June 12, 2024
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The Cougars Sting SAR in Double Header Sweep

Motzei Shabbos basketball, at the home of Frisch Cougars in Paramus, never fails to excite and this past weekend was a phenomenal example. The Cougars hosted the SAR Sting in a junior varsity and varsity basketball doubleheader in a pair of games that had a tremendous impact on the Eastern Conference standings and potential playoff matchups.

The opener of the evening was the junior varsity game where both teams were held scoreless for the first two minutes until sophomore guard Max Schachter put the Cougars on the board with a crafty finish in the paint. This bucket by Schachter opened a scoring barrage from both teams as countless threes and lead changes were exchanged throughout the quarter. At the end of the first frame, the Cougars led only by one point with a score of 15-14.

The second quarter featured the continued offensive show with buckets coming from all over the court. SAR freshman guard Evan Goldberg brought all the fans to their feet when he knocked down a spot up 3-pointer from Curry-range. The Cougars quickly answered back with two consecutive threes from Schachter to take a slight advantage. At the half, the Cougars continued to hold a minor lead of just one point.

The Cougars started the second half on fire. Sophomore forward Jason Gamms could be charged with igniting the flame as he contributed five quick points in part of Frisch’s early 8-0 run to start the half. The Sting would play catch-up with multiple impressive, contested lay-ins by freshman guard Ari Halpert, but towards the end of the quarter the Cougars were gaining on a comfortable lead.

In the final quarter, the depth of the Cougars proved to be a strength as sophomore Jared Reich proved his ability to be lights out from beyond the arc, scoring several 3-pointers, in addition to his contributions on the defensive end of the court. The size of the Cougars was too much for the Sting to handle on the interior as Pacey Jacoby and Tamir Citron combined for 10 fourth-quarter points to place the final touches on the Cougar victory.

Going into the second game of the evening, the visiting Sting were labeled as the early favorites due to their undefeated record on the season, where they managed to only win by single digits once, but the Cougars were determined to prove the doubters wrong and remain undefeated on the night.

This game came down to the battle of two extremely talented duos. For the Sting, it was the pairing of guard Akiva Schanzer and big man Benny Neuwirth, who are known for their long lasting teammate chemistry dating back to middle school. For the Cougars, it was the backcourt duo of seniors Alex Zakheim and Isaac Schiffman. As mentioned in the Yeshiva League season preview, the key to the Cougars making a deep run this season would be the cohesive offensive effort of the entire team and for them not to solely rely on Zakheim to lead the Cougars to victory. The performance of Isaac Schiffman turned that possibility into reality, as he had the game of his life to help guide the Cougars to success.

Throughout the game both teams made an effort to keep the score close. For the Sting, the dynamic duo of Neuwirth and Schanzer combined for 24 of their team’s first 28 points, but as the game continued the Cougar pairing stole the show. Schiffman and Zakheim were unstoppable, forcing countless turnovers on the defensive end while combining for 42 points to lead the Cougars to victory.

It may be time to consider the Frisch Cougars and SAR Sting to be one of the greatest basketball rivalries in the Yeshiva League. Make sure to stay tuned for future updates as the two teams face off once again on February 2, but this time the Sting will have the home court advantage.

Make sure to check this section weekly for all updates and the latest news from around the yeshiva league. Also make sure to check out Yeshiva League Pass on Instagram and the website for nightly updates on varsity basketball and hockey.


Ikey Gutlove is the Jewish Link sports intern. Please contact [email protected] if you have interest in contributing to this column by providing stories and updates from any high school athletic teams.

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