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Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Champions again: Boys and girls basketball teams conquer Glouberman for second straight year

JUBILATED%3A+In+the+Wildfire+Theater+%E2%80%93+doubling+as+Shalhevet+locker+room+%E2%80%93+Firehawk+players+drench+Coach+Ryan+Coleman+in+water+to+celebrate+their+tournament+victory.
Sam Elyaszadeh
JUBILATED: In the Wildfire Theater – doubling as Shalhevet locker room – Firehawk players drench Coach Ryan Coleman in water to celebrate their tournament victory.

As Shalhevet students and fans crowded into the “Hawk’s Nest” for the final Glouberman games on Nov. 4, the Firehawks boys basketball team defeated the Ramaz Rams 59-58 through a last-second shot in the championship game, having defeated the RASG Warriors 44-35 in the semifinals.

Earlier in the evening, the Shalhevet girls team defeated the Frisch Cougars 56-50 in the championship after defeating the SAR Sting 68-32 in the semifinal two days earlier.

It was the second consecutive year that both the girls and boys won the Glouberman championship. 

This year, competition for the Firehawk boys was less, with seven opponents compared to 10 last year. A reason might have been that this year’s Glouberman was held the same days as the boys-only Cooper Yeshiva Invitational basketball tournament in Memphis. 

Maimonides School of Boston, Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC) and L.A.’s Valley Torah, last years’ second-place winner, opted to go to the Cooper Yeshiva tournament instead.

Competition for the girls was greater though, with nine teams at Glouberman year compared to eight in 2022. 

The Shalhevet girls championship game was tied 10-10 at the end of the first quarter, with Shalhevet taking a three-point lead, 26-23 by the half. Shalhevet kept its lead in the third quarter, 46-31, and surged to a 26-point victory over Frisch.

 

During the boys championship game, Ramaz took an early 14-8 lead in the first quarter, which shrunk to 25-23 in the second half. At the end of the third quarter, Ramaz had grown its lead to nine points, 43-52.

Firehawk junior Aiden Bitran scored 27 points and sophomore Sam Jacobson scored 11, while Ramaz juniors Isaac Ohayon and Bobby Sigoura scored 16 and 15 respectively. 

From the very beginning of the fourth quarter until the last two minutes of the game, Shalhevet scored nine points to Ramaz’s zero, tying the game and setting up a finish that will not soon be forgotten.

My man ended up guarding Aidan … so then I was open. And once you get the ball with like five seconds left, your mentality is ‘Okay, like there’s no more time to really make any more pass – I’m forced to shoot it.’ And then I guess the shot went in.

— Yakov Lieberman

With two minutes to go, the Rams made a shot with a foul call, scoring three points. After more back-and-forth, Ramaz secured a two-point lead with less than 30 seconds left. 

In the last seconds of the game, sophomore Yakov Lieberman scored a layup and a foul was called, allowing him to shoot a free-throw to win the game by a single point. 

But the foul call became controversial, with many disagreeing. In the days after the game, Yeshiva League Pass Instagram showed a video of the last few seconds with the caption “Was this a foul?”

The post received 359 likes and 31 comments, and was shared 94 times. One comment read, “Crazy…people have to cheat to win.” 

Yakov said that it was not planned for him to shoot the last shot, which Aiden was supposed to take.

“Honestly I wasn’t even expecting to get the ball or to like shoot on the final play,” Yakov said in an interview later, “because the play that [Coach] Ryan drew up was for Aidan to shoot the ball. 

“But just my man ended up guarding Aidan and doubled Aidan, so then I was open,” he said. “And once you get the ball with like five seconds left, your mentality is ‘Okay, like, there’s no more time to really make any more pass, I’m forced to shoot it.’ And then I guess the shot went in.”

ARC: A floating No. 4 Aidan Bitran rainbows a three-point field goal against tight Ramaz coverage from senior No. 5 Milan Kushner. (Sam Elyaszadeh)

Aiden was satisfied with Shalhevet’s performance in the boys final game. 

“There were a few things that we could’ve done better, but overall we did pretty well,” said Aiden. “Offensively, we did pretty well in the paint, shooting.”

But Coach Coleman was surprised that the Shalhevet boys were able to win in the finals.

“The boys game I would actually describe as some sort of divine intervention,” Coach Coleman said. “I haven’t actually been able to process what happened yet. I’m almost flustered and feel confused about how we actually won the game.”

Aiden said he was especially motivated to win this year because of the war in Israel.

“It was definitely in my head the whole time – it was one of the reasons I really wanted to win,” he said.

“There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re playing for your school, your team, yourself – and at this time, with everything that’s going on, knowing you’re also playing for Israel.”

 

Coach Coleman did not think that the girls team played at full capacity either. 

“The girls did not play their best game tonight, certainly,” Coach Coleman said. “They’re a historic team that’s done so many great things and they just know how to win.”

There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re playing for your school, your team, yourself, and at this time, with everything that’s going on, knowing you’re also playing for Israel.

— Aiden Bitran, Firehawk Basketball co-Captain

Senior and co-captain Arielle Grossman scored 22 points and senior and other co-captain Yalee Schwartz secured 16 points, while Frisch senior Samantha Pruzansky scored 16 and sophomore Zoey Levy scored 12.

Coach Coleman said that Yalee did not play as well as she could have.

“Yalee, who’s the best girls player around, was not herself tonight, she didn’t have a great game,” he said.  “I think she was almost fighting herself a little bit tonight.”

Yalee felt that her performance was not at her full potential.

“I was a bit more on the passive side,” said Yalee.

 

But Coach Coleman said many of the other players on the Shalhevet girls team had improved, allowing Shalhevet to win the game. 

“We have girls like Kira Kupferman and Arielle Grossman and Davina Benelyahu and Audrey [Soleymani] and Gabriela [Ackermann] who really stepped up, and that’s the sign of a good team,” he said.

Arielle Grossman thought that the Shalhevet girls team as a whole did not play as well as they could have.

CLINCHED: Sophomore Yakov Liberman rides his teammates’ shoulders in post-game festivities after the championship win. Yakov scored the go-ahead layup and free throw to give the Firehawk boys their second straight Glouberman crown. (Sam Elyaszadeh)

“We’re a very good team, and we have a lot of potential,” said Arielle, “but I don’t think we played to our full potential.”

She said part of what makes Glouberman difficult is other teams’ increased effort against Shalhevet because of the Firehawks’ previous achievements in CIF and previous Glouberman tournaments. 

“We always have a target on our back,” she said. “We won the state championship, we won Glouberman the past two years. We’re a very good basketball team and program, so when people come into our school they of course want to beat us. It’s hard when a team is not necessarily as skilled as us, but they want it more.”

But Coach Coleman said that energy and support from the fans heavily influenced the game and helped Shalhevet win. 

“Our fans are unbelievable,” Coach Coleman said. “They are the best fans around and I honestly think that momentum and that extra push that our fans gave us put us over the top.”

As in past years, all Glouberman games in the Shalhevet gym were broadcast live on both Glouberman’s and the Boiling Point’s websites, with Boiling Point staff announcing play-by-play and color.  To view the games, visit shalhevetboilingpoint.com/glouberman.

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About the Contributor
Etan Lerner, Co-Video and Podcast Editor
Etan Lerner, 10th grade, joined the Boiling Point in his freshman year and is now the co-video and podcast editor with fellow sophomore Ariel Mazar. Besides working at the Boiling Point, Etan is a member of the Robotics team and head of the Philosophy and Chess clubs. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and reading.

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