(2) Valley Torah Starts Championship Defense; Flexes on (15) TABC with 58-39 Win
In the closing match of opening night, 2nd seeded Valley Torah took on the 15th seeded TABC for a spot in Tier I. The game began like many others today, with both teams trading baskets. Both teams looked to run a fast-paced offense, with TABC doing a particularly good job of managing Valley Torah’s full court press. But every time TABC edged ahead, Valley Torah always seemed to have an answer.
After a pair of threes from both teams to start the second quarter, Valley Torah really started to run away with it. They converted a pair of full court passes off of TABC misses that their defense just wasn’t ready for. Things really took a turn when Noam Mayouhas and Gabriel R'Bibo hit big three point shots and Valley Torah went into the half up 38-19.
The third period saw TABC continue to struggle, with Ezra Silfen and Tzvi Schreiber creating good looks at the rim, but the shots just wouldn’t fall. The story stayed the same in the quarter, with Valley Torah’s stifling defense holding TABC scoreless 6 minutes in, despite numerous TABC fast break opportunities. With just over a minute left, TABC started chipping away at the lead, with a big and-one from Ayden Gurin and some great plays from Netanel Benloulou.
In the fourth quarter, the teams continued trading jabs, but Valley Torah managed to keep scoring. The highlight of the quarter was back to back tremendous plays by Mayouhas, first hitting a fall away three, and then delivering a beautiful pass to R’Bibo for the score. As the time ticked away, the fans of both teams found a sense of camaraderie, imploring TABC’s Coach Oz to put in Yonah Luber with a variety of chants. Unsurprisingly, the entire gym roared as Luber got ready to check-in about a minute later.
When the final buzzer had sounded, (2) Valley Torah came out on top with a 58-39 victory, and a spot in a Tier I quarterfinal against (10) Katz. Mayouhas was the star of the game, leading all scorers with 15 points, along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. For TABC, Ayden Gurin led the team with 11 points, with Benloulou and Eitan Sulemanoff right behind him with 10 each. With the loss, (15) TABC will now head to Tier II to play (18) Mesivta, with the notable advantage of playing in their home gym.
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