Boys Varsity Recap
MDY vs. DRS
The MDY Warriors were on the road against the DRS Wildcats. Both offenses came out on fire to start. The Warriors led 19–18 at the end of the first paced by Elliott Dweck’s 10 points. The second quarter was back and forth as well. The Warriors pulled out a lead heading into the final minutes but the Wildcats cut the deficit to 6 to close out the quarter. The Warriors led 35–29 at the half. The Wildcats came out strong in the 3rd quarter as they hit 5 three-pointers. Albert Nsiri hit a buzzer to cut the deficit to 54–53 to end the quarter. The Warriors started to cause turnovers and that led to easy baskets to begin the 4th quarter. They had a double-digit lead heading into the final 2 minutes but the Wildcats went on a 7–0 run to cut the deficit to 5 points. Teddy Cohen was fouled and iced the game at the line. The final score was 75–68.
Elliott Dweck led the Warriors with 21 points on 8–14 shooting. Albert Nsiri had 20 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 blocks. Ezra Sicklick had 27 points for the Wildcats. The Warriors have now won 4 in a row. Their record is 6–1 in league play and 13–1 overall.
MDY vs. Shaare Torah
The MDY Warriors faced off against the Shaare Torah Stars in a rematch of the finals in the Cooper Invitational in Memphis. The first quarter both teams came out firing as Shaare was able to get a lead with open layups. The Stars led 16–15 at the end of first quarter. The Warriors were assisted by the bench in the second quarter with 2 big 3s by Leo Beda. The score was tied 29–29 at the half. The Warriors slowly broke open the game in the third as Albert Nsiri had easy layups off of Teddy Cohen dishes. Joe Sultan had 3 blocks in the quarter as the Warriors led 49-40 at the end of the third quarter. The Stars clawed back to start the 4th quarter cutting the deficit to 4. Edmond Antebi came off the bench to give the Warriors the spark they needed and helped distribute the ball to finish off the game. The final score was 63–54. Albert Nsiri finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks! Elliott Dweck had 12 points. Jackie Haber had 16 points to lead the Stars. The Warriors have now won 5 in a row and are 7–1 in league play, 14–1 overall.
MTA vs. Kushner
MTA JV versus KushnerComing off a big win against the IDEA School, the MTA JV Basketball Lions came into the Max Stern Athletic Center on Monday, November 25 looking for their third win of the season. Winning the tipoff was easy for Donny Book (‘22), as Kushner didn’t even jump, and it all went downhill for Kushner from there. Abie Schwartz (‘23) scored his first points of the season with his hot hand of 8 first-quarter points. Late in the first quarter, Dani Wolk (‘22) went down with an apparent ankle injury, but was able to come back in the game and do whatever he could to shut down Kushner’s offense.
In the second half, the Lions went on fire. After a monster block by Donny Book, Kushner was afraid to take the ball to the basket, so instead they turned the ball over to Shua Alexander (‘22) and Abie Schwartz at the top of the key. On the offensive side, Dani Wolk kept doing what he always does, making incredible never seen before passes to teammate Donny Book, who laid in every layup he got. The bench came in towards the end and sealed the game with a 61–35 win.
MTA vs. Westchester
On Tuesday, December 3, the 3–0 MTA JV Basketball Lions went to face the 0–5 Westchester Wolverines. The game started off strong for the Lions as point guard Shua Alexander (‘22), scored point after point, putting the Lions up early. Following an early second quarter timeout by the Wolves, Avner Musheyev (‘21), and Avi Musheyev (‘21) quickly turned on the gas and put the Wolverines on their back, mounting a slight comeback. Entering the fourth quarter it was all smiles for the Lions, even with star big man Dani Wolk (‘22) and Ezra Haselkorn (‘23) out of the game due to injury. The Lions had regained an eleven-point lead due to the double-double star studded performances of both Abie Schwartz (‘22) and Donny Book (‘22). Although the game seemed to be out of reach for Westchester, they never gave up hope, knocking down three straight 3-pointers, cutting MTA’s lead down to 2 points. After MTA’s timeout, Shua Alexander, with his game high of 19 points, finally put the game out of reach, bringing the JV Lions to 4–0.
HAFTR Hawks Sponsors Israel Sports Center for the Disabled
Last week, under the leadership of Joey Hoenig, HAFTR’s director of athletics, the HAFTR Hawks sponsored a visit to the Five Towns by two representatives from the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled for an exhibition game and to educate HAFTR students, families, and members of the community about the organization.
Israel Sports Center for the Disabled’s national executive director, Jennifer Flink and East Coast director, Beth Grafman, introduced two stars of the Israel National Wheelchair Basketball team, Asael Shabo and Shay Barbibay. Both men shared their stories of how they ended up in a wheelchair, and how the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled gave them renewed hope, and goals to achieve.
Then came the excitement! Asael and Shay put on a demonstration displaying the differences between traditional basketball and wheelchair basketball. Asael chose a few volunteers from the bleachers, representing HAFTR students from elementary, middle, and high school, to highlight his impressive skills. The crowd was engaged the entire time, and truly blown away by the drive and accomplishments of these two men.
“We gained a new appreciation for our ability to use our legs, while learning and seeing firsthand how much they have accomplished with their disabilities. They showed us that nothing should limit us, and we can achieve anything we put our minds to, no matter the obstacles put in front of us. It was really inspirational and amazing to watch,” shared HAFTR High School seniors Jessie Kornblum and Eliana Lazar.
HAFTR Varisty Basketball wins BIG
This past weekend the HAFTR High School boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams traveled to Baltimore for the 33rd Annual Beth Tfiloh-Weiner Tournament.
Teams from Canada, Dallas, Baltimore, New York, and Jerusalem were present at this special shabbaton and sports event.
After 5 games of pool play, the HAFTR Hawks girls and boys earned a place in the semifinals. The varsity teams advanced to the championship games on motzaei Shabbat, after playing exceptionally well during the semifinals.
In front of a packed house, HAFTR boys and girls faced the Yavneh Bulldogs from Dallas. The HAFTR varsity girls pulled ahead early on their way to a convincing victory over the Bulldogs, and their first tournament championship. The varsity boys overwhelmed their opponent by taking a quick 13–0 lead. The Hawks never looked back in a dominant performance that resulted in their second consecutive Beth Tfiloh Weiner Tournament championship. It was a wonderful experience of achdut and leadership for our HAFTR High School varsity basketball teams.
Judah Rhine, who has been coaching youth basketball for more than 35 years, is co-director of MVP Boys Basketball Camp and MVP Girls Basketball Camp and co‑commissioner of the National Council of Young Israel basketball league. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.