July 21, 2024
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Moriah 7B Collects Another Title

After Moriah’s 8th grade basketball team won their league championship game on Sunday, Moriah will now be adding another trophy to their display case. On Thursday, March 19th, Moriah’s 7B basketball team descended upon a standing-room-only TABC gym to play against their biggest rival, Yeshivat Noam, in the YMSSA championship game. Although Moriah and Noam were ranked as the top two teams in the league, only one team was going to leave the gym with a trophy, while the other team was going to watch them leave the gym with the trophy.

Following the introductory ceremony, both starting five squads anchored their positions on the court and were ready for the tipoff between their 6’ foot centers, Moriah’s Gaby Katz and Noam’s Billy Krause. Although Katz won the jump, Krause got the upper hand and immediately lit up the scoreboard with the game’s first basket. To get even, Aaron Lubat dished off to Katz giving Moriah their first bucket.

Moriah looked as if they were going to have a huge night judging from their shooting guard, Ethan Schechter, as he swished a couple of early jump shots. As the 1st quarter progressed, Schechter’s hot hand had competition as Noam’s Sam Bendheim matched him by nailing a couple of field goals. The intense quarter ended with a buzzer beater by Krause as he gave Noam the lead 12-10.

As the game progressed Noam played incredible defense shutting down Moriah’s top two weapons, Rafi Lewis and Isaac Horowitz, allowing them zero points each in the first half. Noam’s Yehuda Mirwis played great defense as he was given the difficult task of shadowing Moriah’s most athletic starter, Horowitz, and successfully made his offense irrelevant throughout the first three quarters. When the buzzer sounded, both teams headed towards the locker rooms with the score tied at 16.

Yoni Mann opened up the 2nd half with a fast break layup and then immediately intercepted a Moriah inbounds pass, putting another two points on the board. To get Moriah’s momentum rolling, Schechter proved why he is considered one of the best shooters in the league, as he nailed a few more shots. With less than 3 minutes in the quarter, Horowitz was sent to the free throw line, converting both shots, thus tying the game at 24. When the quarter ended, Moriah was ahead for the first time all game, 27-24.

Although Moriah was badly outplayed in the first three quarters, they were able to pull it together in the 4th quarter when Noam’s game began to fall apart. This was largely due to Noam’s change in strategy when they started intentionally fouling Moriah, hoping to regain possession of the ball. Unfortunately for Noam, this strategy backfired as Moriah hit free throw after free throw, helping them achieve a 17-0 run.

The biggest factor contributing to this run was Horowitz’s aggression and defense as he assisted Schechter on a fast break layup. Subsequently, Lewis recorded another steal with his phenomenal defense and threw a hail marry down the court to Horowitz, who finished with a layup. Moriah continued to groove as Schechter scored two more baskets and was ultimately led by the game-high scorers, Katz with 15 and Schechter with 14.

Noam’s high scorers were Mann with 12 points followed by Bendheim and Krause, each with 8. When the game ended with the score 45-34, Moriah had won its 2nd championship in the last two basketball seasons. The game ball will be shared by Katz and Schechter since they each played remarkable games.

By Zach Horowitz

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