Lions persevere in intense match against Berman Hebrew Academy


photo courtesy of Mattie Watson

CESJDS students celebrate after a Lions win against rival school Berman Hebrew Academy.

Jessica Gallo, Guest Writer

With five minutes left in the game, senior shooting guard Zev Katz scored a three-pointer, got fouled and made the foul shot. Plays like those, along with the many others, ensured the CESJDS boys varsity basketball team a heavily anticipated win over rival school Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, 71-54.

The Lions started out the game strong: the tip-off going towards them and ending the first quarter 16-11. Sophomore center Jake Rulnick scored nine points through foul shots and baskets and worked with the team to sharpen passes.

During the second quarter, senior point guard Dani Offer scored two three-pointers and two foul shots, scoring eight of the 16 points earned throughout the quarter. Though the Lions were unable to secure multiple rebounds throughout the quarter, they improved their passes and communication during the longer, more intense plays, ending the quarter still in the lead at 32-23.  

Moving into the third quarter, Head Coach David McCloud made an adjustment to the defensive line up, which he thinks benefitted the team in the second half of the game.

“When we adjusted our man defense in the second half, we played better than we did [in] the first half,” McCloud said. “That was pretty much the reason why we able to get more of the ball.”

The Lions then scored 14 more points. Offer fell and hit his head during a jump ball and was taken out of the game temporarily after scoring a rebound.

Junior power forward Zach Gross scored a layup with only seconds remaining in the quarter, upping the score to 46-35.

In the fourth quarter, senior forward Max Stravitz scored a total of nine points through one three-pointer, a layup, and foul shots. Katz also scored two three-pointers, as well as a layup and a foul shot.

Katz saw the team’s improvement throughout the game.

“We played really hard. We played really well as a team and we shared the ball and didn’t let the crowd get in our head,” he said.

For the next game against the Cougars at Hebrew Academy on Jan. 12, McCloud hopes to have worked with the team on improving their defense as they work deeper into the season, as well as adding more wins to their current 4-2 standing. Katz, however, is looking forward to scoring even more points the next time around.

“We should win by 30 next time,” Katz said.