The SAR Sting straggled behind the Berman Hebrew Academy Cougars but ultimately pulled away in the fourth quarter of a hard-fought, close match, ending with a score of 52-36.
The Cougars came out ready to prove that they were ranked too low as the #16 seed and had many viewers thinking that a significant upset was underway. The game went back and forth, with Berman clinging on to a lead that was as many as seven points. Both teams looked tired from their early-morning matchup, but the Cougars seemed to have a little more energy, which played a factor in their early lead.
SAR’s Akiva Schanzer scored the first bucket of the game with a strong lefty layup, and Andrew Pinchot immediately responded for the Cougars with a layup of his own. The teams traded buckets throughout the quarter, and the Cougars led 13-10 as the first buzzer sounded.
Berman expanded its lead throughout the second quarter as they continued to push the ball on offensive breaks. Ben Winters hit a fastbreak layup with 36 seconds left in the quarter to put the Cougars up by seven, but Schanzer’s end-of-quarter three-pointer brought the Sting back to within four to end the half with a score of 19-23.
The Sting came back from the halftime break more energized and outscored the Cougars by five in the third quarter. Josh Brody had a monster block at the end of the quarter, which allowed SAR to hold on to its one-point lead of 35-34.
In the fourth quarter, the Sting showed why they are the #1 seed, outscoring the Cougars 17-2 to win the game 52-36. Schanzer hit three three-pointers during the game, while Berman Junior guard Asher Falk had two threes of his own in what was a well-played game by both teams.
With the win, SAR moves on to the Tier I Quarterfinals, where they will face the Flatbush Falcons at the Max Stern Athletic Center at 9:30 am. Berman will head to a Tier II Qualifier where they will play against the HAFTR Hawks at TABC at 12:00 pm.