June 18, 2024
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MYHSAL Varsity Basketball Playoff Update

This past Thursday evening, the MYHSAL varsity basketball quarterfinals kicked off with a doubleheader. In the opener, the JEC Thunder faced the tall task of challenging the lone undefeated team in the Yeshiva League, the North Shore Lions. The Lions started off the game with no difference from their regular season play and got out to a quick 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter. The clutch shooting of senior David Orbach helped the Lions extend their lead to 16 points at the half, but the Thunder weren’t ready to give up yet.

Knowing their season was on the line, the Thunder came out of the halftime break appearing reinvigorated and inspired to make a comeback. Throughout the entirety of the third quarter both teams traded baskets on each possession which not only prevented the Lions from expanding their lead, but also kept the Thunder determined. The Lions retained their 16 point advantage with six minutes to go in the game, but after a few crucial baskets from several players on the Thunder, the lead fell to 10 points. Unfortunately for the Thunder, the Lions were able to prevail and hold onto their lead for a 59-49 final score to advance to the semi-finals.

Up next for Lions will be the victor of the DRS Wildcats and SAR Sting matchup. In the event where the Sting would advance, this semi-final game will display the top seeded team in each conference, since the Sting tied with the Frisch Cougars for the first seed in the western conference, while the undefeated Lions had sole possession of first place in the eastern conference. If the Wildcats manage to upset the Sting, they’ll hope to avenge their regular season loss against the Lions, but that will be no easy task.

Later that evening, the TABC Storm matched up against the Magen David Warriors. The Storm started the game hot jumping out to a quick four point lead, but the Warriors quickly stole the momentum not allowing another Storm bucket the rest of the period, while adding on nine of their own, to hold a five point lead. The second quarter was a story of defensive success for the Warriors, where they limited the Storm to only seven points. Senior guard Mark Sardar sparked the offense for the Warriors contributing six points in the quarter to expand the Warrior lead to 16 points at the half.

In the second half, the Storm showed fight, contributing to a back and forth third quarter. There was much excitement to be displayed as the story of the third quarter was the battle of the big man, where the Warriors’ Asher Melamed and Natanel Benlouluo of the Storm kept trading buckets. The quarter ended with a clutch 3-pointer from the Storm’s senior guard Moshe Keiser, to minimize the Warriors lead to 15 points.

Similar to the first game of the evening, the Storm continued to fight back, but could not lower the deficit to fewer than 10 points in the final quarter. When the buzzer sounded, the Warriors were the victors with a score of 59-46. The senior duo of Sardar and Melamed led the way for the Warriors, combining for 43 points, while Natanel Benlouluo led the Storm with 22 points.

The Warriors will be going up against the winner of the final quarter-final matchup between the Flatbush Falcons and the Frisch Cougars. In the regular season the Falcons and Warriors split their season series, which could potentially lead to an exciting semi-final matchup. If the Cougars are victorious and advance it would be the first time they faced the Warriors since the 2017-18 Yeshiva League championship game.

Make sure to check this section weekly for all updates and the latest news from around the Yeshiva League. Also make sure to check out Yeshiva League Pass on Instagram and their website for nightly updates on varsity basketball and hockey.


Ikey Gutlove is the Jewish Link sports intern. Please contact [email protected] if you have interest in contributing to this column by providing stories and updates from any high school athletic teams.

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