On Sunday, March 26th, the Shalhevet Firehawks will play against the SAR Sting for a spot in the Tier I Championship game on Monday. This is a big time matchup with a lot of big time players. Avi Halpert for Shalhevet and Akiva Schanzer for SAR are two of the tournament’s best players. Both these teams are more than capable of taking home that championship trophy on Monday.
The Firehawks entered the tournament as the clear-cut number one seed. They have not looked like it so far. In their first game, they had a scare from the 16 seed MTA and were able to escape with a big fourth quarter run. In their second game, they were tested until the last second when they were able to escape with a win due to a missed open layup by MDY. It goes without saying that they have to step up their game and play like the team they have been all season if they want to advance. The key to them winning this game is Avi Halpert. If he can’t get it going, they struggle to get good looks as a team. He shot 25% from the field last game and they almost lost to a far inferior opponent. Nathan Sellam is coming off of a career game. He came out and torched MDY in the first quarter, scoring 20 points in the first eight minutes of play. He ended the game with 31 points. If he can continue to play at this level, this team should be unbeatable.
The Sting were able to take down Frisch comfortably on Friday, winning the game 63-46. Akiva Schanzer led the way with 11 points and 7 assists in that one. He was the key to the offense, but he got plenty of help from Benny Neuwirth and Gabe Sklar. Sklar stepped up big time in this one putting up a great all-around stat line of 12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. He’s going to need to keep that kind of play up if they want to take down the number one seeded Shalhevet. As the only non-Los Angeles team remaining, the Sting will look to advance to pull off the upset and advance to the Championship.