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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Season three of MGBL High School has been an exhibition of lethal shooting, tenacious defense, and acrobatic drives to the basket. Last Monday night’s championship game put an exclamation point on the season with stellar play we have come to expect from MGBL as the Five Star Caterers team topped the Sharp Shooters 61-54.

During the regular season, teams ELLKAY and Center for Hand Disorders poured in double digit 3-pointers every night. FZ Collection, Lincoln Equities, and Teaneck Radiology repeatedly pounded it inside and owned the paint. The Frisch School executed a lock-down full court press that left the opposing coaches grasping for a way to break the press.

In the semifinals, the fourth-seeded Sharp Shooters topped the top-ranked and undefeated ELLKAY team by a mere basket and the Five Star Caterers team needed overtime to beat the Frisch school. The stage to crown the third season champions of MGBL High School was at the Torah Academy of Bergen County gym.

The Sharp Shooters started with some “sharp shooting.” Jonathan Seidel opened the game with a 3-pointer that hit nothing but net. Seidel then followed with a steal to Simmy Taubenfeld for a lay-up.  After three more baskets from Rudi Spitzer, things were looking bleak for Five Star, down 11-0 with one of their top scorers Jacob Furer on the bench with two quick fouls. Five Star Coach Ushie Selevan (a man who knows his way around the sideline) called his first time out to get his team to regroup. In a risky move he reinserted Furer into the middle of the 3-2 defense. This move proved to be huge in challenging the Sharp Shooters shots, and Furer went on a run of his own, scoring 8 of the teams next 10 points.

Up 19-10, Sharp Shooters Coach Sid Taubenfeld called time to make a few adjustments of his own. The adjustments did not faze the Five Stars. Aryeh Berman sunk a 3 on their next possession and Dan Poleyeff followed with three straight baskets, closing out the half up 25-23.

The second half began as a seesaw struggle between the two teams with six lead changes. Team Sharp Shooters were led by Rudi Spitzer (19), Avi Rudman (10), Zvi Kaminetsky (9), and Simmy Taubenfeld (8). As the half progressed Five Star broke away to a 61-54 victory, led by MVP Jacob Furer (27points, 19 of them in the second half), Dan Poleyeff (16) and Aryeh Berman (10).

The game was a fitting cap to another competitive year of MGBL. Registration for MGBL girls (grades 2-8) will begin shortly. For all the latest from MGBL, go to the league website at www.MGBL.org.