The Mesivta Mustangs (Philadelphia, PA) had four players in double-figures, and Sarachek history was made late in their 55-43 win over the Harkham Gaon Academy Lions (Los Angeles, CA).
Both teams came out playing fast, aggressive basketball that featured a number of quick threes early in the shot clock. They each employed a full-court press after made shots in an attempt to force turnovers and take the opposing offense out of its rhythm.
Mesivta turned the ball over early, but made up for it by grabbing offensive rebounds and knocking down shots from the charity stripe. Eli James, Marc Volpin, and David Damen used their strength and size down low to control the boards get Harkham into early foul trouble.
However, led by the great shooting of Mishael Shirakhoon (nine first half points), the Lions took a slight 14-13 lead into the 2nd quarter. Soon after, though, things slowed down for them as they managed only two points in the second frame. The threes didn't fall and the high amount of fouls messed up their fast-paced style of play. Leading scorer Noah Rossi was limited to only four first half points as he team trailed 22-14 at the half.
Rossi took over in third quarter with some beautiful assists and athletic fastbreak layups. Young PG Noah Mogyoros had a phenomenal game, finishing with a series of and-1s and acrobatic layups. With Mesivta down by three right before the third quarter ended, chaos broke loose and Sarachek history began to take form. David Damen banked in a three for the mustangs with .9 seconds left was fouled.
After Damen hit the free throw, Harkham chucked a half court shot, and it appeared that the shooter was fouled during the process. Harkham coach Nathaniel Harkham, who is known for his epic smile and great energy, walked out onto the court after the buzzer to talk to the ref about the lack of a foul call. Coach Harkham immediately received a technical foul for stepping on the court. After continuing to talk to the ref in what looked like a very peaceful, appropriate manner, Coach Harkham received another technical foul and was ejected from the game. Everyone was confused as to how the nicest guy in the gym got ejected, and after briefly returning to his team's huddle, Coach Harkham was escorted by security (a formality, not a necessity whatsoever) out of gym while smiling and laughing. Mesivta went on to hit three of the four free throws, thereby concluding a 7-0 run that spanned about .9 seconds.
To make things more interesting, the Harkham assistant coach received a warning, and, if he were to be ejected, Harkham would have had to forfeit the game. Although that didn't happen, Harkham was put at a decided disadvantage by their immense foul trouble. With two minutes left, Harkham had a player foul out, and without any more subs, they were forced to play a four on five. Later, with 17 seconds left in the game, another Harkham player fouled out, and the game finished off with a "5 on 3 powerplay for the Mustangs," as play-by-play announcer Avi Sebbag called it.
Eli James finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for Mesivta, Marc Volpin had 11 and 10, Noah Mogyoros has 12 points, and David Damen had 10 points and 5 rebounds. For the Lions, Noah Rossi had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, Mishael Shirakhoon had 14 points, and Daniel Razi had 10 points.
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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