Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-7-2015 | YHS Storm Tame Lions, 73-58

11-7-2015 | YHS Storm Tame Lions, 73-58

By: Shmuel Perl

In a Tier 1 game that featured two teams trying to rebound from Friday losses, the #5 JDS Lions faced off against the #8 YHS Storm. The Lions controlled the tip, and scored right away on a layup by Daniel Kuhnreich. Kuhnreich followed up a few minutes later with a reverse layup and one on a beautiful pass from Nadav Kalendar to give the Lions an early five point lead. JDS hit a free throw on their next possession, but then the Storm finally got on the board when Evan Jacoby drove in and dropped in a bucket. JDS responded quickly with another three point play, this time by Brian Shorr, but once again YHS responded with a basket at the other end. Kuhnreich, who was carving up the YHS defense in the first quarter, drove and scored again, but a 4-0 run by the Storm, who tightened up their defense toward the end of the first, brought them within three. The killer for YHS was two missed open layups by Jacob Henschel which would have given the Storm a one point lead going into the second quarter. Instead, JDS got the ball with thirty seconds left and a chance to hold the ball for one shot and extend their lead. Luckily for YHS, they were able to force the Lions into a turnover which they converted into a Sammy Baum bucket to make the score 11-10 JDS after one quarter of play.

Two free throws by Joel Vardon opened the scoring in the second quarter for JDS, and the Lions continued to get lucky on the defensive side as a three point attempt by Jared Stern and a layup by Doni Baratz rolled in and out. Baratz cashed in on a free throw on the ensuing possession, but YHS’s next few offensive opportunities were riddled with turnovers which the Lions turned into five free throws. YHS finally got rolling about halfway through the first and went on a 4-0 run led by the play of point guard Jared Stern. JDS called a timeout, and on the next possession finally got their superstar point guard, Bryan Knapp, involved in the offense when he hit a pull up jumper. The Storm started to turn things around and took their first lead of the game with a minute left in the half after a 7-0 run powered by the three-point shooting of their guards. The most puzzling thing for YHS was they seemed to be playing a lot better with their star guard, Ethan Lasko, on the bench. Lasko, who scored 29 in the previous game, sat for most of the first half and was held without a score. Daniel Kuhnreich was able to score a nice basket up over a YHS defender in the final minute of the second quarter, but the Storm still had a 23-22 lead going into halftime.

The third quarter started off as a back and forth battle between the two teams with neither able to convert on their offensive opportunities. The first basket finally came with two minutes gone by in the quarter, when Ethan Lasko, who finally reappeared, stole the ball and made nice transition pass to Sammy Baum who connected on a layup. Lasko then showed that he was not rusty from sitting for so long as he knocked down a three to extend the YHS lead to six. JDS quickly countered with baskets from its two best players: Daniel Kuhnreich and Bryan Knapp. YHS then went on a 4-0 run of their own, led by Lasko, but another great drive and score by Kuhnreich kept the Lions close. In the next minute, both teams exploded offensively, with Jared Stern and Brian Shorr knocking down threes for their respective teams. Lasko remained hot in the third, scored six more points for the Storm which would have given them a commanding lead if not for a three-pointer by Joel Vardon. Both teams scored again as the quarter came to a close, with the score being 44-38 after three quarters of play in favor of the Storm.

Brian Shorr, who was the unlikely leader for JDS with Knapp not particularly well, opened up the scoring in fourth quarter with a nice reverse layup. The Storm responded with two quick baskets, but a three by Vardon kept the Lions hanging around. Lasko was not excited about that, and immediately countered with a dagger from well behind the arc to make it an eight point game once again. A nice move by Baratz gave the Storm their first double digit lead of the game, but a nice bucket by Shorr and another three from Vardon cut the YHS lead back down to five with four minutes left in the game. JDS immediately called timeout and came out in a full court press. The Lions were able to force a turnover, but missed a couple of threes on the other end. YHS got the ball back, but only came away with two missed free throws. Bryan Knapp, who had been held to only four points, scored on the next play for the Lions and made it a three point game. Both teams made some free throws, but a bucket and one by Lasko in transition made the score 58-51 with just under two minutes left in the game. After a missed opportunity by JDS, Sammy Baum helped the Storm to pull away with a couple of buckets in transition. The final blow to Lions comeback attempt was a questionable technical foul on Brian Shorr, which led to two free throws by Lasko. With the momentum on their side, the Storm went on a nice run to seal the game, once again led by the excellent play of Lasko. Although their hopes of winning were all but lost, the Lions refused to give up in the final minutes. Daniel Kuhnreich made a couple of shots, and JDS fouled YHS every time they got the ball, which almost seemed more like a display of their frustration than a strategic move. Nevertheless, YHS made the free throws and won the game by a score of 73-58. Ethan Lasko led the way for YHS with 29 points, all in the second half. JDS was led by Daniel Kuhnreich with 18 points.

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