The 20th seeded Harkham Gaon Lions won their first ever Sarachek game at the hands of #18 Hillel Pittsburgh, by a score of 41-34 on Sunday Night, in what would prove to be a night of many firsts.
After a full-slate of sarachek games, this one tipped off just after 9:30 P.M. On the basketball court, the tournament darling Harkham Lions, led by point center Noah Rossi (15 pts, 11 reb), took an early 11-4 lead in the game and an 18-10 lead into the half.
The second half marked a change in intensity and momentum as Hillel’s star wing Moshe Wasserman (18 pts) helped his team come within a basket by the end of the third quarter. At the beginning of the fourth quarter Rossi got into to foul trouble which allowed for an exciting back and forth between the two teams. However, Harkham, led by Amit Turgeman (20 pts) and Rossi, regained a decisive lead and ultimately claimed Harkhams first ever win at Saracheck.
While the Tier-IV Consolation game itself turned out to be a good basketball game, it was what happened when basketballs were not being dribbled that really got the crowd going.
In something that was so unprecedented to Sarachek, that no one in the crowd knew what to do, Coach Nathanael Harkham, of Harkham began to dance to the Jewish music that was being played during timeouts and stoppages of play. As we have learned by watching him, Coach Harkham is a very spiritual man, and has his team constantly playing with the mentality of, “as long as we try our hardest, the result is in God’s hand”.
What we didn’t know however, was just how free-spirited Coach Harkham is, and just how willing he’d be to literally treat basketball timeouts like a dance party. But then something amazing happened. Not only did the fans join him in dancing during timeouts, but even his own players, the MacsLive staff, eventually the opposing team’s players, and even one of the referees joined Coach Harkham in dancing to Jewish music during stoppages of play.
Seeing the Hillel players join in on the dancing, after having some original hesitations given that it was still a competitive basketball game, was a beautiful sight. Following the game, MacsLive interviewed players from both teams (also a MacsLive first I believe) on center court. Hillel’s Yoshi Mahony was asked what his thoughts on the dancing were, and why they ultimately joined in with Harkham, to which he responded, “We all have the same father (God), so why not join in”.
Mahony’s response was such a heart-warming answer, because it reminded everyone that religion and faith can even be maximized during competition, and that at the end of the day, no matter how intense Sarachek can get, we’re all Jews and we’re all brothers here. After the interviews, a legitimate on-court dance party ensued for a number of minutes between both teams before they head into their respective locker rooms.
In what was an incredible day at the Max Stern Athletic Center, this game could not have been a more fun and unique way to cap off the night. It was really special. Be sure to follow all of the Championship Monday action on MacsLive the official home of Yeshiva Sports, and exclusive broadcaster of the Red Sarachek tournament.
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- Kohelet Crowned Tier IV Champs
- Panthers Roar Past Kushner, Win Tier III
- Harkham Wins, But Both Teams Celebrate After Historic Night In Sarachek
- The 16 Seeded Cinderella Story Continues
- All Cooper All Day, As The Macs Head To The Tier-II Championship.
- A Renewed Battle Between Frisch And Shalhevet For Tier-I Glory