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MTA Stages Epic Comeback, Defeat Cooper in Tier II Qualifier.

Many thought seeing the MTA Lions win a game this weekend after being blasted 69-26 by the top-seeded Warriors on Thursday, was virtually impossible. Skeptics saw the limits of possibilities being reached on Friday, as the (16) Lions roared back to defeat (17) Cooper 48-45 on Friday morning at TABC.

The way things started, it appeared another defeat was in store for the tournament’s host school. The Macs, who had defeated MTA earlier this season, jumped out to a 26-13 lead through the opening frame, led by Ben Freiden’s early dozen. Costly turnovers allowed the Lions to hang around, as they entered the fourth quarter trailing 40-33.

The MTA Lions rallied past the Cooper Yeshiva Macs 48-45, advancing to Sarachek's Tier II bracket, while Cooper dropped to tier III. (Photo Credit: JJ Stein)

As 6”5 Josh Treuhaft got going on both ends, the Lions finally found their footing in the game. Defensively, he was hard on the glass and gobbled up rebounds. Offensively, he made himself a presence in the paint. Even when Cooper loaded the box against him, he found sharpshooters like Doniel Baron, who had five triples on the day. Collectively, the Lions increased their tenacity and caused trouble for Cooper. Ultimately, it would overwhelm Yosef Vanderwalde, who fouled out with 4:11 left and left his team clinging to a 44-43 lead.

The 6”3 senior finished the day with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Cooper needed someone else to step up, but nobody did.

Ultimately, MTA took what was there. Koby Wolk had six assists, and Treuhaft was inside with 1:00 remaining, giving the Lions a 47-45 lead. Needing a stop, a Binyamin Sheinfeld steal sent Treuhaft to the charity stripe, where he hit one of two. The Macs would have the final say, but Eli Weisfogel’s potential game-tying three-pointer rimmed out, sending MTA and their fans into a frenzy.

With the win, the Lions are in the Tier II bracket and face (6) Valley Torah on Saturday night in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Cooper drops into Tier III and faces (15) Kohelet on Sunday in the semifinals.

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