Girls varsity basketball defeats rival team Berman Hebrew Academy

Jonathan Morris, Guest Writer

The air in the gymnasium was alive with the fervor of hundreds of families, friends and students cheering on their respective teams. The Lions brought home the gold in the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy girls varsity basketball game today, winning 52-44 in one of the most highly anticipated games of the season.

The first quarter started off slowly, and the Berman Cougars took the lead at 14-6. Player 14, Mia Raskin of Berman Academy, scored the majority of the points for her team that quarter. Sophomore Sophia Miller, in a race against the clock, made a shot with just three seconds left. This left the Cougars with an eight-point lead.

In quarter two, the Lions played a much more solid and cohesive game. Senior Devira Friedman played nimbly, scoring three points, helping the team assert its dominance; however, both teams had a number of missed opportunities.

Senior Liam Shemesh came out to support the whole team, but especially his classmate Friedman.

“Devira is the greatest basketball [player] of all time, men or women’s, college, pro, it doesn’t matter,” Shemesh said.

In the third quarter, the Cougars demonstrated a similar cohesion as quarter one, with the Lions falling into a minor lull. But with around three minutes left, the Lions rapidly improved. Friedman and her sister, freshman Avital worked together as a unit, passing to each other frequently. In total, the duo scored 17 and 14 points respectively.

A pass from Devira to freshman Zoe Fischman sent the crowd roaring with enthusiasm from the recent score.

The Lions overtook the Cougars, ending the third quarter with a 10 point lead, 36-26.

The first two minutes of the final quarter featured the home team dominating the Cougars. The Cougars, however, closed the Lions lead around the five-minute mark.

As the game drew closer to the end, and the margin between the two teams grew smaller, and nerves began brewing. Athletic Director and coach Becky Silberman fought with the referees on numerous occasions.

Near the end of the game, it became clear that JDS was going to win. An impressive layup on Devira’s part help to solidify this.

Finally, the buzzer rang and an enormous cacophony broke out. The Lions had won.

Miller cited the increased energy from the large, supportive crowd for the win saying, “I think we worked really well as a team and our atmosphere and our energy was so much better than usual.”

Before tonight’s game, the Lions had a 1-4 record.

Silberman came to a similar conclusion. “I think that all season we’ve been trying to reach our potential and we finally found it tonight,” Silberman said.

Overall, she thought the team worked cohesively because mentally, they prepared themselves for this game.

“Tonight, the biggest game of the year, we came out with no fear … they know how to play basketball,” Silberman said. “I’ve been trying to tell them, you have to convince yourself you can do it, and they finally did.”