Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

MDY Warriors cool off Hillel HEAT 49-45 in double OT Thriller

The reigning champions Warriors attempted to make it back to the championship as they played the Hillel Heat in the semi-finals. The Warriors were overjoyed to have their star guard Albert Nsiri back in the lineup and healthy. He made his presence felt early. He hit a couple layups, including a coast-to-coast steal and easy layup on the other end. The Heat were able to compete with the Warriors because of multiple players knocking down threes and Morris Tobias hitting a couple of big shots. By the end of the first, they had a rare lead over the Warriors, as they led by 2.

Coming out of the huddle, the Warriors believed they found a way to get on edge over the Heat. That was through big man Joe Sultan. They fed him in the post over and over again, and the Heat had no answers defensively. Hillel’s Joe Zekaria caught fire in the second quarter and kept his team in the game. He went off for 7 points in the quarter. The game continued to go back and forth, as both Joe Sultan and Joe Zekaria each had ten for their teams at the half. The Warriors had a slim one point edge going into the second half, 25-24.

Joe Sultan continued to be a problem for the Heat. He scored the first four points coming out of the break and carried his team to a 6-0 scoring run. Multiple turnovers cost the Heat with the Warriors converting every turnover into points. The Warriors stepped up their defense in the second half as they held the Heat scoreless until halfway through the third quarter. They held them to just 4 points in the third quarter and led by 7 going into the fourth quarter of the game. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors continued to be aggressive, but the Heat finally got their offense rolling. Sam Elbaum hit two threes in a row and sparked an 8-0 scoring run. The Warriors called a timeout as they trailed for the first time since halftime.

While it was all one-sided for the Warriors in the third quarter, it was quite the opposite in the fourth. With the Heat up by 4 with three minutes left, MDY’s Edmond Antebi committed his fifth foul and fouled out of the game. With a minute and 20 seconds left in the game, Elliott Dweck, for the Warriors, knocked down a huge three to tie the game at 40 a piece. With a minute left, the Heat’s plan was to hold the ball for the last shot. Albert Nsiri had other plans. With 45 seconds he stole the ball and drove down the other way. Coach Ike Dweck called a timeout to draw up a play with ten seconds left on the clock. Elliot Dweck missed a deep three, the Heat got the rebound, and they called a timeout with two seconds left. The halfcourt bomb by Zacky Cytryn was just short, and the game was headed to overtime.

Each team scored one shot in overtime until the score was tied at 42. The Warriors held the ball until 8 seconds left in overtime when Coach Dweck called a timeout. With seconds left on the clock, Teddy Cohen drove down the middle and missed a running floater to the left. The game was headed to double overtime. Joe Sultan came up big in the second overtime. He had a huge rebound, a huge free throw, and a huge block to fuel his team to a three point lead late in the period. Just as the Warriors started to pull away and go up by five, Zacky Cytryn, for the Heat, hit a huge three and cut the lead down to two. With a minute left, the Heat were forced to foul. They got lucky when Teddy Cohen missed both free throws. Unfortunately for the Heat, he redeemed himself when the Warriors got the ball back, as he made both free throws and put the Warriors up by 4. The Heat had multiple attempts at a three but missed all of them.

The Warriors won it in double overtime and are headed to the championship. Their high scorer was Joe Sultan with 19 points. The high scorer for the Heat was Zacky Cytryn with 14. The Warriors have a tough matchup on Sunday when they face the Shaare Torah Stars.

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