Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-8-2015 | de Toledo Jaguars Extinguish NSHA Stars, 56-39; Win Cooper Invitational Tier 2 Championship

11-8-2015 | de Toledo Jaguars Extinguish NSHA Stars, 56-39; Win Cooper Invitational Tier 2 Championship

By: Shmuel Perl

The 2015 Cooper Invitational Tier II Championship game featured two teams from opposite ends of America: #1 de Toledo Jaguars, from West Hills, California, and the #3 North Shore Stars from Great Neck, New York. The Jaguars scored the first points of the game off of a bucket by center Michael Stavinsky, but the Stars quickly responded with a three by Michael Livi. Two free throws by Jason Ofman gave the lead back to de Toledo halfway through the first quarter, and a layup by Ezra Emanuel made it a three point DTHS lead. But North Shore hung around, played solid defense, and made it a one point game when Mitchell Hutt got a jump hook to go. But buckets by Stavinsky and Emanuel and another pair of free throws from Ofman made it a 12-5 game after one quarter in favor of the Jaguars.

The start of the second quarter was not particularly exciting as neither team could really get anything done offensively. Eventually, Etai Bernstein finally scored one for the Jaguars with about three minutes into the quarter to make it a nine point game. About two minutes later, with North Shore still not on the board, Liam Evenhaim scored to extend the Jaguars lead to double digits. North Shore finally scored with two minutes left in the half, off of a three by Ari Warshaw, but Ofman, who was a free throw machine in this game, knocked down two more to keep it a ten point game. North Shore responded with two buckets from Ryan Levian, but a three by Michael Stavinsky made it a 21-12 game at halftime.

The first points of the third quarter were scored by de Toledo, off of two free throws from Michael Stavinsky. The Stars responded with a basket by Levian, but Emanuel came right back and scored for the Jaguars. A three pointer by Eilon Bennissan gave de Toldeo double North Shore’s point total with four minutes gone by in the third quarter, and another inside basket by Stavinsky made it a sixteen point game. North Shore started to battle back, getting three points from Jordan Hakakian off of a very friendly roll, but two missed wide-open layups prevented the Stars from really going on a run. Etai Bernstein made some free throws, but Jordan Hakakian of North Shore came back with two free throws of his own and Darren Zar added a fast break layup to make it a thirteen point game. Both teams scored again, but a nice bucket by Bernstein made it a 39-24 game after three quarters of play and the Jaguars seemed on their way to victory.

Both teams hit free throws to start the fourth quarter, and for the majority of the first few minutes the two teams exchanged scores with neither defense playing particularly well. With about six minutes left, Ofman drew a hard foul, but had to leave the game with an injury. Bennissan made the two free throws in his place, and a minute later Stavinsky added two more foul shots. The Jaguars then got another transition bucket, while North Shore continued to miss free throws on their side of the court. Ryan Levian then led the Stars on 5-2 run, but it was too little, too late. North Shore tried to use pressure defense to help spark their comeback, and although they were slightly successful in stopping de Toldeo from scoring, they took too long to force turnovers. With North Shore’s offense still stagnant and only about a minute left in the game, coach Motti Meisels decided to let his bench guys get some action. Both teams scored to close the game and the final score was 56-39 de Toledo. The most telling stat was that the Stars were 6 for 17 from the free throw line. The Jaguars were led by Michael Stavinsky with 18 points, while the Stars were led by Ryan Levian with 12 points in defeat.

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