Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-6-2015 | Or Chaim Knights Carve Up AJA Jaguars, 65-35

11-6-2015 | 11-6-2015 | Or Chaim Knights Carve Up AJA Jaguars, 65-35

By: Shmuel Perl

In the first Tier II matchup of Friday, the #2 Or Chaim Knights faced off against the #7 AJA Jaguars. The 6’8 center for the Knights, Yaakov Bendayan, easily won the opening tip, but four early turnovers by the Knights and a few more by the Jags kept it a scoreless game with two minutes gone by in the opening quarter. Or Chaim’s pressure defense forced Atlanta to call an early timeout, but after talking it over with their coach, the Jaguars were able to break the press and come up with an easy layup. The Jags continued to score, as a Dustin Dayani drive and score put the Jaguars up four, and a short jumper by Jacob Adler made it a six point game. Yaakov Bendayan finally got the Knights on the board about halfway through the first, but AJA responded with another basket at the other end. As the quarter came to a close, Or Chaim tightened it up on the offensive side and Armando Abitbol led the Knights on a 8-0 run to put them up 10-8 after one.

Benji Feldman opened the scoring in the second quarter for the Knights, and a vicious dunk by Bendayan gave Or Chaim a six point league. After a few minutes of scoreless ball, a free throw by Herman and a putback layup by Koby Welman extended the Or Chaim lead to nine, but the Jags responded with their first basket in nearly eight minutes of play. With five minutes gone by in the second, three quick baskets by Jacob Herman gave Or Chaim its first double digit lead of the game, but Atlanta refused to go away. Both teams finally found their offensive spark near the end of the half, but Jacob Herman’s inside presence kept Or Chaim out in front, with a 29-15 lead going into halftime. Herman absolutely dominated in the first half, scoring 11 points and adding 6 rebounds.

Bendayan drilled two free throws to start the second half, but Dustin Dayani responded with a nice move and an underhanded layup. Or Chaim continued to play sloppily on offense, missing almost all of their three point attempts, but their enormous size advantage allowed them to force turnovers and get offensive rebounds, making it almost impossible for Atlanta to stay in the game. The third quarter was marked by bad fouls and lots of turnovers, but the Jaguars finally ended the brutal stretch of basketball, with a Dustin Dayani jumper. Abitbol responded with a tremendous baseline drive and a great reverse layup and Sammy Newman banked in a floater to put Or Chaim up 17 with under two minutes in the third. Bendayan hit a putback layup at the end of the third and gave the Knights a commanding 38-19 lead heading into the game’s final quarter.

Or Chaim scored first to start the fourth, by way of Yaakov Bendayan, which extended their lead into the twenties for the first time and gave the tallest player in the tournament a double-double. After another bad offensive possession by Atlanta, Bendayan hit two free throws, and then Sammy Newman hit the game’s first three pointer to make it a 26 point game. Both teams upped the tempo with a few minutes gone by in the fourth, which allowed AJA to get a little bit of offensive momentum. However, two free throws from Ilan Shields, a couple of blocks on the defensive end, and a Koby Welman layup closed the book on a Jags’ comeback. Josh Bland and Anshel Roth both hit three for AJA, but at that point it was too late. Atlanta’s press did start to come alive as the game wound down, as they forced plenty of turnovers and made some easy buckets. With 1:27 left, Coach Vince Louis decided to play his bench, allowing the Jaguar’s plethora of inexperienced players to get some action. The Knights, who didn’t really take their foot off the gas petal, carved up AJA’s small, underclassmen-filled, lineup. The final score was 65-35 Knights, with the 6’8 Bendayan leading the way with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Atlanta was led by Dustin Dayani and Anshel Roth with 10 points each. The Knights move into the Tier 2 Final Four, while the Jaguars move into the Tier 2 consolation bracket.

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