During March 7–11, 20 yeshiva high-school basketball teams from across the U.S. and Canada met at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights to battle it out for the top spot in the university’s 22nd Annual Red Sarachek Invitational Basketball Tournament. When the buzzer sounded, the Shalhevet High School Firehawks of Los Angeles were crowned the tournament’s Tier I champions.
In a thrilling championship bout, the Firehawks defeated the Frisch School Cougars of Paramus, N.J., by the score of 62–53. Playing before a packed crowd and a broadcast audience in the thousands, Shalhevet shooting guard and Sarachek MVP Joseph Fallas held off a determined Frisch squad with an impressive 25 points. Cougar guard Judah Cohen kept the contest close by putting up 21 points of his own.
The tournament, named for legendary former YU Maccabees coach Bernard “Red” Sarachek, was established in 1992 to honor Sarachek’s contributions to the sport of basketball and his dedication to the Jewish community. In addition to basketball, the long weekend included several off-court activities, including a lively Shabbaton and tours of the university’s ever-expanding campus, to help the young all-stars gain an early appreciation for YU’s unique educational environment and culture.
In addition to Shalhevet and Frisch, this year’s field included Magen David (Brooklyn); North Shore Hebrew Academy (Great Neck); Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School (Woodmere); RASG Hebrew Academy (Miami); YULA High School for Boys (Los Angeles); Weinbaum Yeshiva High School (Boca Raton); Cooper Yeshiva (Memphis); Valley Torah (Valley Village, CA); Beren Academy (Houston); Maimonides School (Brookline, MA); Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago); Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (Rockville, MD); Bnei Akiva Schools–Or Chaim (Toronto); Fuchs Mizrachi School (Beachwood, OH); Columbus Torah Academy (Columbus, OH); Akiva Hebrew Day School (Southfield, MO); Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh); and Yeshiva University High School for Boys/Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (New York).
The Yeshiva University High School Lions claimed the Tier II title with a decisive 53–27 win over the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy Cougars. The Lions retained a commanding lead throughout the game thanks to a collaborative effort by forward Ezra Teichman (14 points), guard Zak Lenik (10 points), and forward Ben Zion Feld (10 points).
Tier III went to Weinbaum Yeshiva High School and Tier IV to Fuchs Mizrachi School.
For the second straight year, the tournament was broadcast in high-definition video provided by MacsLive. The broadcast was made possible with the support of Yeshiva University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Center for the Jewish Future. For complete tournament coverage, including scores, statistics, game summaries, and awards, please visit www.macslive.com. v