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Columbus Lions Win Tier-IV First Place
MacsLive Reporting Services (New York, NY)
Aaron and Daniel Polster erupted in the fourth quarter to complete a Columbus comeback victory against the HA Montreal Heat, wasting a 33-point effort by Ari Drazin.
The big blows came with six minutes left in the game, when the Polsters’s three-pointer followed by a layup-plus-free throw turned a one-point deficit into a five-point lead that the Lions would never relinquish. Drazin’s late effort kept the game within reach for the Heat, but missed opportunities by Montreal combined with strong free throw shooting by Columbus gave the Lions the Tier IV title by the final score of 61-50.
Aaron Polster had 25 points in the win and his brother Daniel was close behind with 16 of his own. Big man Max Herszage had 12 rebounds in a display of big man fundamentals.
The Heat had come out with a bang in the third quarter and started the half on a 5-0 run. The Lions were not helping their cause early in the quarter by fouling and sending the Heat to the line and missing some free throws of their own. But two straight late three-pointers by the Polster brothers cut the Heat lead to two heading into the fourth quarter. By the end of the third, the Polsters had combined for 29 points, and they would finish with 41 combined points on the game.
The Heat had raced out to a 20-9 lead in the first quarter thanks to strong play and good free throw shooting by scorer Ari Drazin. He scored 20 points in the first half alone and was practically the only option for the Heat on offense. The Lions had no answer to his drives and Drazin’s three ball was working as well as he converted on four of his 7 attempts.
But the Lions cut into the Montreal lead in the second quarter with some Jared Stavsky free throws and a big layup by Keenan Sobel to bring the game to within four, but a Drazin layup gave the Heat a six point lead heading into the third. Stavksy had eight points in the first half in a strong effort.
Drazin led all scorers in a losing effort with 33 points. No one else on the Heat scored in double figures.
The number 15 seed Montreal Hebrew Academy Heat finish in second place in Tier IV (18th overall) while the number 20 seed Columbus Torah Academy Lions get to go back to Ohio with some hard earned hardware (17th overall).