Girls varsity basketball takes down Spencerville


Sophie Schwartz

Senior and co-captain Talia Sporkin tips the ball against the Spencerville Hornets.

Sophie Schwartz and Eliana Wolf

Players and fans were on the edge of their seats as the Spencerville point guard took two back to back three pointers in the last four seconds of the game. The Spencerville point guard missed both shots helping secure a 25-22 victory for the girls varsity basketball team. 

The starting lineup, made up of sophomore Gigi Gordon, junior co-captain Shani Schwartz, and seniors and co-captains Yuval Klein, Devorah Freeman and Talia Sporkin, started off the game with strong defense. The Lions were able to block many shots and repeatedly steal the ball, making it difficult for the Spencerville Hornets to score. In the first quarter they had over 11 rebounds and five steals.  

Despite their strong defense, when the Lions were given opportunities to shoot, they missed many. Schwartz, Sporkin and freshman Tali Loeffler each scored a basket, resulting in a narrow 6-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Head coach Becky Silberman felt that Sporkin shone above the rest when it came to her defensive skills. She had over five blocks in the game. 

“Defense was the best I’ve seen and it wasn’t just that she was getting blocks and getting steals, but she was reading the court well,” Silberman said. “One thing specifically that I think a lot of people might not notice, but the way she knew to stay for help defense.” 

In the second quarter, the Lions scored a few more points. Schwartz scored two foul shots, and then immediately after was able to steal the ball from the Hornets and score on a fast break. But with many missed three pointer shots, it was difficult for them to maintain a lead, having the Hornets close in with the Lions winning 10-9 by the end of the second quarter. 

“Even when we were in the lead, it didn’t really feel like we were in the lead by that much,” Schwartz said. 

The Lions continued to struggle with offense throughout the third quarter, and the team didn’t have the same momentum on defense, which allowed Spencerville to take a 20-16 lead. 

Toward the end of the third quarter, the Lions huddled in a timeout where Sporkin gave advice to the team. 

In the fourth quarter, the Lions started to gain momentum. Schwartz scored a three pointer, making the game 20-19 with the Hornets in the lead. Schwartz then grabbed a rebound and had a fast break, which resulted in the Lions taking the lead of 21-20 for the first time since the first half. 

After the lead was regained, Klein caught a rebound and took another fast break, with the bench cheering her on as she made the layup. Klein then ran down the court to get a jump shot, making the game 23-20. 

Despite this strong start, toward the end, the Lions started to fall apart again. Since Spencerville missed two shots, they were able to win the game 25-22.

“You [just] need one person to make a big play, get a steal or get a block at the basket,” Silberman said. 

The Lions are 7-2 after this game, with one loss to Holton Arms and one loss to Berman Hebrew Academy. The girls varsity basketball team is scheduled to face off Washington Christian Academy on Wednesday Jan. 11.

“We are a better team and we need to play to the best of our ability and not focus on the mistakes that we’re making,” Sporkin said. “We need to just adapt and fix those [mistakes] and play as well as we can.”