News From Ramaz
The 2018 Hoops for Heroes Yashar LaChayal Yeshiva Day School 8th Grade Boys Basketball Tournament Grand Finale took place on Sunday Dec. 16th on the campus of Yeshiva Har Torah in Little Neck, NY.
The goal of the Tournament was to raise awareness about Yashar LaChayal and to raise funds to support their programs for the members of the IDF. Yashar LaChayal brings the soldiers what they need when they need it. This successful event to benefit Yashar LaChayal was the culmination of months of planning, presentations, fundraising, while giving the Basketball Teams the opportunity to play in a Basketball Tournament against teams throughout the tristate region. Each of the schools were given a presentation about the work of Yashar LaChayal and the individual players on the basketball teams were given the opportunity to raise funds through their own personal funding page. Every player received his very own special Hoops for Heroes green Klipped Keepah which featured the Tournament logo. Every coach received a copy of the book by Douglas Stark, "When Basketball was Jewish."
The format for the Tournament Grand Finale was comprised of all the participating schools competing in a day long, single elimination two tier Basketball Tournament. The day consisted of 7 competitive contests and a display of great sportsmanship by all. The special aspect of the Grand Finale was that each of the teams played against opponents that they do not play during the course of their regular season league games.
The Yeshiva Har Torah gym was decorated with flags of individual IDF units for whom each of the teams were assigned. The teams played before huge crowds throughout the day. In addition, teams were visited by a former member of the IDF, Daniel Scopp, who interacted with the fans.
The following is the recap of the tournament:
The first game of the day featured the host school,Yeshiva Har Torah (YHT) from Queens v. Manhattan Day School (MDS) from NYC in a Tier 2 opening game matchup. Both teams started off feeling each other out with MDS opening up a small lead. By halftime YHT caught up and the score was tied at the end of the first half. In the second half, YHT seemed to take control of the game with a 6 point lead, but MDS continued to fight back and tied the game with just 2 minutes left. In the last minute, MDS scored the go ahead basket and held on for a 23-21 victory, moving them into the semi-finals of Tier 2.
The second Tier 2 opening round game featured The Ramaz School from NYC v. Yeshivat Shaare Torah from Brooklyn, NY. Ramaz started off strong and built up a sizable lead in the first half. Shaare Torah eventually got their game back and closed a ten point gap to a 19-15 deficit at half time. In the second half, Shaare Torah started to take command and built up a small lead. Ramaz was determined and tied the game. With less than a minute left, Shaare Torah hit a basket to take the lead. The Ramaz last second attempt fell short and Shaare Torah moved on to the Championship Game by a final score of 39-38.
In the third game of the Tier 2 bracket, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) faced off against Manhattan Day School (MDS). In the first half HANC took a commanding lead over MDS. In the second half MDS mounted a comeback but was not able to overcome the large deficit and HANC cruised to a 44-35 victory that placed them in the Tier 2 Championship Game v. Shaare Torah.
Game 4 of the day featured a Tier 1 matchup between Magen David Yeshiva (MDY) of Brooklyn and JEC from Elizabeth NJ. This turned out to be one of the more thrilling games of the Tournament. Both teams battled the entire game with MDY starting off with an early lead only to see JEC come back each time. At half time MDY led 14-12. The second half featured a lot more offense. In the closing minutes, MDY clung to a 3 point lead. With 3 seconds left, Reuven Rozehzadeh of JEC launched a deep 3 pointer that swished the net, tying the game at 39-39 at the buzzer and sent the game into overtime. The first overtime featured 3 point goals by each team and the game was tied at 42 going into the second overtime. In the second overtime, MDY outscored JEC 4 – 0 and secured a 46-42 exciting victory to move into the Championship Game of Tier 1.
Game 5 of the day feature the second Tier 1 matchup between Hillel Yeshiva from Deal NJ v. Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) from Woodmere NY. HALB raced out to a large lead at the outset but Hillel was determined to claw their way back. HALB had a 21-11 lead at halftime. In the second half, HALB took control and secured a 47-33 victory to move into the Tier 1 Championship.
In the Tier 2 Championship Game, Shaare Torah faced off against HANC. The first half was very tight with both teams looking to take an advantage. Each basket was answered by the other team with a basket of their own. In the second half Shaare Torah started to pull away, only to see HANC come back each time. Finally, Shaare Torah finished their foul shots and held off HANC 51-43 and claimed the Tier 2 Championship.
In the final game, MDY met up with HALB. This was a rematch of an early preliminary game in the Tournament where HALB had defeated MDY in MDY. HALB started off very fast and raced to an early lead. MDY tried multiple comebacks with different strategies. Each time HALB was able to respond and soared to a 68-51 victory and win the Tier 1 Championship.
Each participating school in the Tournament selected an All Star Player who received a special Hoops for Heroes All Star Trophy:
- David K., Yeshiva Har Torah
- Nathan H., Ramaz
- Andy S, Manhattan Day School
- Reuven R., Jewish Educational Center
- Ben M., Hebrew Academy of Nassau County
- David E., Yeshivat Shaare Torah
- Elliot B., Hillel Yeshiva
- Yitzhak K., Magen David Yeshiva
- Isaac S., Hebrew Academy of Long Beach
According to Judah and Carol Rhine, Tournament Coordinators. "There was a great display of achdut throughout the day, amongst all the players and fans, both on and off the court. Special Hakarat HaTov and many thanks to all the Schools, Players, Coaches, Athletic Directors, Principals, Parents, Administrators, families and friends who helped make this event a huge success in supporting Yashar LaChayal. Plans are already in the works for next year's Tournament!" Tizku L'mitzvot.