Sunday, August 14, 2022

Motzei Shabbat basketball games in the Max Stern Athletic Center are second to none, with a mixed atmosphere of parents, fans and intrigued YU students looking for some high quality basketball. This past Saturday night, did not disappoint as MTA squeezed their way past JEC, in their season opener.

Both teams had a defense-first mentality, which definitely showed on the scoreboard, as it was 4-2 in MTA’s favor at the end of the first quarter of play. The second quarter was almost identical to the prior one, but MTA received a tremendous momentum boost when senior guard Abie Schwartz heaved a cross court pass to big man Yosef Shmuel for an easy layup as time expired.

The second half continued to be played in a neck-and-neck fashion as both teams continued to trade defensive opportunities. With a few seconds remaining in the game, the scoreboard showed 24-22 in favor of MTA, but JEC’s Coach Borenstein was not going down without a fight. A play was set up for senior guard Akiva Hess to find an open lane to the basket off an inbounds pass, but thanks to great defense by the MTA guards, Hess was denied a last chance opportunity.

For both teams this was a great display of the impact defense can have on a basketball game. To quote a spectator, “With a yeshiva league final score of 24-22, one can either figure it to be a high scoring hockey game or a defense first basketball game.” The latter was the case this past Motzei Shabbat, we’ll see what will be in store for these teams for the rest of the long season ahead.

By Ikey Gutlove


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