This year marked the 19th Red Sarachek tournament, which, according to its Website, www.yu.edu/sarachek1/, is “the most prestigious tournament for Jewish high school basketball teams.”
The tournament expanded for the first time this year, inviting a remarkable 20 yeshiva teams to the contest. The 20 teams are then divided into four tiers, each with a champion.
The tournament, which took place March 11-15, is a highlight of a yeshiva high school basketball player’s career. Although many fans travel to attend, and the teams specifically prep for Sarachek, the tournament itself has no consequence on the official Yeshiva High School Basketball league. The tournament is an independent supplement to the Yeshiva League, which has its own champion.
The winners of this year’s competition were:
Tier IV ““ Block Yeshiva High School of St. Louis, Mo. Despite having only six players on the team, the yeshiva was able to make shots from the perimeter to defeat Akiva, a yeshiva from Detroit, Mich., 54-48.
Tier III ““ Or Chaim of Toronto defeated Fuchs Mizrachi to win the Tier-III tournament. After initially losing on Friday, March 12, Or Chaim bounced back and won in its final two games to secure a first-place finish.
Tier II ““ Berman of Rockville, Md., won, defeating Shalhevet of Los Angeles, Calif., with the final score of 54-47. Strong foul shooting allowed Berman to maintain a lead throughout the fourth quarter.
Tier I ““ HAFTR was victorious as they defeated HANC to finish at the top of the Sarachek tournament. Benjy Ritholz, widely regarded as the best player in the Metropolitan Yeshiva High School Basketball League, attempted to lead HANC in a late comeback but was unsuccessful as HAFTR’s point guard, Michael Gindea hit two free throws in the final seconds to win the game.
For all news Sarachek, I suggest you check out www.macslive.com, a site dedicated to coverage of the tournament and yeshiva sports.