jlink
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sarachek MVP Tyler Hod for three (Credit: Lisa Appelbaum STaff Photographer)

Nothing gets by Benni Tuchman, first team all tournament (Credit: Lisa Appelbaum staff photographer)

There are some games the glory of which are hard to exaggerate. For basketball fans all over the globe who witnessed the triple overtime thriller for the 2015 Sarachek Tournament Championship, this game will go down as perhaps the most glorious yeshiva high school game of all.

It took three grueling, extra periods for the 2014-15 Frisch Varsity Cougars (the 3-seed coming into the tournament having being reseeded from the top spot after losing a flukey heartbreaker in the Yeshiva League semifinals) to finally dispatch the top nationally ranked HAFTR Hawks by final score of 75-73.

Playing with a chip on their shoulder all tournament, the Cougars had previously beaten RASG Hebrew Academy of Miami and DRS, the team that ousted Frisch in the Yeshiva League semis, on the way to the Championship game against the Hawks, who were led by 6’5 Abie Perlow, Jonathan Greenberg and Max Rosner.

The packed house witnessed a horse race right out of the gate with Senior Captain Forward Benni Tuchman and Junior Forward Andrew (A-Train) Langer leading the way with buckets and boards. Senior Guard Robby Bernstein was all over the court in the first quarter, playing lockdown defense and ball hawking the way he has all season. With those three seniors setting the tone, Frisch held back the HAFTR big three as much as possible, and trailed only 10-8 after one.

Frisch got going in the second quarter, with Langer adding three athletic baskets, and Junior Forward Isaac Weinstock adding a slashing hoop to go along with his stalwart defense against the much bigger Perlow. Weinstock’s interior defense and rebounding were a key factor to the team’s success all tournament. Up only 19-18 after Perlow, Greenberg and Rosner answered every Cougar tally, Frisch got little breathing room when Junior Guard Mayer Scharlat got an offensive rebound and put back as the half ended 21-18.

The third quarter saw the rise of Senior Captain Point Guard Tyler Hod, who sat most of the first half in early foul trouble. Hod orchestrated the offense, drained threes, all while directing Tuchman and Langer to a series of scores that offset tremendous interior play by Perlow—who scored twice off offensive rebounds from his own missed free throws. Scharlat added a three -ball, but Greenberg and Rosner kept pouring it on and the Hawks took a five point lead into the final stanza.

The fourth (but hardly final) period was largely a see-saw affair, with Junior Forward Scott Levine nailing a three pointer to go along with Junior Point Guard Noah Schechter’s clutch trey that gave the Cougars 43-41 lead with 5:36 to play. Hod’s crafty play and long-range shooting gave the Cougars a seemingly insurmountable lead at 52-43, but the Hawks were not considered number 1 for no reason and they kept coming. Still Frisch lead 56-50, only to see two turnovers in the last two minutes lead to two three-balls from the Hawks, as they sent the game into overtime tied at 56.

The first overtime saw Tuchman reassert himself with Hod running the show as the Cougars jumped out to 64-61 lead and what looked like trophy time. But Rosner had other ideas, as he sank a long three pointer with 15 seconds left and everyone had to stay and play some more, all tied at 64.

Or so they thought. Evoking the days of Dean Smith’s North Carolina teams, with Jimmy Black directing the four corners, Frisch exploited the lack of a shot clock for the entire four minutes of the second overtime—no mean ball control feat. With Hod (the Mamba Maestro) directing, he led Scharlat, Schechter and Levine darting in and around the Hawk defenders, as the Cougars set up a last second shot for Tuchman from behind the arc that fell short. The scoreborad still read 64-64.

And so it came down the third extra period. With tongues dragging and cardio levels being challenged, Hod, Tuchman, and Scharlat rose above, carrying the Cougars to victory. Hod controlled the ball as Scharlat added seven points in the final extra period, including five free throws and an and-one flying lay up that brought the house down. Tuchman scored on an alley oop from Scharlat, but that was only the warm up act for the senior’s finale. All tied at 73-73, Frisch coaches Joe Schwartz and Eli Davidoff called for an isolation play for Tuchman to go at the mountain-man Perlow. With six seconds left, Tuchman juked left, then right, then took Perlow left and floated a gorgeous lefty layin just over the big man’s outstretched arms for the winning shot. HAFTR’s last-gasp fling fell short and the Red Sea of Frisch fans parted onto the Court to celebrate Frisch’s first Sarachek championship.

Hod (18 points) was named Tournament MVP, and Tuchman (15 points) was named a first team all-tournament. Langer and Scharlat, two juniors (who each had 15 points as well), were named as all-stars in their first Sarachek experience. Remarkably Hod (6-6) Scharlat (8-8) and Langer (3-3) were a perfect 17-17 from the line for the game—the stuff of champions. And so the Cougars are.

There are some games the glory of which are hard to exaggerate. For basketball fans all over the globe who witnessed the triple overtime thriller for the 2015 Sarachek Tournament Championship, this game will go down as perhaps the most glorious yeshiva high school game of all.

It took three grueling, extra periods for the 2014-15 Frisch Varsity Cougars (the 3-seed coming into the tournament having being reseeded from the top spot after losing a flukey heartbreaker in the Yeshiva League semifinals) to finally dispatch the top nationally ranked HAFTR Hawks by final score of 75-73.

Playing with a chip on their shoulder all tournament, the Cougars had previously beaten RASG Hebrew Academy of Miami and DRS, the team that ousted Frisch in the Yeshiva League semis, on the way to the Championship game against the Hawks, who were led by 6’5 Abie Perlow, Jonathan Greenberg and Max Rosner.

The packed house witnessed a horse race right out of the gate with Senior Captain Forward Benni Tuchman and Junior Forward Andrew (A-Train) Langer leading the way with buckets and boards. Senior Guard Robby Bernstein was all over the court in the first quarter, playing lockdown defense and ball hawking the way he has all season. With those three seniors setting the tone, Frisch held back the HAFTR big three as much as possible, and trailed only 10-8 after one.

Frisch got going in the second quarter, with Langer adding three athletic baskets, and Junior Forward Isaac Weinstock adding a slashing hoop to go along with his stalwart defense against the much bigger Perlow. Weinstock’s interior defense and rebounding were a key factor to the team’s success all tournament. Up only 19-18 after Perlow, Greenberg and Rosner answered every Cougar tally, Frisch got little breathing room when Junior Guard Mayer Scharlat got an offensive rebound and put back as the half ended 21-18.

The third quarter saw the rise of Senior Captain Point Guard Tyler Hod, who sat most of the first half in early foul trouble. Hod orchestrated the offense, drained threes, all while directing Tuchman and Langer to a series of scores that offset tremendous interior play by Perlow—who scored twice off offensive rebounds from his own missed free throws. Scharlat added a three -ball, but Greenberg and Rosner kept pouring it on and the Hawks took a five point lead into the final stanza.

The fourth (but hardly final) period was largely a see-saw affair, with Junior Forward Scott Levine nailing a three pointer to go along with Junior Point Guard Noah Schechter’s clutch trey that gave the Cougars 43-41 lead with 5:36 to play. Hod’s crafty play and long-range shooting gave the Cougars a seemingly insurmountable lead at 52-43, but the Hawks were not considered number 1 for no reason and they kept coming. Still Frisch lead 56-50, only to see two turnovers in the last two minutes lead to two three-balls from the Hawks, as they sent the game into overtime tied at 56.
The first overtime saw Tuchman reassert himself with Hod running the show as the Cougars jumped out to 64-61 lead and what looked like trophy time. But Rosner had other ideas, as he sank a long three pointer with 15 seconds left and everyone had to stay and play some more, all tied at 64.

Or so they thought. Evoking the days of Dean Smith’s North Carolina teams, with Jimmy Black directing the four corners, Frisch exploited the lack of a shot clock for the entire four minutes of the second overtime—no mean ball control feat. With Hod (the Mamba Maestro) directing, he led Scharlat, Schechter and Levine darting in and around the Hawk defenders, as the Cougars set up a last second shot for Tuchman from behind the arc that fell short. The scoreborad still read 64-64.

And so it came down the third extra period. With tongues dragging and cardio levels being challenged, Hod, Tuchman, and Scharlat rose above, carrying the Cougars to victory. Hod controlled the ball as Scharlat added seven points in the final extra period, including five free throws and an and-one flying lay up that brought the house down. Tuchman scored on an alley oop from Scharlat, but that was only the warm up act for the senior’s finale. All tied at 73-73, Frisch coaches Joe Schwartz and Eli Davidoff called for an isolation play for Tuchman to go at the mountain-man Perlow. With six seconds left, Tuchman juked left, then right, then took Perlow left and floated a gorgeous lefty layin just over the big man’s outstretched arms for the winning shot. HAFTR’s last-gasp fling fell short and the Red Sea of Frisch fans parted onto the Court to celebrate Frisch’s first Sarachek championship.

Hod (18 points) was named Tournament MVP, and Tuchman (15 points) was named a first team all-tournament. Langer and Scharlat, two juniors (who each had 15 points as well), were named as all-stars in their first Sarachek experience. Remarkably Hod (6-6) Scharlat (8-8) and Langer (3-3) were a perfect 17-17 from the line for the game—the stuff of champions. And so the Cougars are.