Macslive Reporting Services (New York, NY)
Thursday’s 4:00pm Tier-II qualifier features the Cooper Maccabees (Memphis, TN) and the Yeshiva Atlanta Lions (Atlanta, GA). The 15thseeded Macs (15-8) are making their third consecutive Sarachek appearance, having improved year on year in the standings. Cooper got off to a slow start this season due to the graduation of six seniors including 2013 Jewish Hoops America Player of the year runner-up Eli Osdoba. The Macs were able to reverse their fortunes behind the leadership of their five starting senior players. Much of this turnaround can be attributed to the stand out play of power forward Bryan Itkowitz. Itkowitz, one of the team’s captains, has showcased his talents on both ends of the court as the Macs’ leading scorer and rebounder. At 6’3” he possesses tremendous offensive versatility, with the accuracy to shoot from the perimeter as well as the athleticism to dunk with ease. Co-captain Gabe Goldstein has added a very well rounded 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists a game to help create a balanced Cooper attack.
The Macs will face the 18thseeded Yeshiva Atlanta Lions (11-11) who return to Sarachek following a one year absence. The Lions enter the tournament behind the leadership of Myles Ratner (14.7 ppg/5 apg) and Josh Weissmann (10 ppg/6.3 rpg). Ratner played his way into the Lions’ record books as the third all-time leading scorer and second all-time assist leader. Weissmann has put up some big numbers as well, finishing sixth all-time in scoring and grabbing the third most boards in Yeshiva Atlanta history.
The Lions look to stifle Itkowitz and the Macs with multiple zones and offensively will aim to get their big men involved in addition to Ratner. Zev Frankel and Elliott Doseterah have really stepped up their game this year, and look to continue their growth during this Tier-II qualifier.
The game will tip off at 4:00pm in the Max Stern Athletic Center. Be sure to follow the action on MacsLive, the official broadcast network of Yeshiva Sports and exclusive home of the Red Sarachek Tournament. The winner of this game will advance to Tier-II while the loser will play Saturday night in a Tier IV semi-final.
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