Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-6-2015 | RASG Warriors Tame CESJDS Lions, 80-67, Advance to Final Four

11-6-2015 | RASG Warriors Tame CESJDS Lions, 80-67, Advance to Final Four

By: Tani Finkelstein

A second round Tier I matchup early Friday morning pitted the #4-seeded RASG Warriors against the #5-seeded Charles E. Smith JDS Lions. The Lions started off the game with very aggressive defense, but they could not contain RASG guard Jack Esformes, who drilled four triples in the first quarter alone. With these triples, RASG built an early double-digit lead. With an exchange of three-pointers between teams, the Warriors were up seven at the end of the first quarter, led by Esformes’ 12 points.

In the second quarter, RASG kept draining from beyond the arc, but the Lions responded with their own triples, staying in reach of the Warriors. Daniel Kuhnreich put the Lions within two points with four consecutive free-throws after a technical foul was called on RASG. Ben Tal, however, made sure RASG kept the lead, converting on some fancy penetration and and-1 plays. Esformes hit a triple at the buzzer, and RASG was up 36-28 at the half. Esformes and Tal led RASG at the half with 15 and 14 points, while Kunreich and Bryan Knapp led the Lions with 11 and 9 points, respectively.

In the third quarter, it was a shootout, with each team exchanging triples. Ben Tal continued his utter domination of the Lions, converting on multiple and-1 plays. However, the Warriors played a bit sloppy, and made some turnovers, and the Lions managed to stay in reach, even though their star guard Bryan Knapp was being contained well. Knapp, frustrated, finished the quarter with an emphatic slam dunk. RASG had a decent lead, but the Lions were still in striking distance.

In the fourth, with a triple and then an and-1 play, Tal pushed the Warriors lead to double-digits. The Lions stayed strong, however, and remained in reach. Down seven, Knapp blew a key dunk attempt that would’ve put the Lions within five. But Ben Tal was too much, blowing by defenders in penetration play after play. With that, RASG began to finally pull away from the Lions. The Lions fouled and picked up a few technical fouls in the closing minutes, which clinched the game for RASG, who won it by a final score of 80-67, a score not particularly reflective of the contested game it really was. Ben Tal led the way for RASG with an outstanding 35 points. Jack Esformes also pitched in 19 for the Warriors. Daniel Kunhreich and Bryan Knapp both finished with 20 points for the Lions in defeat. The win puts the Warriors into the Tier 1 semi-finals, while the Lions move into the Tier 1 consolation bracket.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply