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Flames of Victory: Firehawks Burn Feisty Wildcats

In a first-round battle, the 4th-seed Shalhevet Firehawks beat out the 13th-seed DRS Wildcats by a score of 57-50.

Shalhevet kicked things off with a barrage of Aiden Bitran 3’s helping them gain a 15-8 first-quarter advantage. However, with their gritty playstyle, DRS hung around and exited the first quarter down by just 3. 

The next 8 minutes showcased the Wildcats’ intense defensive pressure, which led to quick fastbreak points, many trips to the line, and a momentum shift going into the half. Joe Aaron’s perfect first-half free throw percentage and the mid-range game from Aiden Buchbiner left Shalhevet with their hands full, leading to a 6-point DRS lead at half. 

The heavily favored Shalhevet Firehawks withstood the feisty DRS WildCats, and advanced to the Tier I quarterfinals with a 57-50 victory. (Photo Credit: Ariella Andrew/Macslive)

At the start of the 3rd quarter, Shalhevet looked like a new team. They came out with a high-pressure defense led by Yaakov Lieberman and creative offensive sets for Sam Jacobson who ultimately stole the show. He grabbed rebound after rebound throughout the second half and proved to be too strong for DRS. 

The Firehawks came into the 4th with the halftime deficit cut in half and within the first few minutes, had the lead thanks to 2 straight triples. They played sound defense, cut out turnovers, and iced the game with strong free throw shooting, showing why they’re considered such a threat in this tournament. Ultimately the Firehawks proved victorious and the game finished with a score of 57-50.

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