Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

10-28-2012 | Weinbaum Storm win OT Thriller over NCJHS JAGUARS, 54-52, take Tier 2 Championship

10-28-2012 | Weinbaum Storm win OT Thriller over NCJHS JAGUARS, 54-52, take Tier 2 Championship

By: Josh Kahane

In the 2012 Cooper Invitational Tier II Championship, the No. 1 seeded NCJHS Jaguars of West Hills, CA, met up with the No. 2 seeded Weinbaum Storm of Boca Raton, FL. The two top seeded Tier II teams, had breezed their way through the Tier II qualifiers, destined for a west coast/east coast showdown. A battle of styles, NCJHS is a guard heavy full court pressure squad, while Weinbaum prefers to execute through slowed tempo, clean, and crisp offensive sets.

As the game tipped off, both teams stayed true to form with NCJHS forcing a frenzied, fast, paced game and Weinbaum looking to slow down the tempo and force a more controlled and deliberate offensive scheme. With Weinbaum scoring in the waning seconds of the quarter, it appeared that they would start the second quarter with an 8-6 advantage; but a step back 3 pointer at the buzzer by Micah Getzug put NCJHS up 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Weinbaum came out on fire in the second quarter and erupted on an 8-0 run. At the half way point of the second quarter, Weinbaum led 17-9. NCJHS once again began to create chaos, forcing back-to-back turnovers and 4 quick fast break buckets. But with big, strong, physical play by Gabe Baratz and chants of “he’s an animal” in support of big man Zevi Witlin, Weinbaum fought back extending the lead to 23-20 at the half.

In the third quarter, the sky opened as both teams began “raining” jumpers from all over the court. With great inside/outside post play, back screens opened base line shots for both squads. With 4 minutes left in the third, NCJHS turned the full court pressure back on, turning Weinbaum over on back-to-back trips. But Gabe Baratz put Weinbaum on his shoulders scoring 6 straight points. As the third quarter came to a close, Weinbaum led 38-32.

The fourth quarter began with tough ball pressure by both teams, but it was Aaron Rose who guarded the paint for Weinbaum, swatting three consecutive shots and ripping down four straight rebounds. Midway through the fourth quarter, Weinbaum led 41-36. After a steal by Weinbaum, a dribble drive penetration move by Gabe Baratz, and a sweet dish to Aaron Rose for the lay-in, it extended Weinbaum’s lead to 43-36. But NCJHS would not go away, scoring on back-to-back trips and cutting the lead to 3 at the 2:30 mark. After another fast break lay-in by Rose and then a 3 by NCJHS’s Micah Getzug, Weinbaum’s lead was cut to 2. Aaron Rose continued to dominate the middle, drawing a foul, and then calmly sinking 2 free throws. With one minute left in the game, Weinbaum led 49-45.

NJCHS reignited its full court pressure coming up with an immediate steal; but the ball was stolen back by Wienbaum setting up a Weinbaum inbound with 26.1 on the clock. On the inbounds, NCJHS again stole the ball and then calmly nailed a deep 3 tying the game at 50-50. Weinbaum pushed the ball up the court and Zevi Witlin was fouled in the act of shooting. With a raucous crowd stomping and screaming, Witlin missed both free throws. But a jump ball on the rebound landed Weinbaum with the ball with 2.9 remaining in regulation and a missed turn-around jumper by Gabe Baratz sent the game into overtime.

NCJHS got the tip in overtime, but immediately turned the ball over. Daniel Lasko broke the OT tie with a deep 3 at the 1:56 mark, putting Weinbaum up 53-50. A string move to the bucket by Danile Ozer Ross sent him to the charity stripe where he sunk 2 big free throws. Weinbaum’s lead was cut to 1. With 8.1 seconds left, point guard Gabe Baratz was fouled and stepped to the line with the Championship on the line. Baratz hit one of two and sealed the Tier II Championship for the Weinbaum Yeshiva Storm with a final score of 54-52. Daniel Lasko led the victorious Storm with 16 points and Edan Evenhaim led the Jaguars with 23 points.

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