Girls varsity basketball team falls to rival Berman for the second time


Abby Chesman, Dimensions Yearbook

Senior Talia Sporkin rises up to block shot during the much-anticipated JDS vs. Berman matchup.

Stella Muzin, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy have long been rivals, so when it came time for the annual Cougars vs. Lions game on Thursday, Jan. 19, the stands were packed. Despite the energetic JDS crowd, the girl’s varsity basketball team lost 44 – 26. 

This was their second matchup against Berman in the regular season. The Lions were defeated by the Cougars in the first game as well, losing a game in double overtime. This tough loss made the Lions eagerly anticipate a rematch, however, they were outmatched by Berman’s strong offense. 

“People know how exciting the Berman games are, so I think JDS was excited for this game and it felt good to have the school supporting us,” sophomore and player Shalvah Lazarus said. 

Not only were the players looking forward to the game, but the rest of the school was excited as well as the high school held a pep rally on the day of the matchup. The game began with JDS starters seniors Talia Sporkin, Yuval Klien and Devorah Freeman, sophomore Gigi Gordon and junior Shani Schwartz. 

Berman got off to a strong start, but the Lions kept the game close as the score was 24 – 17 at halftime. 

JDS started off the third quarter strong with Sporking giving the offense a spark by quickly getting a layup. Sporkin was an important presence on the court as she finished the game with 15 blocks. However, the Lions shot-making throughout the rest of the half was not consistent and they were unable to contain Berman’s offense, thus resulting in the loss. 

Director of Athletics and head coach Becky Silberman acknowledged that the Lions have more to work on after this game

 “We need to put in more effort than the other team, the other team outworked us and outplayed us the entire game,” Silberman said. 

Although the Lions didn’t successfully defeat their rivals this year, the team is ready to come in strong for next year’s game and continue working hard to improve. 

“Berman being our rivals makes us work really hard because we really want to beat them at practice and we focus a lot,” freshman and player Tali Loeffler said. “I think the pressure that the Berman game brought really made the team come together.”