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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Senior+Shani+Schwartz+drives+into+the+paint+for+a+layup.
Brielle Bassin
Senior Shani Schwartz drives into the paint for a layup.

The Lions knew when they walked on the court that the Spencerville Hornets never stood a chance at winning. Losing this game was not an option for the Lions. Going into the game, the Lions had confidence that they would beat the Hornets, and they maintained that throughout all four quarters. 

On Dec. 7, the girls varsity basketball team defeated the Hornets 45-35 at home, making their PVAC record 3-0. While the Lions never lost their lead, the Hornets trailed closely behind, never letting the Lions get more than 6 points ahead of them by the end of the quarter. 

“We were facing up against [an] offense we’ve never seen before,” senior co-captain Hannah Shank said.

CESJDS took the lead early into the game and got ahead 5-0 with three and a half minutes left in the first quarter. The Hornets scored multiple times, but it wasn’t enough to get ahead of the Lions, who ended the first quarter with a lead of 7-6.       

The Lions lost to the Hornets last year. While last year’s first game against the Hornets was a close game, won by 1 point by the Lions, the second and most recent one was a loss for the Lions. Wanting redemption, the players went into this game craving a victory.

Shank thinks that they didn’t play to their strengths last time and saw this game as an opportunity to prove themselves to the Hornets.

“I think we really showed them who we are,” Shank said.

In the second quarter, the Lions prevented the Hornets from scoring with strong defense. Sophomore Ella Longman scored the first points of the second quarter soon after it began. 

“I knew that they [the Hornets] had some skill. But I’ve seen them play, and I knew we could win,” Longman said. 

During the second quarter, both teams had the ball for roughly the same amount of time, yet the Lions were able to turn their possessions into more points. After the Lions got multiple rebounds in a row, senior co-captain Shani Schwartz was able to score a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the quarter. The Lions entered halftime up 24-17. 

The third quarter began with lots of movement going back and forth on the court. The first score of the quarter came from the Lions with two foul shots. The Hornets then missed two of their own foul shots, and the quarter finished with the Lions ahead 35-27. 

In the last quarter, the Lions were able to remain aggressive despite fatigue and kept the ball on their side for the majority of the quarter. Sophomore Tali Loeffler scored the initial points for the quarter, and the Lions kept going from there. The Lions’ energy allowed them to stay ahead of the Hornets, and they won with a final score 45-35.

Schwartz was the leading scorer for the Lions with 22 points. She played the entire game and scored at least three points each quarter. Loeffler followed as the second leading scorer with 9 points. Freshmen Jordana Dauber and Yarden Wilkenfeld also contributed to the win with aggressive defense and offense, each scoring one basket. 

Assistant coach and high school history teacher Matt Cohen feels that the team has greater unity this year compared to previous years, which helps them succeed in games. 

“I think that the energy and the camaraderie we have on this team has been really, really strong early on, which is something we haven’t always had in the past,” Cohen said. 

And despite some tough losses to out-of-conference teams, the team has high hopes for success in the PVAC for the rest of the season. 

“I think we are improving,” Shank said. “We just started; we’re only going up from here.”

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