MacsLive Reporting Services (New York, NY)
An explosive third quarter run by Joseph Ammar and the Hillel Hurricanes proved too much for the Hebrew Academy Heat of Montreal to overcome as the Hurricanes qualified for Tier II with an upset win in the opening game of the 21st-annual Red Sarachek tournament.
The four-point lead the Hurricanes held at halftime was extended to an imposing twenty point lead in the fourth quarter from which Montreal could not recover.
Ammar had the hot hand in the second half, hitting two key threes and adding two layups en route to his game-high 15 points. When asked about his performance in the Step It Up Basketball postgame show, Ammar said that he wanted to come out and “prove that we are better than our number 18 seeding.” His teammate Natu Wainer had seven points and several key steals to help him do just that.
In the second quarter, Natanel Sebbagg had put the Heat up for what would be the last time in the game after two pretty floaters in the lane, but a few costly fouls and layups by the Heat gave the Hurricanes the momentum they needed. A big three pointer by Ammar put the Hurricanes up by four points at the half.
The Heat were led by Sebbagg and the three-point shooting of Ari Drazin and Vidal Israel, who had nine and six points, respectively.
The first quarter featured great defense by both squads as the Heat harrassed the Hurricanes with their aggressive perimeter defense, forcing turnovers. On the other end, the Hurricanes’ size on the inside prevented the Heat from establishing an offensive rhythm.
The Hebrew Academy Heat will play next in the Tier IV semifinals on Saturday night. The Hillel Hurricanes advance to the Tier II quarterfinals on Friday. Coverage of these games as well as the rest of the tournament games being played in the Max Stern Athletic Center will be provided by MacsLive and is available on www.macslive.com.