The Lion's Tale

Lions end up on top of rival Berman Hebrew Academy Cougars

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Lions end up on top of rival Berman Hebrew Academy Cougars

Seniors watch and cheer from the sidelines as senior and captain Devira Friedman shoots a free throw.

Seniors watch and cheer from the sidelines as senior and captain Devira Friedman shoots a free throw.

photo by Naomi Gould

Seniors watch and cheer from the sidelines as senior and captain Devira Friedman shoots a free throw.

photo by Naomi Gould

photo by Naomi Gould

Seniors watch and cheer from the sidelines as senior and captain Devira Friedman shoots a free throw.

Naomi Gould, Reporter

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After a series of turnovers, sophomore and captain Abby Alter steals the ball and makes one of many fast breaks amidst a rowdy crowd of Cougars fans. Coupled with a quick pass to sophomore and captain Sophia Miller, she furthers the wave of CESJDS aggressiveness that ended up leading the Lions to victory.

Falling to the Lions 50-34, the Cougars kept it close throughout the match until the Lions’ cohesiveness and energy were able to pull ahead and overpower their opponents’ weakening defense and lack of rebounds.

The first quarter was characterized by a messy, turnover-filled Lions start. Once their tenacity kicked in, they began taking more shots, finishing the quarter with a score of 11-8 Cougars.

The second quarter’s aggressive plays, including both turnovers and steals, from both the Lions and the Cougars resulted in a close game. Ultimately the Lions played stronger, quicker and more cohesively in order to close the gap and take their first lead of the game.

A series of shots by Miller, Alter and freshman Avital Friedman brought JDS ahead 18-17 before falling behind 22-21 by the end of the quarter, mainly due to Cougar senior Mia Raskin’s ability to sink shots from both inside and outside the three-point line.

Friedman shone throughout the second half, scoring and then leading 25-23 following a Berman foul shot. Friedman hustled both on offense and defense, forcing turnovers and drawing fouls. Her hustle led to increased JDS momentum and scoring by many, including Avital’s sister senior captain Devira Friedman and Miller that caused the Cougars to take three timeouts during the third and fourth quarter.

After a few sloppy moments and missed rebounds, the Lions had a cohesive defense and aggressive plays, such as multiple rebounds and a blocked shot by Miller. Their amped-up energy allowed them to take their biggest lead of the game in the fourth quarter, ending the game with a 16-point edge over the Cougars.

Lions coach Becky Silberman cites the final score as evidence of improvement since their last match against the Cougars, where they only won by an 8-point margin. Silberman credited this success not only to their athleticism but to their mentality.

“We were in it the whole time,” Silberman said. “We didn’t let a few points or a few baskets from the other team bring us down. We used those to fuel us and keep going.”

Avital, the game’s highest scorer with 18 points, agreed, saying that the team really wanted to win this game, and hopes to continue this momentum.

“I think that if we play this hard every game, we’re going to the [champion]ship,” Avital said.

Both Silberman and Avital expressed that support from the fans is helpful when trying to motivate a team, but since this game had been rescheduled from a Saturday night and was held as an away game, fewer JDS students could make it.

Despite low JDS turnout, a spirited group of JDS seniors and juniors came in their JDS apparel, a few with face paint and pom-poms, in order to support the girls and boys varsity teams at this charged rivalry game.

In addition to students, both parents and faculty members enjoy watching these games for the engaging and exciting atmosphere, no matter the team they’re rooting for. Rabbi Adam Raskin, Cougar parent and father of Mia, said that he enjoys coming to the games for the enthusiasm.

“I love the spirit. I love the energy. I love all of the excitement from all of the fans on both sides,” Adam said. “There’s no game like this one.”

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