Magen David Warriors (Brooklyn, New York) Sophomore sensation Albert Nsiri had a clutch steal with two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter that finalized a Tier I quarterfinal 57-42 victory over The Frisch School Cougars (Paramus, New Jersey). Riding the hot hands of Nsiri (23 points) and Junior Raymond Jajati (13 points on four 3-pointers) along with excellent play by Senior Teddy Shamma (13 points, MDY regular season PPG leader), the Warriors grabbed the lead in the second quarter and stayed ahead for the rest of the game.
This thrilling game was a rematch of the MYHSAL championship, and while Magen David was looking to prevail once again on their quest for their first Sarachek Title since 2002, they would have to defeat a talented Frisch team determined to show that the Championship loss was a one-time thing.
Frisch was coming off the momentum of a strong Tier I qualifier game, while Magen David was fresh from a qualifier bye.
The first quarter was a story of terrific ball movement. Magen David generated most of their offense through smart pick and roll plays, led by Shamma and Junior Michael Natkin. Frisch sent the ball into the paint and around the perimeter, scoring off of the inside game of Senior Stevie Paul and excellent shooting from Junior Max Mayerhoff. After a well fought first quarter, the score was all tied up at 11.
Both teams came out in the second quarter with a tightened-up defense, hoping to stop some of the great ball movement that led to so much of the first quarter scoring. While Frisch engaged in a similar offensive game as they had in the first quarter, for Magen David it was all pistons firing. Led by Jajati’s scorching hand, scoring three consecutive 3-pointers for Magen David, along with an additional three 3-pointers from Nsiri, Magen David went on a 19-7 run to take a ten-point lead into halftime.
Frisch came out of break with an aggressive full-court press to try and come back from the deficit. After a quick three by Mayerhoff, the gap was quickly reduced to 7, and Frisch was right back in it. The first half of the quarter showcased quick-paced basketball, and a terrific couple of post possessions by Frisch center Senior Judah Strulowitz helped Frisch start the half off strong. Magen David was paced by Nsiri, who scored 8 points throughout the quarter to keep them on top. After a much-needed Frisch timeout with 3:38 left in the quarter, Paul put up 6 quick points and kept Frisch in the game, down 44-34 to begin the fourth.
Both teams came into the 4th quarter playing completely opposite styles. Magen David, with a 10-point cushion, began slowing the game down, trying to eat time. Frisch turned up the intensity, doing their best to generate turnovers and quick baskets. It appeared to be working as Frisch quickly cut the lead to just seven, and Magen David called a timeout just a few minutes into the quarter. Magen David, however, recuperated after their timeout, and went on a 5-0 run to go up 12 points with 2:47 to go in the game. Frisch called another timeout, but Nsiri’s steal with around two and a half minutes to go sealed the deal, and Magen David finished with a 57-42 victory over.
Throughout the game, Frisch was led by Mayerhoff (9 points on three 3 pointers) Paul, (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Senior guard Noam Kuritzky (11 points).
Magen David will move on to the Tier 1 semifinals game, while Frisch will drop to the battle for 5th place of Tier I.
Be sure to follow all of the action on on MacsLive, the official broadcast network of Yeshiva Sports and exclusive home of the Red Sarachek Tournament.
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