Week 6’s results leave a four-way tie for first in FM Home Loans IBL (Sy Savages, TC, Gold Seals, Shraga), but the list of viable contenders extends much further with many impressive showings. Meanwhile, the final winless team entered the win column in dramatic fashion.
Game of the Week
Shraga 60, Sharsheret Shaalvim 52
The FM Home Loans Game of the Week lived up to the hype, as we had a fast-paced affair from the opening tip. Shraga star Max Leibowitz didn’t disappoint, leading all scorers with 22 points, scoring in a variety of ways. He had ample help though, with Dovie Marcus chipping in 15 and Josh Dukas adding 14, including some clutch free throws to put the game on ice.
Shaalvim struggled to take advantage of their tremendous size, with both Stevie Paul and Moshe Bennett saddled with foul trouble all game long. Captain Jake Greenberg had a quiet game, while guard Noah Pomerance carried the scoring from the backcourt.
Despite the result, each team proved in this match that it has serious potential make a deep run into the postseason.
Sy Savages 48, TC 43
Sy Savages came off their bye full of energy and shocked previously undefeated TC. The savages came out in a 2-3 zone, which proved to be a brilliant strategy to contain TC’s quick guards. TC wouldn’t go down without a fight, however. After trailing 26-18 at the half, TC started the 2nd half on an 11-0 run to take a three point lead. But Sy Savages recovered after a timeout and fought back to take the lead in the final minutes. Alan Franco hit five 3s in the Savages’ previous game but was shut down most of this contest via excellent man-to-man defense from TC’s Zevi Gralla. With under two minutes to play, Franco caught the TC defense on a switch and buried a dagger 3-pointer from the top of the arc to essentially seal the win. Savages enter a four-way tie atop the standings with the victory.
A. Rafi and Tommy’s 50, Power Mishna 45
Power Mishna got out to a 10-2 lead and were looking great on both ends, forcing A. Rafi and Tommy’s to call a timeout to regroup. Whatever was said in that huddle clearly worked, as they went on a 15-0 run and led 25-21 at halftime. Power Mishna focused on taking away Adam Motovich’s shooting prowess, but AR&T’s star guard still managed to affect the game and will his team to a five-point victory.
Cross River Mooseheads 42, Lobos 37
Cross River relied on defense and rebounding to bounce back from last week’s close defeat to rival TC. The Mooseheads keyed in on stopping Lobos leading scorer Elisha Rudman, preventing him from penetrating inside. Mooseheads big man Ari Eisenberger continues to be a problem for opposing teams on both ends of the glass. Opponents need to find a way to keep him away from missed shots to have any sort of chance at defeating the Mooseheads.
Gold Seals 74, Rap City 40
Rap City hung tough early on, countering a 10-0 Gold Seals start with a 10-0 run of their own, but Gold Seals’ elite talent was too much. Gold Seals’ guard Eli Gruenberg nearly outscored the opposition by himself, notching 35 points. Their 74 points are the most any team has scored this season.
Invaders 45, Falafel Ballers 42
Invaders used excellent defense to pull out their first victory of the season. Falafel Ballers were coming off a dramatic, come-from-behind victory last week, but couldn’t use the momentum to build on their winning ways despite a great effort from guard Emanuel Dicker.
Bad Boys 56, Ashreinu Holy Bagels 49
Ben Greene and the rest of the Bad Boys seemingly couldn’t miss from deep, and Ashreinu’s tough luck continues. The Holy Bagels clearly have the talent but would love to string some wins together as we inch closer towards the postseason. Bad Boys rebound in a big way from their aforementioned collapse to Falafel Ballers last week.
Pittsburgh Strong 47, Aliyah Glory 29
The men from Yeshivat Hakotel lived up to their team name with a strong 2nd half performance to put away Aliyah Glory. AG couldn’t build off their dramatic victory last week, with Pittsburgh Strong’s fast pace proving too much. Pittsburgh Strong has won three of its past four after dropping its first two.