The smell of banners is in the air, as the yeshiva sports season is coming to a close with a furious series of championship matches. This Sunday saw three headlining trophy bouts, as basketball bragging rights were won in the boys’ varsity, boys’ junior varsity, and girls’ varsity leagues.
The day’s greatest prize went to Brooklyn’s Magen David Yeshiva High School, whose boys’ varsity team beat the top-seeded Frisch Cougars in overtime, 51-48. In a rematch of ‘004’s junior varsity championship game which Magen David also won guard Sammy Fallas took home MVP honors with ‘4 points, six three-point field goals, and five assists. Frisch, which led ‘9-‘3 at the half, was doomed in the extra session by missed free throws and a failed three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Ramaz Radio host Isaac Benishai, who broadcast Sunday’s contests, said the difference was the stellar play of Fallas.
"Fallas was absolutely the most valuable player for the season as well as for this game," said Benishai. "He turned in a total clutch performance."
Magen David was not so lucky, however, in the junior varsity championship match, in which they fell to third-seeded SAR High School, 48-47. Magen David, which came into the game with a perfect 13-0 mark, had the ball with three seconds left and the score tied at 47. However, SAR’s Eli Dickstein stole the ball, got fouled at mid-court, and converted one free throw to put his team up by one. Magen David missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer, giving SAR its first basketball championship in the three years since the school’s inception.
"There’s not a lot of parity in either [the varsity or junior varsity] league," said Benishai. "Before the season, everyone in the varsity league was talking about Frisch, Ramaz, and Magen David. And just like 90 percent of the people predicted, Frisch and Magen David made it to the final, and Ramaz got to the semifinal."
"And in the JV league," Benishai added, "Magen David came into the season as the favorite and made it to the championship game undefeated."
In the girls’ varsity game, heavily favored Ramaz came away with a convincing victory over the Hillel Hurricanes. It is the second consecutive championship for the Rams, who will be favored to make it a three-peat next year.