July 17, 2024
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YMSSA Basketball Playoff Preview

After an almost two year hiatus it’s exciting to be able to talk about YMSSA post season basketball. Before discussing the players and teams that make the league so special, a shout out to the commissioners: Dov Elefant and Dovey Forman. This season has provided countless challenges, but every step of the way the commissioners, the heads of schools and the lay leadership of the league have gone above the call of duty to ensure everyone’s safety: Thank you.

 

Eighth Grade Boys Basketball

While this story is being written there are still a few matchups with playoff implications to be played—the season ends thursday February 24—this is our best guess on how the playoff seeding will stack up. #1 SAR is once again a powerhouse and even though they still have three games to play and all are against playoff caliber teams, Moriah, RYNJ and Yavneh. Look for them to finish the season undefeated as the number one seed. #2 Hillel is also working on a perfect season, with one game still to play versus a talented Golda Ochs Academy team that needs to win to make the postseason. #3 Ramaz sits on top of division two with a 7-1 record and two games to play against division rivals WTA and MDS. #4 WDS is working on an impressive 7-2 season with one game still to play with WTA. Moriah/JEC/MDS after starting the season 0-3, Moriah has found their groove and is looking to extend their four game winning streak. It will not be an easy task with games still to play vs He’Atid, SAR and Yavneh, but if they win they will finish 7-3 and be the number five team. JEC and MDS meet up on February 22, winner takes the sixth spot and loser likely finishes seventh. If JEC wins when they meet, JEC will be 6-4 and will pass Moriah as the 5 seed. If MDS beats JEC or Ramaz in their two remaining games they could be headed toward a coin flip. RYNJ will likely enter the playoffs as the 8 seed, but if they can upset SAR, they could find themselves in a four way tie with Moriah, MDS and JEC.

 

Seventh and Eighth Grade Girls Basketball

This division is made up of mostly teams that have both seventh and eighth grade talent, but there are also three exclusively seventh grade teams mixed in, just to make it interesting. The two division winners and first two seeds will likely be Moriah eighth grade and Moriah seventh grade. Both teams dominated their respective divisions, winning every game by at least 19 points and will need a coin toss to determine who is the one and who is the two. The #3 team will likely be Noam seventh with an almost perfect 9-1 record (their lone loss coming at the hands of Moriah seventh). After defeating MDS last week Kushner will finish the season with a 7-3 record and one more win over playoff teams than Noam eighth and get to host a home game in round one as the number four team. Noam eighth and MDS will likely finish with identical 7-3 records and the same record against playoff teams, these two teams will also have to resort to a coin toss to figure out seeding. The final two spots will go to Yavneh seven and eight both teams with identical records will once again be headed to a coin toss.

 

Seventh Grade Boys Basketball

#1 RYNJ has paced this division all season with only a single loss at Ramaz to mar their perfect season. #2 SAR still has two games to play but assuming they win out, will get the second first round bye. #3 Ramaz locks in the three spot after defending their home court, defeating RYNJ, SAR and Noam at home after losing to all three on the road. #4 Noam started the season on fire, entering winter break a perfect 5-0, however the month of February has been unkind to the Knights as they finish the season 6-4. #5 Moriah will travel down Route 4 to play at Yeshivat Noam in round one and #6 Yavneh ventures back over the GWB to try to end Ramaz’s perfect home record in their round one matchup.

Regardless of who wins the YMSSA championships, I believe everyone can agree that all involved will walk away winners. As a parent of an eighth grade girl recently told me “The girls had fun and the parents were able to watch them play. None of this was a certainty when the season started and we are very grateful.”

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