One day after Bergen County’s “real” snowstorm on February 3rd, the (8-1) Noam Knights 7b basketball team defeated the undefeated (7-0) Moriah School at home, 43-40.
Aside from playoffs, this was arguably the most important game of the YMSSA basketball season because the winner of this game possibly takes first place. Moriah, which suffered its first loss in its two-basketball seasons, was led by Rafi Lewis’ 15 points and 9 assists and Gaby Katz’s 11 points and 17 rebounds.
The top two teams began the game with the tip off between their 6-foot centers, Katz (Moriah) and Billy Krause (Noam). Noam’s Yehuda Mirwis started the attack as he scored the first 2 points on a sweet jumpshot. However, Moriah’s Katz answered back immediately with a layup. As the half concluded, the score was even at 19.
In the 3rd quarter, Moriah’s Lewis took control of the game as he dazzled the crowd with his phenomenal ball handling and floaters. Unfortunately, Moriah’s ephemeral momentum would soon end as the game clock shut off. Although they led by 4 with the score 31-27, it was not enough to hold off the hungry Noam Knights.
In the final quarter, Moriah was still dominant and maintained a lead. However, that’s completely irrelevant because the only thing that matters in the 4rth quarter is the final score. Yoni Mann’s aggressive defense quickly sparked Noam back into the game as he recorded many clutch steals by leading them in the final 11-3 run. Noam was led by Sam Bendheim’s 10 points and Mirwis’ 8 points. When the final buzzer went off, the entire Noam squad, players and fans, celebrated as if they had the won the YMSSA championship game.
Now, Noam (9-1) remains at the top of the power rankings and Moriah (7-1) will try to bounce back when it plays Yavneh next week.
By Zach Horowitz