and the championship for Tree Point Play.

All of the boys received trophies and a sefer to remember the season. Thank you to the volunteer coaches, wonderful referees, supportive sponsors, families, fans and of course the boys for a great season. MGBL High School is set to tip off next month to register go to https://www.mgbl.org/SignUpPart1.php.

Please submit pictures and recaps to be featured weekly in this section to [email protected]

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