By Daniel Libesman

On Thursday evening, February 26, the MTA JV Lions took on the HAFTR Hawks in the quarterfinals of the MYHSAL playoffs. MTA came in as a lower seed, but in what is considered a stronger conference than HAFTR, so there was a high confidence level for the Lions going in. HAFTR seemed to be playing with a stronger drive to win and was leading for most of the game, but Binyamin Buchbinder and point guard Marc Giahn carried MTA back into it. Binyamin had 12 points while Marc was stellar from the three-point range. Josh Klein was tremendous defensively, guarding HAFTR’s number-one threat, Jason Mishkin, and ending the game with 5 blocked shots. The highlight of the game was the clutch 3-pointer by Binyamin to tie the game up at 32—32 with just 49 seconds remaining, only to be topped when he hit a game-winning three with just a few seconds on the clock. Binyamin’s heroics will go down in the MTA record books if the JV Lions go on to win the championship. Their next challenger: SAR, in the semifinals.

Other Yeshiva-League Playoffs

In an early-round matchup, TABC visited Flatbush in the JV playoffs. TABC started off strong, but Flatbush was able to stay even thanks to Zarif. At halftime, the game was still up for grabs. In the second half, Flatbush built a comfortable lead only to see TABC mount a furious comeback culminating in a buzzer-beater basket to tie the contest and send the game into overtime. In the overtime, Flatbush was able to reestablish their lead and ended up winning by 7. Flatbush now moves on to the semifinals.

Déjà vu! For the second year in a row, local rivals DRS Wildcats and HAFTR Hawks faced off in the MYHSAL championship. And for the second year in a row, the Hawks had a come-from-behind victory. DRS started the scoring with a power-play goal by Soffer in the first period. HAFTR answered in the second period with their own power-play goal scored by Sam Schechter. In the third period, captain Evan Feder had the go-ahead goal with 8:53 remaining. The play of the game happened with less than two minutes to go in the game; DRS had a 2-on-1 break and Ryan Gluck made one of his many great saves to prevent DRS from tying the game. The championship was then sealed with a Feder empty-net goal. With two goals and an assist, the captain was awarded the MVP trophy.

Eighth Grade

HALB visited NSHA on March 2 for a rematch against North Shore. NSHA defeated HALB by a score of 61—37. NSHA will be playing Flatbush on Thursday, March 12. The winner will be going to the championship. North Shore was led by Aaron Lavi with 18 points and Josh Hajibai with 17 points.

Seventh Grade

YOF v. MDY. On a snowy night in Brooklyn, the Yeshiva of Flatbush visited Magen David for a playoff game in the third meeting between the teams. MDY raced out to a quick 8—0 lead. But Flatbush kept it together and were able to close the gap to 20—17 just minutes before the half. When MDY started to pull away again, Flatbush came right back and went on a small run and secured a 10-point victory. Flatbush was led by Eli Cohen with 12 points; MDY was led by Albetr Nsiri with 17 points and Teddy Cohen with 11 points.

HAFTR v. HALB. HALB visited HAFTR for another meeting–this time it was the playoffs. HAFTR started off strong and pulled ahead. HALB mounted a small comeback, but was unable to break through the large margin. HAFTR secured the victory and will now play MDY in the championship.

YI Basketball

Heichal Over Be’er Hagolah 62—41. Heichal outplayed the entire game. Two highest scorers: Meir Jacoby had 22 points and sat out the fourth, and Binyomin Senter had 15. Dov Jacobson had 6 steals. Heichal is coming back.

YIBB Standings 2015


Red Shul                                                  5—0

Harborview                                             3—0

Yam Hatorah                                         3—1

YI Manhattan                                        3—2

MAY                                                        2—2

Heichal Hatorah                                    2—3

YI Woodmere                                        1—3

Be’er Hagolah                                        0—2

Meishav Nefesh                                     0—3

Tribeca                                                    0—3


Or Chaim                                                5—0

MAY                                                        2—1

Tiferes Torah                                          1—1

YI Woodmere                                        1—1

ZDR                                                         1—1

Shaare Torah                                         1—2

YI Jamaica Estates                               0—1

Mashadi                                                  0—2

Be’er Hagolah                                        0—2

YU To Host 24th Sarachek Basketball Invitational

From March 19—23, twenty yeshiva high-school basketball teams from across the U.S. and Canada will meet at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights to battle it out for the top spot in the university’s 24th annual Red Sarachek Invitational Basketball Tournament, North America’s most prestigious Jewish high school basketball competition.

The long weekend will include several off-court activities to help the young all-stars gain an early appreciation for YU’s unique educational environment and culture, including a lively Shabbaton, tours of the University, and a special Sunday kollel and Midreshet Yom Rishon, featuring Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought; Senator Joseph Lieberman, chair in public policy and public service; and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought.

“Our annual tournament was established to honor the legacy of former YU Maccabees coach Bernard ‘Red’ Sarachek, a larger-than-life figure whose dedication to the Yeshiva University students and the greater Jewish community is well-known. As a fitting tribute, the tournament that bears his name has become a community-wide celebration of good sportsmanship, Jewish unity, and Yeshiva University pride,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the vice president of university and community life.

“We are thrilled to honor Coach Sarachek’s memory every year by hosting high-school students from across North America and giving them the full Yeshiva University experience, showing them that only at Yeshiva can a Shabbat-observant college student play NCAA basketball and learn from intellectual giants in all fields of Jewish study and general knowledge.”

Participating schools for this year’s tournament will include: Akiva Hebrew Day School (Detroit, MI); Atlanta Jewish Academy (Atlanta, GA); Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School (Pikesville, MD); David Posnack Jewish Day School (Davie, FL); Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School (Woodmere, NY); Fuchs Mizrachi School (Cleveland, OH); Hebrew Academy of Montreal (Montreal, Canada); Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (Lawrence, NY); Hillel Yeshiva School (Ocean Township, NJ); Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago, IL); Maimonides School (Brookline, MA); Rabbi Alexander Gross Hebrew Academy (Miami, FL); Robert M. Beren Academy (Houston, TX); Shalhevet High School (Los Angeles, CA); The Frisch School (Paramus, NJ); Valley Torah High School (Valley Village, CA); Weinbaum Yeshiva High School (Boca Raton, FL); Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); Yeshivat Or Chaim (Toronto, Canada); and Yeshiva University High School for Boys/Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (New York, NY).

National Hillel
Basketball Tournament

The field is set for the National Hillel Basketball Tournament, April 17—19, at the University of Maryland. In total, 44 teams are participating from 27 universities across the country. Baruch College, New York University, University of Kansas, University of Southern California, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Brooklyn College, University of Maryland College Park, Cornell University, Michigan State University, Columbia University, Barnard College, Yeshiva University, Queens College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Stern College, Goucher College, University of Central Florida, Boston University, University of Wisconsin, Drexel University, Brandeis University, Metro Detroit Hillel, Muhlenberg College, Syracuse University, George Washington University, Lehigh University, and Stanford University will be playing in this year’s tournament. Registration has officially closed and teams are excited to participate in this extraordinary weekend. The 44 teams that will be competing for the Kiddush Cup marks a record number of participants for the National Hillel Basketball Tournament. In addition to competitive basketball, all festivities of the weekend will be a great way for the players to spend time with one another. This year’s National Hillel Basketball Tournament is shaping up to be the biggest and best one yet.

High-School Basketball Playoff Results
And Schedule

Boys’ Varsity

1st Round:

Heschel 56, JEC 42

Hillel 48, Ramaz 45

MDY 66, YDE 45

North Shore 46, HANC 23

Quarterfinal Results:

DRS 54, Heschel 33

North Shore 57, TABC 46

HAFTR 49, Hillel 34

Frisch 72, Magen David 53


North Shore at HAFTR

DRS at Frisch


Boys’ JV

1st Round:

TABC 53, Ramaz 48

North Shore over Rambam

DRS 57, HANC 42

MTA 45, JEC 34

Quarterfinal Results:

Frisch over North Shore

SAR 39, DRS 34

Flatbush 46, TABC 39

MTA 35, HAFTR 32


Frisch at Flatbush



Girls’ Varsity “A”

HAFTR 50, Frisch 42

Bruriah 55, North Shore 37

Ramaz over Hillel

SAR 39, Flatbush 34

Semifinal Matchups:

Bruriah 53, SAR 41

Ramaz 40, HAFTR 35


Bruriah v. Ramaz


Girls’ Varsity “B” (Round Robin)

Ilan 21, Shalhevet 14

Ilan 24, MDY 16

MDY 19, Shalhevet 17



Ilan At Bruriah


Girls’ JV

Maayanot 56, Central 25

North Shore 47, Frisch 34

Flatbush 43, Kushner 20

SAR 35, HAFTR 21


SAR at Flatbush

North Shore at Maayanot

SAR Sting Defeat Rambam Ravens To Capture
Hockey Championship

March 8, 2015 will be a date to remember for the SAR Sting hockey program. The stage was set in Lawrence Middle School in Lawrence, home of the Yeshiva Hockey League junior varsity championship. The title game featured a battle between two undefeated teams chasing their respective school’s first hockey championships. The Rambam Ravens, hailing from the Five Towns, were the experienced team, having played in last year’s JV final and were a heavily sophomore-laden team. On the other side, the SAR Sting, from Riverdale, NY, were a mostly freshman team with only three sophomores on their roster.

Rambam jumped out to a quick 1—0 lead on a goal by Daniel Lichter 1:03 into the 1st period. SAR answered back to tie the score at 1—1 with a goal by sophomore sniper Solomon Freilich. Freshman star Gordie Kolb of SAR put his team up 2—1 with a quick snap-shot from in front of the net. However, the Ravens responded on a power-play goal by star forward and captain Avi Orlow on a well-placed wrist shot to tie the score at 2—2 heading into the first intermission.

Rambam came out strong to start the second period, but SAR freshman goalie Jacob “Nay Nay” Nayowitz, came up with some big saves to keep the strong Ravens’ attack at bay. SAR went up 3—2 on Freilich’s second goal of the day, ripping a top shelf snap-shot past the Rambam goalie, off a beautiful feed from Kolb. With SAR on the power play, Orlow scored a fluky Short Handed Goal on a miscommunication by SAR, tying the game at 3—3. Orlow scored again, burying a rebound, for the hat trick to put his Ravens up 4—3. SAR’s star defenseman Shua Friedman scored a big goal on the rebound off a Freilich point-shot to tie the score at 4—4 midway through the second period. One minute later, Gordie Kolb scored his second of the game, to give the Sting a 5—4 lead. Kolb’s highlight reel goal was a gorgeous play, picking up the puck from his own goal line, splitting the defense and ripping a wrist-shot glove-side, sending the Sting faithful into a frenzy. With just 2:47 left in the period, SAR took its first two-goal lead of the game, 6—4. The goal scored by SAR rookie forward Judah Fortgang on a quick shot through the five-hole off a clean faceoff win by fellow freshman Ben Lasher. The wild second period, featuring 6 goals in total, ended with SAR up 6—4 heading into the dressing room.

Between periods, in the SAR locker room, veteran head coach Noah Falkenstein gave an inspirational speech to his team, providing the motivation for the final push they needed heading into the final period.. SAR came out flying in the third period, controlling play and putting shots on net from all areas. The Sting’s second line defensive pair, sophomore Eli Gelfand and freshman Adam Weiss, were particularly strong in their own end. At 5:44, with SAR on the power play, alternate captain Jason Burian scored a goal off a nice backhand cross-pass from Kolb to give the Sting a 7—4 advantage. However, Rambam showed tremendous heart, answering only 9 seconds later on a goal by Harry Tannen. At 7—5, and time ticking down, SAR could feel their championship in their grasp. The Ravens, with their goalie pulled, made one last effort, scoring a goal with just 7 seconds remaining in the 3rd period to pull within 7—6. However, it was too little, too late as the clock struck zero and the SAR Sting captured their first-ever hockey championship, capping off a 13—0 undefeated season.

Congrats to the SAR Sting coaching staff, led by head coach Noah Falkenstein and assistants Zach Fein, Yves Levy, and Howie Falkenstein. Three stars of the game were Gordie Kolb (named game MVP 2G, 2A); Solomon Freilich (2G, 1A); and Avi Orlow (3G).

Hockey Playoffs

Boys’ Varsity

1st Round:

MTA 6, Rambam 0

Ramaz 5, North Shore 1

Quarterfinal Results:

TABC 3, Ramaz 0

DRS 4, Kushner 0




HAFTR 2, SAR 1 (Quad OT)





Boys’ JV

1st Round:



Quarterfinal Results:


Frisch 2, Flatbush 0


Rambam 4, HAFTR 1

Semifinal Matchups:

SAR 4, DRS 0

Rambam 2, Frisch 1 OT


SAR 7, Rambam 6


Boys’ Middle School

Sixth Grade

North Shore over HALB

HAFTR at Flatbush


Seventh Grade


Magen David over Flatbush


HAFTR vs. Magen David


Eighth Grade

Har Torah at HAFTR

North Shore over HALB

Barkai at MDY

North Shore at Flatbush


Girls’ Varsity

Har Torah over Flatbush

North Shore over HAFTR


Har Torah vs. North Shore


Women-Only League

HALB over Magen David

Barkai at YNJ

Judah Rhine is co-director of MVP Boys Basketball Camp and MVP Girls Basketball Camp and is the co-commissioner of the National Council of Young Israel Basketball League. He has been coaching youth basketball for 30+ years. He can be reached at mvp4boys@gmail.com or mvp4girls@gmail.com.


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