After a devastating loss to SAR on Thursday night, no one was sure how #11 Valley Torah would respond. As it turns out, the Wolfpack took it all in stride, and were able to defeat #14 Ida Crown Aces in a Tier II Qualifier held at Frisch.
An Uzi Mermelstein three pointer put Valley Torah up 58-48 with just 4:37 to go. After no buckets fell for the next three minutes for either side, the Aces looked dead in the water. However, a Ben Miller three pointer cut the lead to 7. As they had only committed 6 fouls, Ida Crown looked to execute a strategy surrounded on fouling Valley Torah on the ground and hoping that the player fouled missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Senior Point Guard Liorel Bitton was fouled, but came through and knocked down both. A missed shot led to a 1-and-1 for Akiva Kamornick, who missed the front end. Benny Albom knocked down a 3 for the Aces, cutting the lead to 6. Bitton was fouled on Valley’s next possession, and he drained the first shot--but the Wolfpack were called for a lane violation and Ida Crown got the ball back. Two threes were missed by the Aces, but they got the rebounds on both, and Jordan Benditzson hit a 3 to make it a 3 point game with 4.8 seconds on the clock. Bitton was once again fouled, but he came through in the clutch, hitting both. The final score was 62-57.
With the victory, Valley Torah make their way into Tier II. Ida Crown will play in Tier III. Both will play in a semifinal in their respective tiers, in the MAX, on Sunday.