Updated: Sep 2, 2019
As Sarachek 2019 is rapidly approaching, here is a preview and guide to help you prepare for the 5-day long battle for a champion.
Shalhevet Firehawks (1):
The top seeded Firehawks should be competing once again for Sarachek Tournament champs. After falling in the Championship game in back to back seasons, the Firehawks finally won it all last season. With three out of five starters returning, including 2018 tournament MVP Zack Muller and Sophomore point guard Ze’ev Remer, Shalhevet may have an even better team than last year, as they have bolstered their roster with transfers Noah Rossi and Jacob Benezra.
Magen David Warriors (2):
The Warriors have already won one major tournament this year--at Cooper--and were just seconds away from winning the Yeshiva League Championship this past Sunday. Fresh off the heartbreaking loss, the Warriors should be a hungry and determined group heading into Sarachek. Junior Albert Nsiri leads the way for the Warriors along with the senior leadership of Michael Natkin and Raymond Jajati.
Maimonides M-Cats (7)
Maimonides’ strong season has propelled them to a 7 seed in this year’s tournament. The M-Cats played their way into the quarterfinals in the Massachusetts North Division tournament, and easily won their invitational tournament this December. Size could be the determining factor should the M-Cats pull off an unexpected run, as 6”4 Senior Aaron Weinstock and 6”5 Sophomore Jesse Spear create an immense advantage in the paint. In addition, Junior Guards Judah Kosowsky and Eytan Pomper carry some offensive firepower from outside. However, the M-Cats will be tested early, as they face a tough opponent-- Fasman Yeshiva-- in a Tier I qualifier.
YULA Panthers (8)
Out of all Jewish teams to play the top seeded Shalhevet Firehawks this season, YULA was certainly the closest to pulling off a victory. In a December matchup, the Panthers were leading late in the fourth quarter, before the Firehawks stormed back to win the game on a Ze’ev Remer buzzer beater. Seniors Noam Meisels and Joseph Sassoon have the experience necessary to cause mayhem and the YULA fanbase typically creates a distinct advantage. YULA will face Posnack in a Tier I qualifier, with the winner taking on Shalhevet.
Fasman Yeshiva (10)
An incredible regular season saw Fasman sweep in town rivals IDA Crown and defeat Cooper Tournament runner-ups Rochelle Zelle. Fasman nearly competed for a chance to win their first Regional Title but could not hold on to a 13 point halftime lead and fell short. With leading scorer Doni Miretzky (16 PPG), the Yeshiva will be making their first appearance in Sarachek history.
Ida Crown Aces (14)
In the regular season, the Aces defeated Rochelle Zelle on their own court, and lost to Fasman Yeshiva by just 2 points. The “King of Tier II”, Ida Crown have won three out of the past five Tier II championships. In 2017, the Aces were ranked at #16 before winning four straight games in an unprecedented run to become Tier II champs. Now, ranked at #14, don’t be shocked if the Aces do it again. Joseph Wortman and Ben Miller lead the scoring for Ida Crown as they hope to continue their Tier II dynasty.
MTA Lions (13)
The talent that MTA’s roster has is far greater than that suggested by the 6-8 record in the Yeshiva league this year. Senior Eitan Pfeiffer displayed his clutch factor in last year’s Tier III semi-final victory over Ida Crown, and Seniors Hudi Weiss and Eitan Warburg round out a strong offensive attack. This group really came together in a home victory over #5 seeded TABC in December. When at their best, there’s no team that MTA can’t defeat.
Cooper Macs (15)
The Cooper Macs will rely heavily on their senior presence as they hope to make a splash in this year’s tournament. Senior Ethan Morris leads the team in scoring and became the first, two-time All District selection in school history. Forward Nossy Orgel set a school record earlier this year with 42 points in a game, and Senior point guard Simcha Osdoba and Senior forward Asher Kirstein establish a well-experienced group.
Socal Hawks (17)
Don’t let the size of this school fool you; the Hawks have had a knack for winning all year. SoCal rode a 12 game winning streak to notch a 3 seed in the CIF division playoffs, their highest seed in school history. Forward Raphi Shpitalnik won MVP of the Conference and Tani Capland was elected to the first team as well. If they don’t upset Katz Yeshiva on Thursday, expect Socal to compete for the Tier IV championship.
Hebrew Academy of Montreal Heat (19)
The high tempo offense of Montreal may be the ingredient to a Tier IV Championship. 6”1 guard Yoni Drazin tops the Heat at 20 PPG while Ethan Fallenbaum adds another 16 per game. The combo led the Heat to a runner-up performance at the David Tanzman Memorial Tournament, which included wins over Farber Hebrew Day School and Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh.
You can catch all of the 2019 Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament as you always can, on macslive.com!