By Judah Rhine
On January 4, Wisnicki and Associates sponsored the Madraigos 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament at the Aviator Sports and Events Center and Paerdegat Athletic Club in Brooklyn. Judging from the highly competitive nature of the games, exciting finishes, and wonderful sportsmanship between teams from all over the tri-state area, the tournament was a smashing success.
The tournament slogan, “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Step Up for Our Youth” fit the competitive but respectful atmosphere to a tee, as teams combined breakneck speed with deliberate play in a display of unselfish teamwork to get the job done. The players, some of whom came from Yeshiva University, Yeshiva Sh’or Yoshuv, Chofetz Chaim, Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh, and NSHAHS, enjoyed the very strong competition and stated that “it feels great to have fun and help out a great organization.”
The tournament was generously sponsored by numerous supporters and friends of Madraigos in the Five Towns and other tri-state areas. In addition to being the title sponsor, Mr. Dovi Wisnicki of Wisnicki and Associates enthusiastically dedicated his basketball savvy to Madraigos as a player for one of the teams vying on the court for the tournament title. Dovi also serves on the Madraigos board of directors. Madraigos wishes to sincerely thank the other generous tournament sponsors, which include Doctors on Call, Lester Goldsmith Roofing, Lobos, MK Creative Group, Five Towns Miller Realty, Dependable Abstract Inc., Noah Family, and CTS Athletics. Rabbi Dov Silver, founder and executive vice president of Madraigos, was appreciative, saying, “We are grateful and delighted that we can connect having a good time and at the same time help our organization do its lifesaving work.”
The program started with two preliminary rounds to determine the seeding process for creating the brackets for the round-robin championship tournament. Thirteen teams participated in the preliminary rounds, seven playing at the Aviator Center and six at the Paerdegat Athletic Club. Following the preliminary rounds, all thirteen teams assembled at the Aviator Center for the tournament rounds, with the top three teams receiving a bye to sit out the first round.
After the first round, the five winning teams were combined with the three “bye” teams for the quarterfinal series. The excitement crescendoed during the semifinal round when the Dani Rosenthal and Jared Stein-led teams required triple overtime to decide a winner. The two teams still standing for the final championship round were the “white team,” led by Dovi Hoffman, with star players from the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School varsity basketball team and their assistant coach, Rafi Berger, and the “red team,” led by Eitan Golan.
The performance of these two teams in the championship round was about as entertaining and thrilling as it gets, nearly going into overtime to decide the championship winner. Trailing by two points, the white team set up a brilliantly designed play for Dovi Hoffman to take the potentially game-tying shot with 2.6 seconds remaining on the play clock. Dovi’s shot bounced off the rim as time expired, to the disappointment of the white team and the joyous relief of the red team.
Credit for the huge success of the tournament is due in large part to the dedicated efforts of Effie Hoffman, who used his extensive familiarity and connections with tri-state basketball leagues to attract competitive teams to the tournament. One of the players mentioned that he knew in advance that the games would be fun since Effie “always puts together competitive teams.”
Madraigos also wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Moshe Klein, who, in addition to assembling and playing with one of the teams, designed the attractive HoopsForThem.org website, which was instrumental in organizing the entire event, featuring menu selections for event registration, sponsorship opportunities, and raffle-ticket purchases. Moshe also created the aforementioned witty tournament slogan.
“We are thrilled with the outcome of our basketball tournament,” said Rabbi Josh Zern, executive director at Madraigos. “The continued support of our community has allowed Madraigos to be an innovative and highly regarded youth service provider in the Five Towns/Queens community. The nightly Lounge activities, support groups, and school-based services continue to grow and gain momentum as more and more schools partner with us. We have to make sure this expansion moves forward.”
Funds raised at the event will assist Madraigos in providing valuable mental-health, social, and spiritual services to help young adults cope and navigate their way through challenges in an increasingly turbulent world. Since its founding in 2003, Madraigos has focused on delivering a comprehensive and concerted model of service, tailor-made to address the specific needs of the young adults and create vital support systems for them within the greater Jewish community. Madraigos’s services include a 24-hour support line, community education, crisis intervention, case management, educational enhancement program, the Lounge, assessments and referrals, school-based services, job-placement program, support groups, and yom tov programs. For more information about Madraigos, please visit www.madraigos.org.
The Heschel Heat showed the effects of not playing a game in 20 days and struggled against an inspired Kushner team looking for their first win of the year at home throughout the first half, ending in a 28—22 Heat advantage. The Heat got on track immediately after halftime and played maybe their best defense of the year in holding Kushner to only 7 second-half points and winning 67—29. Junior Sam Schwartzben came off the bench to provide immediate offensive help in both halves and led Heschel with 19 points, and senior Sam Lippman got it going in the second half and finished with 16. The Heat are now 14+7 overall, 7+4 in league play, and have won 10 of their last 12 games. They are off until a tough away game at SAR on January 21 and then host the #1 team in America, HAFTR, on January 28.
MDY Senior Night
HANC was led by Khoditi with 15. Jack Chehabar led MDY with 19. MDY drops to 6—5 in league play, and 9—8 overall. Final score was 56—42.
The interstate rivalry between Bruriah (8—2) and SKA (9—0) intensifies with each meeting. The latest one was played on the first Sunday in January. With strategies for the highly anticipated, well-attended slugfest set, both teams came out swinging, Bruriah in a triangle-and-two and SKA in a full-court man-to-man. Bruriah won round one with layups by senior captain Avigayil Wiener (Teaneck) and freshman Talya Markowitz (Bergenfield), which helped build a 26—20 lead by the half. SKA won round two and dominated the second half from the foul line by hitting 8—11. Bruriah was cold from the line and couldn’t convert its opportunities.
The lead changed hands several times, never reaching more than 6 points for either team. Just when one team thought it had sealed the game, the other had an answer, as this was a tight one until the final buzzer.
Bruriah started two seniors, one junior, one sophomore, and one freshman and regularly goes deep into its bench with two juniors and one freshman rotating as the sixth player.
This game was played on Senior Night, which traditionally celebrates the contributions of the team’s seniors. This year’s event recognized captain and four-year starter Avigayil Wiener and Elana Rutner (West Orange).
In a rematch from an earlier game this season, Flatbush visited Magen David on a bitter-cold night in Brooklyn. MDY started off strong and built an overwhelming 16—2 first-quarter lead. But Flatbush refused to go away. Spurred on by a 10—0 run, Flatbush was able to close the gap and trailed 23—16 at halftime. Throughout the third quarter, MDY maintained a 10-point lead. Flatbush was able to cut the lead to 5 points with 2 minutes left, but MDY was able to hold on and win 42—35. Leading the way for Flatbush was Kal Abed with 15 points. MDY was led by Cohen with 11 points and Nachmias with 10 points.
The 7th-grade HALB Lions visited North Shore to try raising their record to .500 before their winter break. The Lions narrowly escaped with a 42—41 victory as Zachary Brown, 21 points, sealed the game by making a foul shot with 1 second on the clock. The game went back and forth with neither team able to break away. Tani Konig chipped in with 6 points and Yitzi Fishman with 5. NSHA was led in scoring by Rahmani with 16 points and Zar with 15.
North Shore 6—0
North Shore 3—2
Girls’ High School (Women Only)
Shulamith BK 2—6
Shulamith LI 0—4
Boys’ Varsity Basketball
North Shore 9—3
Magen David 6—5
Derech Hatorah 1—12
Boys’ JV Basketball
North Shore 7—2
Shaare Torah 3—5
Magen David 3—6
Girls’ Varsity “A”
North Shore 4—7
Girls’ Varsity “B”
Shaare Torah 1—9
North Shore 7—2
North Shore 10
Magen David 4
North Shore 9
Magen David 8
Shaare Torah 2
Judah Rhine is the co director of MVP Boys Basketball Camp and has been coaching youth basketball for 30+ years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.