April 11, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Team Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential Is 5/6 MGBL Champion

In this year of madness upsets, the fifth/sixth grade championship came down to the top two teams from the regular season. The Jawbreakers were the favorites going in with an undefeated season so far, while Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential had only one loss on the season, when these two team met a month and a half ago. All in attendance at a standing room only Ben Porat Yosef knew they were in for a good game. A special mention to Norman Gross, father of Mitch Gross z”l, who was in attendance along with Mitch’s nephew and niece Aryeh and Shira Lejtman.

Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential led by the one two punch of Gilad Jutkowitz and Koby Wolk took the early lead 9-4 after the first frame. Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential looked to be in control of the game until Jawbreaker big man Judah Lopkin entered the game minutes into the second quarter down 15-6. Lopkin immediately made his presence felt with a no look pass to twin brother Jack Lopkin, and three consecutive defensive stops to trim the deficit to 23-20 at the half.

In the second half, the Jawbreakers came out firing with big baskets from both Lopkins, Ari Herman and six of Ezra Stern’s team high 14 points. Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential came this far and were not about to give up without a fight. Behind a herculean defensive effort, Aron Nadler and Aryeh Eizikovitz managed to keep the ball out of the paint, while Wolk (22 points) and Jutkowitz (15 points) kept pouring on the points, taking a slim 37-32 lead into the final quarter. The fourth quarter that saw Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential go on a 7-0 run, only to be followed by the Jawbreaker 8-0 run. Like most games do, this one came down to free throws and none bigger than when Jutkowitz found himself at the line with shooting one and one with a two point lead. Jutkowitz, with ice in his veins sank the first shot, putting the game out of reach and securing the championship for Nina Eizikovitz Links Residential.

As season nine is almost finished, the Mitch Gross Basketball league would like to thank all of the family members and fans for cheering the boys on, our sponsors for helping to make this possible, the coaches (and their spouses) for volunteering their time and, of course, the boys for playing their hearts out.

By JLNJ Sports Staff

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