Updated: Sep 2, 2019
On Sarachek’s opening day, #15 Cooper Macs and #18 Beren Stars faced off in a thrilling mid-afternoon matchup. Fascinating styles of play complemented the back and forth game. The matchup came down to the wire, but Beren was able to pull out the victory when the final buzzer sounded.
The game was very back and forth in the early going. Cooper got out to an 8-6 lead, fueled by Nossy Orgel, who scored 9 of Cooper’s 11 first quarter points. Following a Beren timeout, the Stars went on a 9-0 run, and entered the second quarter up 4. It was early in the second period when Beren established their largest lead of the game, 7 points. However, Cooper clawed their way back, taking only their second lead of the game right before halftime. The score was 30-29 in favor of the Macs at the break.
The third quarter was controlled by Cooper, who won the period by a margin of 7. Cooper took their largest lead of the game at 44-34, and looked prime to win. But the fourth quarter would tell a different tale, as Sarachek witnessed the most dominant performance of day 1.
After a scoreless couple of minutes, Houston senior Akiva Garner knocked down a 3 pointer. One possession later, he knocked down another. Cooper’s lead was cut to 44-42. After a couple of missed shots and a block by the Houston defense, Garner hit his third trey of the fourth, putting Beren in front for the first time in the half. Following multiple missed shots, Orgel and Garner traded buckets; after a made Cooper jumper, Garner replied with another 3. Orgel proceeded to tie the game, but a Noah Diner layup gave Beren the 2 point advantage. Orgel missed two free throws, and with 40 seconds remaining, Garner gave Beren a 4 point lead. Cooper Guard Ethan Morris knocked down two free throws; he then deflected a Beren in-bounds pass, which resulted in a foul and free throws for the Macs. Asher Kershtein made one. Cooper pressed Beren, causing a jump ball, and with the arrow pointing in the Macs direction, and down 1, Cooper had a chance to win the game.
Orgel was fouled with 5.6 seconds remaining, but missed both, ending his day from the line at 1/9. Beren was fouled on the second miss, but they missed the front end of a 1 and 1. Morris pulled down the board and wisely called timeout with 2.2 seconds left. Cooper drew up a play for Morris, whose shot missed off the backboard as the horn sounded. Beren had pulled off the 54-53 upset. Garner scored 16 of Beren’s 18 fourth quarter points, going 4/5 from three point range in the quarter.
Beren will now face Posnack in a Tier II Qualifier on Friday at 10 AM in Frisch. The winner will go to Tier II and the loser to Tier III. Cooper will play in the Tier IV semifinals on Motzei Shabbos.
Beren– Akiva Garner (25), Noah Diner (12)
Cooper–Nossy Orgel (19), Simcha Osdoba (14), Ethan Morris (12)