It was a wild night in Teaneck on Tuesday, January 30, as hundreds of spectators flocked to the TABC basketball gym for a thrilling double-header between the TABC Storm and the SAR Sting. The varsity teams had faced off less than two weeks prior, with the Storm eking out a one-point victory. Now, after the JV Storm lost 64-51, the onus was on the varsity squad to salvage the night and hold off their Riverdale rivals once more. The ensuing showdown, electric from start to finish, saw SAR create a small advantage in the first half, one that TABC would consistently chip away at before pulling ahead for a 55-49 win.
From the outset, SAR exhibited suffocating defense, frustrating TABC’s attempts to establish an early lead which they so often are able to generate. While the Storm occasionally broke through this defensive barrier, the first quarter concluded with TABC down 18-14.
This gap continued to widen in the second period, with SAR’s Jake Glick and Yishama Orlow nabbing two and 3-pointers, respectively, solidifying SAR’s lead. Yet the Storm pushed forward, with Eitan Sulemanoff and Ayden Gurin rapidly matching the Sting’s gains. After a timeout, the Storm closed in even further, whittling the Sting’s lead down to one, thanks to a phenomenal three sunk by Dovid Saks. The lead would proceed to yo-yo between the two teams, and SAR entered intermission clutching onto an insecure 29-28 advantage.
The game would escalate into mayhem during the third quarter, as the capacity crowd watched on, enthralled. Finally, TABC, more determined than ever, surged ahead, with two Eyal Kinderlehrer buckets sandwiching a deuce from Charlie Simmons. A remarkable assist from half-court by Kinderlehrer to Gurin would expand TABC’s lead to 36-29.
The Sting proceeded to swiftly respond with six points of their own, and, despite a three from Simmons, SAR leapfrogged ahead by three points, with more buckets from Glick and Orlow, and a free throw from Sammy Teplitsky. However, the Storm was able to re-find its footing, as a Gurin layup was topped off by two treys from Sulemanoff and Gurin. The quarter of runs ended with TABC up 47-42.
Hoping to regain the upper hand, SAR entered the final period aggressively, but this newfound energy would initially fail to translate into points for either team. Eventually, Glick and Kinderlehrer would trade layups, and a Matteas Ellis 3-pointer brought SAR within striking distance. As the clock dwindled down, the Storm fended off the Sting. Kinderlehrer and Simmons iced the game with mere seconds on the clock with a free throw and a layup, cementing yet another Storm victory, their ninth in a row.
Kinderlehrer, in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds, was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points; Glick led SAR with 14 points. Gurin, Simmons and Sulemanoff contributed 11, nine, and eight points, respectively, in the winning effort.