June 7, 2024
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Moriah Sixth Grade Girls Are Undefeated YMSSA Champs

Moriah 6th Grade Girls YMSSA Undefeated Champions: (l-r) Emma Lieberman, Sophia Heller, Lilah Brickman, Kendall Levine, Michal Gologorsky, Olivia Sheps, Stella Katz, Annie Altman, Gabby Kahane, Gemma Wolf, Kayla Schwebel, Chloe Hilbert, Emanuelle Ulmer, Naomi Tkatch, Lucy Auerbach

(Moriah sports) The Moriah Mountaineers sixth grade girls basketball team completed an undefeated season winning the championship game on Sunday with a 50-39 victory over the Hillel Heat. The high powered Moriah team came into the game with a perfect 10–0 record with a deep roster and averaged more than 50 points per game, and more than 20 points average margin of victory. The Hillel team possessed a 9-1 record, boasting one of the league’s best players. Hillel’s sole defeat came at the hands of Moriah in a 49-26 loss at Hillel on February 29. While on paper Moriah seemed like the heavy favorite, both teams discounted the result of the first matchup because two of Hillel’s key players played while under the weather. With both lineups back to full strength, the league’s two best teams were going to decide the championship game without any excuses.

The energy at the TABC gym was through the roof as fans of both teams packed the stands for the hotly anticipated championship rematch. The crowd took charge during the pre-game ceremony with soul stirring renditions of the national anthem and “Hatikva.” The game started off with the expected pre-game jitters as both teams struggled to find the basket. The first quarter ended in a 5-5 tie with Kendall Levine of Moriah and Lorraine Solomon from Hillel each contributing four points for their respective teams.

In the second quarter, the pace of play picked up as Moriah went on one of their signature runs and used their suffocating full-court press to stretch the lead to 19-11 with 2:30 left in the second quarter led by Sophia Heller’s 10 second quarter points including two deep 3-point baskets. But Hillel would not go away easily, following a timeout, Hillel scored two consecutive baskets and ended the quarter on a 6-1 run to bring the score to 20-17 at halftime.

Both teams came out of the locker rooms at halftime with even more energy and pace than in the first half. Hillel’s Freida Schacher came up with a steal on the quarter’s first possession and went coast to coast for a layup for two of her game-high 22 points and cut the Moriah lead to one. Moriah answered with a 15-4 run to stretch the lead to 12 with two minutes left in the quarter including Emma Lieberman’s 3-pointer off the glass from the wing showing off her shooter’s touch and contributing to seven total third quarter points from her. Stephanie Kassin answered with two of her four points to lead an 8-4 Hillel run. But the star of the quarter was Lilah Brickman who scored six points and ended the quarter going end to end with a buzzer beating layup from the left side to put Moriah up 39-31 to end the third quarter.

The momentum seemed to be going to Moriah’s way but Hillel came out and answered the bell. Freida Schacher scored on two consecutive possessions in just 30 seconds to pull Hillel within four points at 39-35. But that’s as close as they would come. The Moriah team showed their championship pedigree by holding Hillel to just two more baskets the rest of the game, led by Michal Gologorsky’s stand-out defensive effort, locking down Hillel’s best player all game long. Moriah’s overwhelming offensive attack was too much for Hillel as four of the five starters contributed points in the fourth quarter to lead Moriah to the 50-39 championship victory. Ultimately, Moriah showed it was the better, more skilled team with a well-balanced scoring effort including 15 points each for Sophia Heller and Emma Lieberman, a double-double from Kendall Levine with 13 points and 17 rebounds, and seven points from Lilah Brickman. It was the greatest challenge they had faced all season, but the team showed great poise, hustle and heart and were well supported by their teammates and coaches to complete the perfect undefeated season and will continue to be the team to beat for years to come.

The players on Moriah’s championship team included: Annie Altman, Lucy Auerbach, Lilah Brickman, Michal Gologorsky, Sophia Heller, Chloe Hilbert, Gabby Kahane, Stella Katz, Kendall Levine, Emma Lieberman, Kayla Schwebel, Olivia Sheps, Naomi Tkatch, Emanuelle Ulmer, and Gemma Wolf.

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