By Judah Rhine

We are extremely excited to present the 1st annual 5TJT Sports Center Yeshiva League Girls Varsity and JV Basketball preview for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. This season is wide open for the taking, with many teams vying for the championship. Please continue to follow the results here at 5TJT Sports Center throughout the season. Thanks to all the coaches who gave us a peek into their team’s outlook for this season. Best of luck! Let the games begin!

Girls’ Varsity

  1. The Hillel Hurricanes came on strong as the season progressed last year. We have returned with much of the same group, with the addition of some talented freshmen. They are hoping to build on last year’s experience and make some noise this season

HANC. The HANC girls’ varsity basketball team is hard at work preparing for their upcoming season. With new coach, Adam Brick, the team is working on a new approach to lead them to a successful season. The team is enthusiastic and ready to prove that the underdogs can rise to the challenge.

  1. SAR varsity is looking to build on last year’s semifinal run. With six returning seniors, five juniors, and one freshman, they are excited to get started. They are also looking forward to the David Cooper Memorial tournament, which will be taking place the first weekend in December, featuring six teams from around the country. With a lot of hard work and determination, the Sting team is looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful season.

Frisch. Frisch girls varsity is a team of 12 strong ladies ready to work hard and succeed. They have the height, speed, and camaraderie. Frisch is looking forward to a great season!

Ma’ayanot. The team has been working hard these past few weeks to prepare for the start of the upcoming season. Seniors: Adina Rosenberg, Gabi Lerner, Nechama Stern, Racheli Zirman, Chaya Robinson, Shana Adler, Sydnee Anderson. Juniors: Alissa Felder, Michal Horn, Tamar Segal, Amanda Solomon, and Racheli Zomberg. They are looking forward to a fun and successful season.

  1. After their third consecutive championship win last season, the Ramaz Rams are looking forward to this season more than ever! Led by seniors Ava Adler, Beckie Cohen, Anabelle Ritz, Elizabeth Ritz, and Emily Sinensky, the team cannot wait to get to the court for what promises to be another great year!

Central. Central is looking forward to a talented group of incoming freshmen and returning players to join the program this year. They are excited for the individual and team growth this season. Wishing all teams the best of luck this season!

Bruriah. Bruriah’s varsities return the majority of players from the A-league and B-league teams, both of whom are looking to repeat their championship appearances. The Lightning added point guards, a shooting guard, and a post player to this season’s rosters. The A team opens its season at home against Kushner on October 26. The B-league’s schedules were in progress at the time this article went to press.

  1. With most of last year’s starters returning and the addition of the new varsity players, the Flatbush varsity girls are setting their goals high this year! The Falcons are looking forward to taking the first step towards the championship as they have their season opener against Ramaz in a JV/varsity doubleheader on October 27.

Kushner. They are excited for the upcoming 2015-2016 season at Kushner. They are led by three key returning seniors: Edery, Matthew, and Sarit. They are expecting big things from student athletes–on the court and in the classroom. The coach expects the girls to perform at a high level on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. The coach is excited for the opportunity to coach at a wonderful school.

  1. The HAFTR LadyHawks are excited for the upcoming season. The team returns seven players from last year’s team that fell in the semifinals to the eventual league champion, Ramaz, including starters Emily Wanderer, Emma Alpert, Eva Dector, and Amanda Jedwab. The starters combine outside shooting and intense defensive pressure, enabling the team to take advantage of its speed. In addition to the starters, reserves Emily Gelman, Chloe Thall, and Maggie Rosenthal give the LadyHawks rebounding and scoring off the bench. Finally, the team has added two newcomers, Joelle Vilinsky and Sara Kaufman, who will add ball-handling and shooting skills to the squad. The team has fallen short in each of the past two seasons, but with the teams experience and athleticism they expect to improve vastly from those performances.

Shalhevet. They are looking forward to another great year of Midreshet Shalhevet Sabers basketball! It will be a competitive season with the senior heavy team aiming for a repeat trip to the playoffs and hopefully further.

Girls’ Junior Varsity

North Shore. Coming off of a fantastic season last year, but falling in the semifinals, the NSHAHS JV girls’ basketball team is coming back with great confidence and motivation to put in the necessary work to make it to the championship game this season. With two exciting new freshman guards, Abby Tepper and Noga Arjang, to add to an experienced group of returning sophomores–like team MVP Mahlia Leventhal, floor generals Rachel Aharonoff and Hannah Haft, and sharp shooters Elizabeth Zabrowsky and Rachel Hutt–every night will be an exciting and impressive display of basketball that the community will want to come out and support.

  1. Join us in welcoming the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy JV girls’ 2015-2016 Basketball Team! Their coach is excited to tip off the season this month with a talented group of girls. They have extraordinary skills on and off the court! Featuring an on-the-rise shooter, Taylor Abotol, along with a speedy and tenacious defender, Gabi Buch.

Frisch. The Frisch girls JV basketball team is looking forward to an exciting season with a lot of potential. The majority of the team is returning sophomores who have stepped up their game since last season and they are being joined by a handful of talented freshmen who will complement them tremendously. Not only are there new members on the lineup this season, but both the head coach and the assistant coach are joining the Cougars for their first time. They are all excited for a fun and competitive season!

Ma’ayanot. The Ma’ayanot Rapids of Teaneck, NJ will attempt to defend their historic JV basketball title. Head coach Keni Ashby is a positive force behind his energetic team that attacks the rim like teenagers on their cell phones–constantly! They promise their fans to be in the championship game again. It’s not a wave, it’s a RAPID!

HAFTR. The HAFTR LadyHawks JV is all set to start the season. With a combination of returning players, new ninth-graders, and some hidden talent, they are working hard to create the best team they can be. Raquel Alpert, Regina Generowicz, and Lauren Satran are just a few of the seasoned veterans who will help pave the way for the freshmen and rest of the team. Group cohesion and team-building are our main focus at this point as we look ahead to the coming weeks.

Central. Practice began this week for the Central JV basketball team. One of the unique features of YUHSG is its diverse student population with many feeder schools. The JV team is a great place to unify after playing on opposing teams in the past. The Wildcats are excited for the new season!

Bruriah. The Bruriah Lightning athletic department recently announced the addition of a JV team. The inaugural team is stocked with a group of talented players who are looking ahead to a productive season. The nine freshmen and four sophomores are coached by Shulie Singer and kick off the season at home against Kushner on October 26.

  1. Led by some good young freshmen, Ramaz girls’ JV figures to improve on last year’s disappointing season.
  2. Coming off last year’s fantastic season, the Flatbush JV girls are looking to redeem themselves after a devastating semifinal loss. Count on the Falcons to play with determination this year as they return to the court on October 27 for their season and home-opener against Ramaz.
  3. After coming up short last season, the SAR Sting JV girls’ basketball team is looking forward to a strong comeback, as they return in order to reclaim their spot as league champions. With a strong group of freshmen and developed sophomores, led by captains Eva Ingber and Davida Krauss, the Sting are more than ready to take on the task at hand.

Girls’ Varsity

The 8th David Cooper Memorial Tournament is taking place at SAR High School starting on December 2 and concluding on December 5. The six-team girls’ varsity tournament features Kohelet Yeshiva, YULA, Beren Academy, Yeshiva High School of Boca, Maimonides, and SAR and is named in memory of a beloved SAR father and member of the Riverdale community. The tournament features two divisions with round-robin play on Thursday, a playoff round on Friday, and championship games Saturday night following a meaningful Shabbaton together in North Riverdale.

Yeshivah of Flatbush girls’ varsity basketball team received first place in the Kulanu/Let The Children Play tournament this past weekend, hosted by HANC/HAFTR. Flatbush went undefeated in round-robin play, and finished the tournament off with a 43—34 victory over Bruriah in the finals. Sarah Horowitz was named tournament MVP and Victoria Gindi received an all-star award.

Hillel 58, Ma’ayanot 52. In a highly competitive game, Hillel took an early lead. Ma’ayanot, led by their exceptional point guard, kept coming back. Hillel prevailed in the end, led by Pearly Hanono, Marcelle Sasson, and Celia Cohen on offense while Brenda Saka and Teri Saka controlled the boards. The defense was led by Jacqueline Franco, and sparked by Marcy Tebele and Melanie Ades.

Boys’ Varsity

Rambam over YDE. Rambam defeats YDE 51—39 behind Jacob Dubin and Noah Aaron’s 15 points apiece. Jack Ross and Daniel Petrikovsky chipped in with 11 and 8 points, respectively.

Heschel Over North Shore. The Heschel Heat opened their 2015-16 campaign at home and defeated North Shore 58—23. The Heat led 14—6 after one, 29—10 at the half, and 49—17 after three, looking to avenge two tough losses to North Shore the past 2 years. Heschel played every member of its 10-man roster equally, and its pressure defense wore down the Warriors. The guard-oriented Heat made 10 threes, 4 from junior guard Harlan Reiss off the bench. He and senior captain Aaron Brandeis led the scoring with 12 and 11 points respectively. Sophomore swing man Ilan Orgel came off the bench to grab 7 rebounds and chipped in with 6. The Heat now travel to Frisch on Wednesday, November 4, in what is expected to be one of the more competitive and intense early-season league encounters.

JV Update

Down 8—4 at the end of the first, SAR went on a furious second-quarter rally, outscoring Maor 21—2 for the quarter and never looking back for the sizable victory. Nattie Ben-Meir was the catalyst off the bench in leading a hard-charging press. Noah Gurin scored 15 off the bench in limited minutes and Jake Schwalbe scored 9, while three big men scored 6 apiece: Sammy Sokol, Eitan Karsch, and Aaron Blustein. Judah Oppenheimer had a few sublime assists for the 1—0 Sting win. v

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 or



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