(TBL) The Basketball League, also known as TBL, had a very successful inaugural season. The league was divided into two divisions, intermediate (ninth and 10th grades) and senior (11th and 12th grades). A total of 13 teams participated and made up the two divisions. The league was comprised of teams from schools and shuls throughout the New York/New Jersey area. The senior teams were: Heichal HaTorah, Sephardic Synagogue of Plainview, Mashadi, Yeshiva Derech HaTorah, Yeshiva Or HaTorah, Be’er Hagolah Institute and Yeshiva Lev Torah. The intermediate teams were: Yeshiva Tiferes Torah, Be’er Hagolah Institute, Kingsway Jewish Center, Shoresh Mesivta, Ohr Yisroel of Tenafly and Heichal HaTorah. Each team played 10 regular season games. Every team made the playoffs, as each division was divided into two tiers. Many of the games were extremely competitive and all looked forward with great anticipation to the unique inclusive playoff format.
TBL Tier 1 Intermediate Champions Heichal HaTorah Hornets
The Heichal Hornets triumphed over Ohr Yisrael in a nail biting 61-53 championship win this past Sunday, bringing a perfect end to a terrific season. The Hornets JV team eagerly took the court yesterday as they looked to complete their fantastic season with a championship. For the first three quarters of the game, the teams were neck and neck, but the Hornets managed to create an impressive lead in the fourth quarter, enabling them to bring home the championship trophy. Avi Greenbaum led Heichal’s trio of lead scorers with 19 points, followed by Dani Goldenberg with 14 points and Daniel Wertentheil with 10 points. Yoni Wilk and Koby Bekritsky brought the team spark and lightning as they paced Ohr Yisrael with tempo, quickness and accuracy.
Dean of Students Avi Epstein noted that the Hornets’ unselfish passing and great ball movement bought them a significant advantage, showcasing the boys’ growth and teamwork which they worked on over the season. Heichal also took advantage of its deep bench, including masterful defender Akiva Shenbein, Yissachar “Suchy” Zauderer who was magical from the corner pocket, and Akiva Fried who consistently hit the boards. Scoring for Ohr Yisroel was Rozehzadeh with 16 points and Rosen with 14 points. Both teams were appreciative of the great season and already looking forward to next season. Thanks to Avi Epstein for his contribution to this article.
TBL Tier 1 Senior Champions Sephardic Synagogue of Plainview
The Tier 1 championship senior game between the Sephardic Synagogue of Plainview vs. top ranked Heichal HaTorah took place this past Sunday before a packed crowd. This game was a rematch from the regular season when Heichal HaTorah swept both games from Sephardic.
From the outset, Sephardic was determined to make up for their earlier losses during the regular season. Sephardic stunned everyone by racing out to an early 18–2 lead in the first quarter from which they never looked back. Their suffocating defense frustrated Heichal. By the beginning of the second quarter, the lead grew to 25–4. Finally, Heichal got its game together and went on a 10–0 run to cut the lead to 25-14. The lead stayed at 10 until Sephardic hit a three just before the halftime buzzer and the teams went into halftime with the score 29–16 in favor of Sephardic. The teams traded baskets throughout the third quarter but Sephardic continued to dominate and held a 44-29 lead after three quarters.
Heichal was determined to make a comeback, and fought valiantly, but they could not put a dent into the lead. Sephardic was able to cruise to a dominant 60–45 victory and claim the TBL Tier 1 senior championship. Sephardic had balanced scoring led by Ben Falack with 19 points, David Orbach with 16 points and Ben Mottahedah with 10 points. Sheinbein led Heichal with 21 points.
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