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Storm Edge Firehawks in Overtime Tier I Classic

In what was the game of the tournament thus far, the #5 seed TABC Storm took down the #4 seed Shalhevet Firehawks in an overtime thriller with a score of 39-36. 

Shalhevet started off strong, as they took an early lead on an Aiden Bitran steal-and-score and led 15-6 after the first quarter. Both teams played well defensively in the second quarter, and it looked like Shalhevet was going to take a double-digit lead into halftime until TABC’s Yonah Mandel converted a four-point play to cut the Firehawks’ lead to 20-13 right before the break. 

The third quarter is when the momentum started to shift TABC’s way. The Storm put up 14 points, more than they had scored the entire first half, and pulled within three points of Shalhevet heading into the fourth quarter.

The real madness started with 36 seconds left in the 4th quarter when Mandel missed a wide-open layup with his team down by one. After using a few of their fouls to give, TABC sent Bitran to the free throw line, where he made one of two shots to give Shalhevet a two-point lead with just under 20 seconds to go. After a timeout, TABC fed Eyal Kinderlehrer inside, where he was fouled and sent to the line for a chance to tie the game with two free throws and 4.5 seconds left. Kinderlehrer made the first one, and was then iced by Shalhevet, who called a timeout before the second free throw to make him think about it a little longer. He drilled the second one to tie the game, and Bitran just missed a buzzer-beating layup on the other end, sending the game to overtime.

The TABC Storm defeated the Shalhevet FireHawks 39-36 in an overtime thriller on Friday at the Max Stern Athletic Center. (Photo Credit: Macslive)

TABC took a quick lead in overtime thanks to an Ayden Gurin three off a pass from Mandel, who redeemed himself quickly after the earlier miscue. Bitran then responded with a three of his own to tie the game once again. A few minutes later, after TABC had taken a one-point lead thanks to another Kinderlehrer free throw, Eitan Sulemanoff backed down his defender towards the end of the shot clock and hit a nice turnaround jumper to push the Storm lead back to three. After Shalhevet unsuccessfully tried to tie the game with a three, Gurin had a chance to ice the game with a fast break layup with 10 seconds left, but he missed it, leaving the door open for Shalhevet to tie the game. The Firehawks brought the ball back down the court, but Bitran couldn’t get the three to fall, and TABC snuck out with the victory.

TABC will face Magen David in the Tier I semi-finals on Sunday, and Shalhevet will take on Maimonides in the Tier I consolation bracket.

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