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Gameday Preview: #4 Shalhevet vs #13 DRS

After a 52-41 win over the Frisch Cougars in yesterday’s play-in game, the 13th seeded DRS Wildcats will look to shock the nation against the #4 ranked Shalhevet Firehawks. 

For Shalhevet, this season has been a stunning success. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for coach Ryan Coleman’s crew after losing seven seniors and returning only one starter. Despite their inexperience, they've surpassed expectations, winning the Globerman tournament earlier this season.

The Firehawks' offensive strategy typically involves exploiting flare screen action, particularly effective against man-to-man defenses. However, the California boys have faced challenges adjusting to zone defenses, which plays right into the hands of DRS. 

Leading the charge for Shalhevet is dynamic junior scorer Aiden Bitran, known for his crafty shooting and impressive range despite being 5’7”. Alongside him, sophomore Sam Jacobson is a grinder in the paint with his tenacious play and stellar footwork. There’s also sophomore sensation Yaakov Lieberman, who can be an X-factor off the bench if he heats up from beyond the arc. 

The Shalhevet Firehawks begin their quest for another Sarachek championship on Thursday against DRS. (Photo Credit: Eidan Horn/Macslive)

The Wildcats of DRS, led by coach Moshe Cohen, love to play a zone defense. Despite struggling to establish a clear point guard, they compensate with an offensive game plan focused on motion and backdoor cuts rather than set plays.

Most of the time, those plays are set for Aiden Buchbinder and Joe Aaron. The two showed what they’re made of on Wednesday as Aaron had 24 points, and Buchbinder added 16 in the win over Frisch. 

With contrasting styles and strengths, this 2:30 PM matchup promises to deliver a compelling basketball display with a quarterfinal spot on the line. Tune into MacsLive to find out who emerges victorious on the Max Stern Athletic Center court and earns a spot in Tier I.

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