| The Yeshiva League Quarterfinals are set and there will be some very interesting matchups:
#1 HAFTR hosts #12 Magen David:
Game will be played on Sunday, March 7th at Lawrence Middle School - 7:45pm.
Magen David (7-7 regular season) is coming off what may be the biggest upset the Yeshiva League has seen in ten years, defeating the heavily favored MTA Lions (11-3 regular season) team with a buzzer beater 41-39.
HAFTR is coming off an undefeated regular season in the league, boasting a 14-0 record and 27-1 overall. Their one loss coming in the preseason Magen David Tournament to Ramaz.
Magen David and HAFTR met twice this year in the Scott Satran Memorial Tournament. HAFTR took both games. The first game was a come from behind two point victory for the Hawks. The second game was not quite as close.
Prediction: We didn't see the MTA upset happening and we certainly don't see an upset happening here. HAFTR moves on to the semis for the fourth consecutive year.
#2 Ramaz hosts #9 Hillel:
Game will be played on Tuesday, March 9th at Ramaz - 8:30pm.
Hillel (8-6 regular season) went on the road and defeated Derech Hatorah (9-5 regular season) by a score of 54-51 in Brooklyn to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Ramaz had a strong season finishing at 13-1 with their one loss coming very early to a strong contender in Frisch.
Ramaz and Hillel met twice during the regular season. Ramaz won the first game 51-38. However, Hillel improved tremendously over the course of the season. In their second meeting just two weeks ago, Hillel held an eleven point lead with under two minutes to play in the game. Ramaz was able to fight back and force overtime and eventually survive with a win.
Prediction: This game is in the basement at Ramaz. Ramaz is very comfortable playing in their crowded home gym and will prevail in this game. We think Hillel makes it interesting, but Ramaz moves onto the semifinals yet again. Don't they always?
#3 Flatbush hosts #7 Heschel:
Game will be played at Flatbush, Wednesday, March 10th - 8:00pm.
Heschel (9-5 regular season) defeated DRS (8-6) 49-31 to advance to the quarters where they will meet Flatbush for the third year in a row.
Flatbush is coming off a nice bye week having won the Central Division with a strong 12-2 record in the league.
Talk about history. There may not be two teams that have played each other in more big games than these two over the last three years. Flatbush has prevailed when it has mattered most. In three regular season meetings, Flatbush took two and Heschel took one. All three were closely contested games.
Heschel has shooters everywhere in Leichtung, Schlisser and co., a great slasher in Kasman and a big man who can score and board in Ellenberg. Flatbush has shooters in R. Mishaan and Dayon, slashers in S. Mishaan and Hadad, and a big man in Lefkovich who has improved tremendously this season.
Prediction: After seeing their playoffs hopes crushed two years in a row by the Falcons, we think Ellenberg and Kasman lead their Heat to their first varsity semifinal appearance. It won't be easy as Flatbush always comes to play, but we think Heschel prevails and moves on.
#4 Frisch hosts #6 HANC:
Game will be played Monday, March 8th at Frisch - 8:30pm.
Frisch (12-2 regular season) is coming off a strong first round showing against Shaare Torah. A strong second half and a 64-45 win at home put them into the quarterfinals.
HANC (9-5 regular season) had a similar experience defeating JEC 50-33 with a very strong second half. This put HANC into the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.
HANC and Frisch have some history both this season and in the playoffs. Frisch and HANC have faced off in the quarterfinals twice in the last four years. In the 2006-2007 quarters, HANC took the top-seeded Cougars to the brink losing by one on a bank shot from Daniel Frohlich with just eight seconds left. In the 2007-2008 quarters, an undefeated Hurricanes team defeated Frisch in Uniondale 52-41.
This season, the teams have met twice. Once in a non-league preseason match at HANC and once in the Scott Satran Tournament at HAFTR Lower School. In the preseason meeting, HANC won an exciting game 63-44 on the strength of a big fourth quarter run. In the Satran Tourney, the strong Cougar defense held down the Hurricanes as Frisch came back from an early fourth quarter deficit to win by ten.
Prediction: This one should come down to the wire, but we see home court advantage and the Frisch size and athleticism prevailing as Frisch moves onto the semifinals for the first time since 2006-2007.