In what were six spectacular displays of basketball, the Synagogue Basketball Leagues of the Jewish Community Center crowned their champions and concluded the 2013 season.
Rodef Shalom took the High School League Championship while Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha took the Middle School crown.
Led by freshman point guard Andrew Shorr, Rodef Shalom defeated South Hills 67-66 to take its championship.
Down 24-12 at one point in the first half, Rodef Shalom brought it together to take a 55-46 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
But South Hills wasn’t done, tying the game up at 66 with 33 seconds left in regulation. But with 4.3 seconds remaining, Shorr came up big for Rodef Shalom, hitting the game’s deciding free throw.
Rodef Shalom beat the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization squad in the semifinals, while South Hills conquered Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha.
Members of the championship team were Shorr, Daniel Keitel Matt Shaw, Jack Farber, Adam Reid, Adam Somers, Kyle Raleigh and Sam Aizlech. Don Shaw, along with Rich and Jordan Keitel, coached the team.
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In the Middle School League Championship, the excitement did not tone down even the slightest.
Coached by Alex Speck and Rabbi Chuck Diamond, Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha denied Rodef Shalom its second championship on Sunday, routing them 52-44 to take the title.
Tree of Life-Or L’ Simcha’s lineup included Ben Rosen, Yoni Eglash, Etai Groff, Jonah Berger, Cole Rosenbloom, Cole Frischman, Ethan Farber, Zeve Olbum, and Sammy Weiner.
“This is always a fun league,” said Speck, “and while it’s always good to win a championship, it’s more important that as a team we have a good time together.
While TOL-OLS surpassed Beth Shalom to get to the final game, Rodef Shalom’s semifinal game against South Hills was not so easy.
Down one with 5.3 seconds remaining in overtime, Jackson Blaufeld drained a three from the left side to push his team into the title game an hour later.
(Jesse Irwin can be reached at email@example.com.)