Week 7 Recap
The four first-place teams matched up with one another, cutting the number of teams with the top record in half. Elsewhere, Cross River Mooseheads continue to look elite, while Bad Boys looked to take advantage of two games on the weekend.
FM Home Loans Game of the Week
TC 54, Shraga 45
If the beginning was foreshadowing of what was to come, things weren’t looking good for TC. after winning the tip, they turned it over mere seconds later. Then Shraga guard Max Leibowitz hit a signature pull-up 3, followed by another turnover by TC on their second possession. As the players got more comfortable, TC was able to run great offense and neutralize Shraga’s star to bounce back from last week’s first defeat on the season and win.
Shraga used a 2-3 zone, possibly as a result of seeing how Sy Savages stymied TC in last week’s contest. But this time TC adjusted flawlessly. Point guard Tai Gerszberg did an excellent job running the show. A common sight was him finding either one of the Buchbinder twins in the high post, who just as often found a cutter for an easy layup. TC also dominated on the offensive glass, despite missing each of its top two big men (in addition to starting guard Zevi Gralla). Shraga themselves were without two key players, as Dovie Marcus and Josh Dukas (who had 29 points combined last week) missed this one.
On the other end, Max Leibowitz could never completely get into a rhythm, mostly due to excellent shutdown defense from Gerszberg. TC did an excellent job as a whole at getting back in transition, preventing those easy looks that Shraga usually finds.
Rap City 63, Invaders 48
It’s been a tough stretch for Rap City, who came in having lost three straight, but they bounced back in a big way with this 15-point victory. Nochum Paltiel was huge for the young men from Rap, as he finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Roy Tal led all scorers with 21 points, including five made 3s. Invaders couldn’t build off their dramatic Week 6 win, unable to cool down Rap City’s hot shooting.
Cross River Mooseheads 61, Sharsheret Shaalvim 54
The Mooseheads had to spend the final ten minutes shorthanded, as one of their five players fouled out with no reserves available, but they were able to fend off a late Sharsheret push. Shaalvim loses their second consecutive close game against top competition. The Mooseheads are now 4-1, with their lone defeat coming at the hands of rival TC by two, in overtime.
Sy Savages 45, Gold Seals 32
Sy Savages clearly get their name from their defense, as it stuns a first-place team for the second consecutive week. They started the game on a 10-0 run and Gold Seals was unable to consistently break through the Savages trademark 2-3 zone. Savages made clutch free throws down the stretch to thwart any hope for a Gold Seals comeback.
Lobos 63, Power Mishna 48
The matchup of two middling teams coming off losses was controlled from start to finish by the Lobos, who used a balanced scoring attack to get back in the win column. All five Lobos players had between 8 and 16 points (Ben Hamer had 16, Elisha Rudman and Sholi Katz had 15 apiece). Power Mishna generally has great length, but couldn’t use it to keep the Lobos off the glass.
Bad Boys 61, Team Piaceczna’s 48
Zak Lenik made his season debut for Bad Boys, and that could be a turning point in the season. The veteran FM Home Loans IBL point guard was steady as it gets, and weathered Bad Boys through what was a ferocious Team Piaceczna’s comeback attempt. After building a 48-29 second half lead, Bad Boys started to falter to Piaceczna’s press, who went on a 16-3 run to come to within six. But Lenik and co. were able to hit shots at the line and take care of the ball in the final minutes to secure the win. This was Bad Boy’s first result in their five games that was decided by more than seven points.
Team Piaceczna’s 55, Loketch Group 40
It was double-duty for Team Piaceczna’s as they took out their frustration from the loss to Bad Boys to hand Loketch Group a tough defeat. Piaceczna’s was locked in on the defensive end and pushed the tempo for a win which has potential to be a turning point in their season. Loketch Group beat Bad Boys earlier in the season, so the triangle of victory between these three teams (Team Piaceczna’s, Loketch Group, and Bad Boys) is complete.