Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-6-2014 | Warriors Cage Lions in Cooper Invitational Opener, 38-34

11-4-2014 | Warriors Cage Lions in Cooper Invitational Opener, 38-34

By: Efraim Wiener

Box Score

The 8th seeded Gross Hebrew Academy Warriors squared up against the 9th seeded Charles E. Smith JDS Lions to tip off this year’s Cooper Invitational in an enthralling matchup. Early in the game, the Lions made some key mistakes and some missed free throws to give the Warriors a three point lead. The Warriors defense was the key to their early success. Chad Masin stole the ball multiple times, but the Warriors had trouble pulling away. Morris Esformes, RASG’s star player, struggled to get into a rhythm in the first quarter. The Lions managed to claw back by the end of the first quarter to come within two points.

The game was simply a battle of defenses. Neither team could really get into a rhythm, and continued to struggle offensively. The defense of RASG was led by Chad Masin who continued to rebound well and press the ball. Small mistakes seemed to plague both teams. It seemed that every five seconds a whistle was being blown for either a travel or steal resulting in neither team being able to score the ball well. At the half, the score was 24-18 with the Lions winning led by Kalender’s 10 points in the second quarter.

Throughout the game there were some key scorers that really stood out. Chad Masin continued to score the ball as well as playing tenacious defense. JDS’s Kuhnreich shot well throughout the whole game. His pull-up jumper was almost impeccable. Not only was he leading his team in scoring, but also in assists as well. He continued to feed the ball to the players that were open, which widened their lead even more. Although the Lions were fouling a ton, they managed to keep a lead and get easy buckets.

As the game came to a close, RASG continued to press and persist in defense. They were playing with aggression, but were leaving men wide open. The Lions slowly picked apart the Warriors defense, but were not converting on easy shots. With a few minutes left in the game, RASG started to wake up and actually convert on layups. Morris Esformes converted on a few layups to give them the chance to win. With 6.9 seconds left, Morris was fouled and converted on one free-throw, and then Bixon converted on another free-throw to put away the game, with the final score of 38-34.

The Warriors fight on in Tier 1, while the Lions drop into Tier 2. Morris Esformes led the Warriors with 14 points, while Daniel Kuhnreich led the Lions with 14 points.

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