On Friday, March 25th, the 16th seeded Berman Cougars will play against the 17th seeded HAFTR Hawks for a spot in Tier II. The Cougars come into today’s action following a rough fourth quarter collapse in their Tier I qualifier against SAR. While they weren’t able to hold on in that one, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to this team. They showed they can hang with the best teams in this tournament, and they will look to prove it by winning this game and contending for a Tier II championship. Junior guard, Asher Faulk, will look to help his team bounce back in this one. He is capable of going for 30 on any given night. Don’t be surprised if he comes out aggressive in this one and has a big time performance. Senior big man, Amos Pinchot, had a massive first half against SAR, but they limited his touches heavily in the second half, causing the Cougars offense to come to a halt. Let’s see if the coaches can find ways to get him more involved in this one.
HAFTR has yet to play a game in Sarachek. They are coming off a disappointing season in which they didn’t make the Yeshiva League playoffs. They ended the season on a high note by blowing out Hillel in their final game. Haimy Salem is an extremely talented player. He’s a big who can stretch the floor and he’s a great finisher around the rim. He’s the engine of this team. Eitan Saffra could be an x-factor for them today. He can sometimes get a little out of control, but if he’s able to provide steadiness at the small forward position, they should be able to stay competitive. The Hawks have a chip on their shoulders given the fact that they weren’t given the opportunity to qualify for Tier I. They are a dangerous team if they can make it to Tier II.
Sarachek is a beast of a tournament. Games on back to back days can get tiring. It’s crucial for teams to have depth on the roster once we get past the first game. Look for guys like Meir Rabinowitz and Daniel Ferziger to get more playing time in this one for Berman. Eric Herman should also provide a nice boost off the bench for the Hawks with his good defense. Another important factor when it comes to these games is shooting. Berman struggled mightily from downtown in their last contest, which can’t happen again if they want to win this game. HAFTR is a good three-point shooting team. Kevin Levy has been a lights out shooter for them this season and he should play a massive role in this one.
The winner of this matchup will face the winner of (9) Katz vs (24) Mesivta in the Tier II Semi Finals on Saturday. The loser will move on to the Tier III quarterfinals.
This Tier II qualifier will take place in the TABC Gym 2 and tip off will be at 12:00 pm.