It took a week for the snow to clear away, but the YMSSA 7th Grade Basketball 2013/2014 regular season finally came to an end on February 18th with the RYNJ Jaguars’ 77-59 victory over the defending champs, the SAR Sting. It was a tight game throughout, but the Jags were able to pull away in the final quarter led by Eitan Warburg’s 30-point effort.
With RYNJ’s victory, play-off seeding became official. Both RYNJ and Moriah earned first- round byes with identical 9-1 records. RYNJ was awarded the top seed based on a coin toss. Led by captains Eitan Pfeiffer, Eitan Warburg, and Avi Wolk, the RYNJ Jags led the league in scoring, averaging over 54 points a game and finishing off their regular season on a six-game winning streak.
In the first round of the play-offs, third-seeded Noam hosted Yavneh, the sixth seed. Yavneh had pulled off an upset and thus faced RYNJ in the second round this past Monday night.
As the game began, Yavneh and RYNJ traded buckets, with RYNJ up at the half by two baskets. Yavneh’s sharpshooters, Daniel Hirsch and Jack Reinhart, were on fire, but the Jaguars answered back with their own one-two punch of Eitan Pfeiffer and Dani Heideman.
Midway through the third quarter, RYNJ made a defensive stand. Led by some tenacious defense by both Eitan Warburg and Ari Katz, who forced multiple turnovers, and Avi Wolk’s shot blocking, the Jaguars were able pull away and build their lead to double digits.
With the Jaguars’ victory, there remains only one more obstacle between the Jaguars and the championship. At the time of this printing, the Jaguars were awaiting the winner of the Moriah/SAR semifinal game. For an up-to-date schedule and results, visit the league site ymssa.org.
Congratulations to the Jags on a great run; good luck in the finals!!
By Eitan Warburg