Both Firehawk teams dominate on opening day at Glouberman


Kate Orlanski

BOOM: Firehawk senior Jacob Benezra performs his second slam-dunk of the night as the Firehawks beat the Ramaz Rams 50-44 in the opening game of the Fifth Annual Steve Glouberman Tournament in the Reich Family Gymnasium. Afterwards, the Firehawk girls took on their Ramaz counterparts and trounced them 59-20.

By Alex Rubel, Senior Editor 

So far, so good. 

It was a successful start for both Firehawk basketball teams as they completed a back-to-back sweep of the Ramaz Rams in the opening-night kickoff of the Fifth Annual Steve Glouberman Tournament.

Following a pre-game rooftop barbeque that invigorated the home crowd ahead of the action, the Firehawk boys team took the court at 3 p.m. to square off against the Ramaz Rams of New York City. Shalhevet ultimately won 50-44. 

A special schedule was in place for the day and classes had been released at 2 p.m. so people could watch the game in the gym.

Paired with our high press defense, we got a lot of boards up really quickly and we just drained the other team.

— Kiku Shaw, Firehawks guard, 12th grade

The game itself got off to a bumpy start — the Rams jumped to a quick 5-0 lead within minutes of tip-off — but the Firehawks closed the gap thanks to a pair of baskets by Firehawk co-captain junior Ze’ev Remer. 

Shalhevet was able to build a lead of as many as 12 points and maintain it by playing a solid defensive game and capitalizing on turnover opportunities. At the half, the Firehawks led 26-19. Ramaz couldn’t ignite its offense and Shalhevet largely kept the momentum for the rest of the game. 

The Firehawk crowd went berserk when senior and team captain Jacob Benezra dunked the ball twice, once in the first half and once in the second.  Both times were after the fastbreak on two separate occasions. 

The 6-foot-1 guard lit up the Glouberman highlight-reel last year with his first dunk, also against Ramaz in the Firehawks’ 61-38 semi-final victory. 

“The team needs to get a lot more rebounds,” said Jacob. “We had a good run at the end of the first half, but then a couple of turnovers messed that up. Ramaz scored five easy points in the span of 20 seconds.”

Next, the Firehawk girls squared off against the Rams girls team and routed them 59-20, backed by the palpable energy of the home crowd.

Jacob said that tomorrow the team hopes to improve its rebounding, and also play a stronger mental game.  

That game was never really close. The Firehawks began the game with a 14-6 run, led by Coach Ryan’s Coleman’s dynamic offense and the team’s talented starting five — seniors Maital Hiller, Kiku Shaw, and Avital Jacobson; junior Hila Lasry; and sophomore Talia Tizabi. 

“We played the game at our pace,” Kiku told the Boiling Point after the game. “Paired with our high press defense, we got a lot of boards up really quickly and we just drained the other team.”

Firehawk fans and players won’t have to wait long for more basketball. Tomorrow afternoon, the Firehawk girls will take on the RASG Warriors of Miami, Fla., at 12:15 p.m, followed by a boys game at 1:30 against the HAFTR Hawks of Cedarhurst, N.Y. The school has designated three hours in tomorrow’s special schedule for Firehawk fans to watch the action. 

Meanwhile, the Firehawks’ cross-town rival YULA Panthers boys team beat the KYHS Storm of Boca Raton, Fla. by a score of 62-55 in an evening game, after the Panther girls team lost 39-36 to KYHS’s girls team. 

Also last night, playing at the JCC, the Maimonides boys team of Boston, Mass. — new to the tournament this year — beat the RASG Warriors 63-47.