Boys varsity basketball takes down Beth Tfiloh on the road


Mia Forseter

Senior Ben Bass tips the ball against the Beth Tfiloh Warriors.

Mia Forseter and Maiya Blumenthal

Senior captain Ben Bass jumped up to win the tipoff at the start of the boys varsity basketball team’s Saturday night game against the Beth Tfiloh Warriors, starting the Lions on offense as the Warrior’s bench cheered their defense on. That small victory set the precedent for the night, finishing in a 59-43 win for the Lions.

While this game doesn’t count for the team’s conference record, which stands at 8-3, it started off their post-break season on the right foot. The Lions started strong with a 20-2 lead in the first quarter and were winning 28-14 by the end of the first half. Their tight defense hardly allowed the Warriors any rebounds, giving them little hope for a comeback. Senior David Fritz led the team with a total of 13 points, followed closely by Bass with 12.

“I honestly think we won that game in the first quarter,”  Head Coach Ryan Eskow said. “…That propelled us and allowed us to make some mistakes later in the games.”

In their past few games, the team struggled to maintain momentum towards the end of the game and close it out strong. Following this pattern, in this game, the team started to lose momentum in the middle of the game as the Warriors began to hit more of their shots. However, in the fourth quarter, when the score was 34-43, the closest it was throughout the course of the game, junior Todd Lazoff scored two back-to-back three-pointers to help the team gain back their momentum.  

“We really closed and we finished the game, and I was really proud about that. And even when the going got tough, we gritted our teeth, and we came through,” Eskow said.

As the team returned to practice this past week, they focused on conditioning to maintain their stamina throughout games. This helped them play at a high level even when they were tired at the end of the game. In addition, the game felt personal, according to junior captain Sam Sharp.

“I definitely think [we played differently] not even because it was a Jewish school, but just off that Berman loss,” Sharp said. “We took things really personal and … I definitely think there’s a different intensity, [so] this being a Jewish school made it even better and a better win in general.”

Throughout the tense atmosphere of the game, Sharp managed to slow down the gameplay and make the team calmer. This allowed the team to reset and maintain their lead.

Though the Beth Tfiloh crowd was spirited, the Lions were able to keep their focus on the game. 

“It’s hard being in another environment and the fans are screaming loud, but I think it’s easy to feed off that and get energy and have more motivation to get the win,” senior Jonah Gross said.

Since the game was in Baltimore, not as many Lions fans were able to show their support. Most of the Lions’ side was filled with girls varsity players, who had just won their game, and families of both the boys and girls varsity teams. In contrast, the Warrior’s section had many more student supporters, similar to CESJDS home games.

“They thought they could come and beat us and that they’re one of the best Jewish teams in the area, but it’s good to show that we can beat them,” Gross said. “…That’s something we take a lot of pride in. So it’s good to see our hard work and get a win.”