In what promises to be an exciting Thursday matchup, the #15 Cooper Macs will face off against the #18 Beren Academy Stars. Don’t overlook this matchup, especially as these two teams feature compelling styles of play.
Cooper is led by three seniors. Shooting Guard Ethan Morris leads the team in points, rebounds, and steals per game with 17.6, 11.2, and 2.5, respectively. Morris was, in fact, rewarded for his dominance in Memphis by being selected, for a second time, to the All-District team. Alongside him, at the Point Guard position, stands Simcha Osdoba, who can absolutely light it up from the outside. A third key member of this Macs team is Asher Kirshtein, who, while only averaging 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game, has shown up in critical situations. Kirshtein does the little things right, and his development has been critical to Cooper.
Beren may be the most interesting team in this tournament. Three different players--junior Noah Diner and seniors Akiva Garner and Yisroel Yanowitz--each lead the Stars in one the three major statistical categories. Beren’s style of play is a 1950’s Midwest style, with a little bit of the late 1970’s ABA vibe (which was a result of the NBA-ABA merger of 1976). To break that down for our readers: On offense, Beren uses somewhat of a run-and-gun style offense, where they will push the ball, make a bunch of passes, and look for the best possible three-pointer available. On defense, Beren utilizes a 2-3 zone, which packs it in the paint and typically slows down the game.
In contrast to Beren’s zone defense and three-point shooting strategy, Cooper is a fast team which plays without a center. Look for Beren to attempt to lock down the paint and force Cooper to beat them from midrange and outside. These differing styles create excellent potential for an upset, as a Beren team which is on fire from three-point range will be tough to defeat. The winner of this game will play in a Tier II Qualifier on Friday, while the loser’s next game will be a Tier IV Semifinals matchup on Motzei Shabbos. Tune in to MacsLive.com, the home of the 2019 Red Sarachek tournament, to watch the livestream; tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 PM.