At the Emunah tournament
At the Emunah tournament
At the Emunah tournament

Varsity Roundup

Playing with a depleted roster of seven players (as they have been every game so far this season), Rambam trailed YDE by 13 points at halftime. Things turned around in the second half as Rambam made several key defensive stops and went on a big run to take the lead with 3 minutes left to play in the game. But in the end, some missed shots and costly errors on defense were the deciding factors. Jack Ross led the attack with 18 points. Shmuli Goldner and Aryeh Kahn chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Final score: YDE 65, Rambam 58.
Game of the Week: After coming off two championships beating the NSHA Stars, the HAFTR Hawks took on the Stars once again for the third time this season. The stars took an early lead in the first half with the star of NSHA, Cody Cohen, dominating HAFTR, scoring two three-pointers to add to his 15 points in the half and give NSHA the lead at 27—24 at halftime. After talking in the locker room, HAFTR went on a 16—6 run in the third. The Hawks guard, Michael Weissman, tied the game with a huge jump shot early in the third at 31—31. HAFTR Hawks star Jonathan Greenberg hit 1 to put the Hawks up by 3. He finished up the day with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Hawks didn’t stop there. Hawks center Abie Perlow had an unbelievable game, scoring 20 points with 17 rebounds, and led the Hawks to defeat the Stars once again 53—45. Special kudos to HAFTR’s manager Josh Markowitz.

TABC Victorious In JV Rubenstein Tournament

The Emunah-sponsored Rubenstein Junior Varsity Tournament, the premier JV basketball tournament in the United States, took place this past week. The tournament was conceived in memory of Rabbi Jacob and Mrs. Deborah Rubenstein of Scarsdale, who were tragically killed in a fire in their home seven years ago. The rabbi and his wife, among their many charitable endeavors, had led a mission to Israel with the Young Israel of Scarsdale years ago and had become connected to Emunah’s Bet Elazraki Children’s Home. The Rubenstein Campus of Bet Elazraki was recently dedicated in their memory.
Bet Elazraki is an incredible organization and all the money raised from this tournament is donated to it. The tournament shines a light on both the legacy of Rabbi and Mrs. Rubenstein and the great work of Emunah and Bet Elazraki.
Twelve teams from the New York/New Jersey area participated, including Derech HaTorah, DRS, Frisch, Flatbush, HAFTR, HANC, Heschel, JEC, MTA, Ramaz, SAR, Shaare Torah, and TABC. Many of the schools offered their facilities to host the games, including Frisch, TABC, SAR, DRS, Flatbush, HANC, JEC, MTA (Yeshiva University), and special thanks to TABC and SAR for use of their facilities for all the teams on Saturday-night semis and Sunday championship rounds.
The tournament spanned November 9—16, 2014. Opening day featured the kick-off of a slate of games across the metropolitan area. The second round, to determine the semifinalists, was equally exciting.
After games during the week, a huge crowd gathered at TABC on Saturday night to see the four semifinal teams match up before a full house. The semifinalists playing were Flatbush at TABC and Ramaz against SAR.
When the dust settled, SAR had defeated Ramaz and TABC bested Flatbush in a classic semifinal game. Highlighting the TABC—Flatbush game on Saturday night, the Storm and the Falcons mixed it up in a tough physical game that was close the whole way. In the late fourth quarter, Eitan Gerszberg hit two huge foul shots to put TABC up 4 as they closed out Flatbush 55—51. TABC’s Mo Proctor lit up the scoreboard with 31 and played mano a mano with Flatbush big man Abie Rosow, who finished with 21 points.
On Sunday, TABC came in to SAR High School to take on the SAR Sting in the Rubinstein Memorial Tournament championship game.
It was a tough game from the get-go with both teams playing smothering defense. Co-captain Andrew Haberman helped TABC get off to a commanding early lead, with his ability to get to the basket. Emerging star Daniel Wysotsky then carried the SAR Sting for most of the game while TABC guards Meir Jacobs, who played well offensively as well as great defense on Wysotsky, and Efraim Saks, on both sides of the floor, helped TABC keep the game close.
As the game went into the final minutes, TABC built a small lead. The Sting came fighting back. The clutch three-point shooting of SAR forward Dovie Marcus and free-throw shooting of Daniel Wysotsky put SAR up by 3 with 6.5 seconds remaining in the game. Proctor, who had been held in check with 8 points the whole night by incredible SAR defense, took the ball the length of the court and hit a well-defended fade-away, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Proctor took over, going on an 11—2 run on his own, including 9 points, and TABC finished off SAR in a tough win 57—50. After reaching the Rubinstein Tournament finals for the fourth year in a row, TABC finally won in an instant classic that will be remembered for what is now known simply as “The Shot.”
In the third-place game, Flatbush easily bested Ramaz with a 47—22 win, led by Russo and star guard Kevin Haddad.
Tournament All-Stars. DRS: Gideon Valensky and Ben Weinstein; Flatbush: Kevin Haddad and Abie Rosow; Frisch: Sammy Fishman and Isaac Laifer; HAFTR: Jason Mishkin and Zachary Schwartz; Heschel: Sam Forman and Ilan Orgel; JEC: Ranaan Kimmel and Dovid Reiser; MTA: Yehudah Bookbinder and Yehudah Colton; Ramaz: Yoni Bettinger and Jonny Povman; SAR: Dovie Marcus and Daniel Wisotsky; Shaare Torah: Oren Peso and David Sasson; TABC: Mo Proctor, Andrew Haberman, and Efraim Saks.
In an opening-round game in the Emunah Varsity Basketball Tournament, the Heschel Heat withstood numerous turnovers caused by a swarming Flatbush press and half-court trap to win 53—47. The Heat fell behind early 8—2, but regained their composure to take a 14—11 lead at the end of one and a 27—21 lead at the half on the Flatbush home court. Flatbush tied the game late in the third period but the Heat responded with back-to-back threes and were able to hold on to that lead the rest of the way. Sophomore guard Jeremy Spiera led the way with 14 points (4 threes) and senior Sam Littman, playing on a sore ankle, chipped in with 10 points and 9 rebounds. Senior Captain Jonathan Granowitz struggled from the field but finished with 10 points. Beyda for Flatbush came off the bench to score a team-high 15 with no one else in double figures. The Heat players await the results of the other opening-round games to determine their opponent in Saturday night’s semifinals.

League Standings
Boys’ Varsity Basketball
Eastern Division (Wins, Losses):

DRS 4, 0
HAFTR 3, 0
YDE 3, 1
North Shore 2, 1
Magen David 2, 2
Flatbush 2, 3
HANC 1, 2
Derech Hatorah 1, 5
Rambam 0, 8

Western Division
Frisch 4, 0
TABC 3, 1
Ramaz 5, 2
Hillel 3, 2
JEC 3, 2
MTA 3, 3
Heschel 3, 3
SAR 1, 2
Kushner 0, 6
Boys’ JV Basketball
Eastern Division:
HAFTR 2, 0
HANC 2, 0
North Shore 2, 0
Flatbush 1, 0
Magen David 2, 1
YDE 2, 2
DRS 1, 1
Shaare Torah 1, 3
Ezra 0, 3
Rambam 0, 3

Western Division:
TABC 2, 0
MTA 2, 0
JEC 2, 1
SAR 2, 1
Heschel 2, 1
Ramaz 1, 1
Kushner 2, 3
Frisch 0, 1
Hillel 0, 5

YU Men’s Basketball Falls In
To Connecticut

The 2014—15 home opener for the Yeshiva men’s basketball team saw it all: an overflow crowd, lots of energy, intensity, a controversial buzzer-beater, and a game that lasted three overtimes. But it was the Maccabees that fell short in the end as Yeshiva was defeated by Connecticut College 96—87 after 55 minutes of basketball in front of a capacity crowd at the Max Stern Athletic Center Thursday night.
The loss was the first of the season for Yeshiva, now 2—1, while Connecticut College improves its record to 2—1 on the young season.
The game saw 20 lead changes and 19 ties, and neither team led by more than double-figures until Connecticut College pulled away late.
Late in regulation, Yeshiva trailed 62—60 with the ball and the shot-clock off. Benjy Ritholtz connected on a jumper with just under seven seconds left to tie the score and send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, the visiting Camels led most of the way. Yeshiva took its first lead of the first overtime with 1:47 to go on a pair of free throws by Shelby Rosenberg to make the score 67—66. Connecticut went back up by a pair momentarily before a three-pointer by Ritholtz with 25 seconds left put Yeshiva ahead, and the Maccabees were up 70—69. Then after Connecticut failed on its ensuing possession, Ritholtz was fouled and connected on two free throws to put Yeshiva ahead 71—69 with six seconds left.
But Connecticut College tied the game at the buzzer on a lay-up by Zuri Pavlin. Yeshiva triple-teamed the ball handler, Lee Messier, in the corner with no place to go. Messier, though, managed to get a pass off along the baseline to Pavlin who put home the game-tying shot in one motion just before the horn. One official originally called the shot after the buzzer, but after an officials’ conference the shot counted.
In the second overtime, Yeshiva led most of the way and led by as much as four points three times. The Maccabees were ahead 80—76 with 20 seconds left after a lay-up by Rosenberg. On the ensuing possession, Connecticut’s Colin Pascoe was fouled with 14 seconds left and went to the free-throw line. After making the first free throw, he missed the second, but the rebound fell out of bounds, last touched by Yeshiva, hence giving Connecticut the ball down three. Then with three seconds left, Pavlin was fouled attempting a three-pointer. He connected on all three free throws, and suddenly the game was tied again. Yeshiva failed to get off a shot at the end of the second overtime, leading into a third one.
In the third overtime, the score was tied at 84 with 2:09 to go before the Camels went on a 10—0 spurt in under two minutes to put the game away.
Ritholtz led all scorers with 30 points, while grabbing 8 rebounds. He added 3 blocks and 2 steals in the contest. Rosenberg had a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, along with 4 blocked shots. Jordan Hod had 8 assists for the Maccabees.
Benjy Ritholtz Named Skyline Conference
Player Of The Week
The Skyline Conference released its first weekly awards for basketball season, and Yeshiva men’s basketball player Benjy Ritholtz (West Hempstead, HANC) was named a conference Co-Player of the Week for the week ending November 18.
Judah Rhine is co-director of MVP Boys Basketball Camp and has been coaching youth basketball for 30+ years. He can be reached at


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