April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Sky Upset Mercury as New CMEK Women’s Champs

The Chicago Sky defeated the two-time defending champions, Phoenix Mercury, to capture their first title in their inaugural season. The Sky were led by playoff MVP, Jenaya Abernathy, who scored 15 points. Tamar Furer, who just completed her senior season at Frisch, earned the Top Rookie award; she scored 10 points and had 4 steals in the final. Her older sister, an assistant coach at Frisch, poured in 9 points and had 5 rebounds. Yael Stone, who grew up in the Five Towns and attended Stella K. Abraham, scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, while Ariella Barishansky Helfgott hit a key jumper and had 4 assists. Emily Branitz, a former Division 1 point guard at American, scored 7 points and had 7 assists.

In defeat, the Mercury were paced by Kristen Kush, CMEK coach, who earlier in the day captured a championship coaching the CMEK Grade 5 Girls in the AAU League. She led all scorers with 19 points and tallied a league high 138 points for the season. Sharon Bartel added 9 points and 9 assists.

“The first time we beat Phoenix in the regular season we played a triangle and two on Kush and Bartel. As the season went on, our team had the energy to play man without tiring ourselves out, so it became our defense. We played hard, never gave up, took smart shots, played hard defense, and had fun, said team Captain Yael Stone.

Stone continued, “For people who love the sport and enjoy the competitiveness of it, we now have the opportunity to play again. I play pick-up basketball once a week as well, and the games just are not the same. Being in the CMEK league allows you to become part of a team, and keeps us playing the game we love. Rebecca Pariser added, “The best part of the league is not just the competitiveness and intense basketball that we play game after game, but it’s also the camaraderie that we build with our teammates and other league members.

The CMEK Women’s summer league is open to experienced players only and begins on June 29. Visit CMEK on the web at www.CMEK.com or contact Chad Mekles for details, [email protected].

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