July 13, 2024
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YMSSA 8B Basketball Readies for the Playoffs

After their hopes for an undefeated season were dashed by a tough loss against an undermanned but determined Yavneh team, the Knights bounced back quickly with two victories before winter break. On Jan 11, the Knights traveled to SAR and won handily. Ari Kaminetzky (11) set the tone early with 3 treys in the first four minutes of the game and the Knights cruised from there on. Ari Green (10), Elie Goldberg (10) and Akiva Prager (8) were strong contributors as well. The game also featured the return of Yehuda Mirwis who had missed the beginning of the season while recovering from foot surgery.

Two nights later RYNJ visited Noam and gave the Knights all they could handle. RYNJ was the tougher and more physical team and they outplayed the Knights by 9 into the start of second quarter. The Knights finally got going midway through the second quarter. Using intense pressure defense and a barrage of 3-pointers from Ari Kaminetzky (16) and Sam Bendheim (10), the Knights turned the tables on RYNJ. By the time the quarter ended, it was the Knights who held a 9-point lead. The Knights dominated play in the second half and won with dexterity. Gabi Antosofsky’s (12) terrific play on both ends of the floor was a key to the victory.

After a three week break, the Knights were noticeably rusty when they played SAR on February 4. Despite that, the Knights got big performances from Yoni Mann (15) and Billy Krause (12), and held on for a 14-point victory. Ari Kaminetzky (11) and Ari Green (8) chipped in as well.

To close out the regular season, the Knights hosted Moriah. Moriah had been struggling this season, but Noam-Moriah games are always intense. Although their shots weren’t falling, the Knights came out on fire on the defensive end and used stifling pressure to shut Moriah down. Billy Krause (16) and Yoni Mann (16) were terrific for the Knights. Reuben Melzer did an outstanding job defending Moriah big man Gabi Katz, who had destroyed the Knights with his play earlier in the season.

The 8B Noam Knights won their last four games and finished the regular season 9-1; they clinched first place in their division. With two-time champion Moriah now on the outside of the post season, the Knights’ next stop on their quest for the title is a home game against RYNJ on February 23 in round one of the playoffs.

A couple of blocks away from the Noam game, the Yavneh Red Hawks hosted the JFS Jaguars. The Jaguars needed a win to make the postseason. JFS came out strong and took an early 8-point lead with some hot shooting. The Red Hawks took charge, led by Manny Segal (11) and Jacob Bergstein (8). Brian Racer picked up the team defensively with 3 steals and put Yavneh back in the lead. Despite JFS mounting a comeback, Yavneh held on with 2 clutch treys by Ben Shore and 6 points by Coby Zwebner, along with Eitan Bleiberg (2 pts) and Ethan Kessler (4 pts) controlling the boards. The Yavneh Redhawks locked up the 51-39 victory.

Next up for the Red hawks is a home playoff game against MDS on Feb 23 at 6:15 p.m.

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