Everything you need to know about Sarachek 2019
Written by Natan Solomon
Student at TABC
Sarachek Tournament 2019 Seeding
1. Shalhevet High School (Los Angeles, CA)
The reigning champions, the Shalhevet Firehawks coached by Coach Ryan Coleman, boasted an impressive 24-7 league record giving them first place in the California CIF division 3A going into the league playoffs. The Firehawks are coming into Sarachek looking for revenge as the number one seed for their loss to Palm Springs HS 57-48 in the league quarterfinals. The Firehawks are led by star junior Zack Muller who averaged 16 points per game this season. The Firehawks look like this year’s early favorites to win Sarachek.
2. Magen David Yeshivah High School (Brooklyn, NY)
The Magen David Warriors are the reigning champions in the MYHSAL league located in the tri-state area. The one-seeded Warriors in the MYHSAL Eastern division, are 11-3 heading into the MYHSAL championship on Sunday, March 10 led by star Junior Albert Nsiri and senior Michael Natkin. In the quarterfinals against SAR, Nsiri led all scorers with a game-high 20 points in a commanding 75-51 win over the sting. In the semi-finals, the Warriors defeated the DRS Wildcats in a game led by captain Michael Natkin who had a game-high 19 points over the Wildcats. Look out for the Warriors as they can make a big run through Sarachek.
3. The Frisch School (Paramus, NJ)
Coming into Sarachek coached by Coach Frantz Pierre-Louis with a first-place record in the Myhsal Western division at 11-3, the Frisch Cougars are coming in hot on a 7 game winning streak. The Cougars led by star junior Max Zakheim will play their semi-final game vs the Heschel heat on Wednesday, March 6th. The Cougars have a lot of experience playing in Sarachek as they have made the tournament many years in a row and were victorious on a controversial charge call back in 2017. The Cougars look to be a strong contender in this year's tournament.
4. DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys (Woodmere, NY)
The DRS Wildcats are coming into this year’s tournament with a strong regular season record of 12-2 led by star senior and captain Gavriel Kahn. In the quarterfinals against the TABC Storm, the Wildcats beat the Storm 61-51 led by junior Zack Brown had a game-high with 20 points meanwhile Captain Kahn had 10 points. In the semifinals, the Magen David Warriors proved to be too much for the Wildcats. Kahn led the Wildcats with 16 points which weren’t enough to lift the Wildcats over the Warriors as they lost 59-51. The Wildcats are looking for revenge with the 4 seed.
5. Torah Academy of Bergen County (Teaneck, NJ)
The TABC Storm led by coach Oz Cross finished the regular season with a 10-4 record with the 2 seed in the MYHSAL Western division. The Storm are led by star seniors Jonathan Haberman and Avi Procter. the Storm were defeated by the DRS Wildcasts in a first round upset. The Storm fell just short as they lost 61-51 in a hard fought battle by both teams. Haberman led the game with 23 points. TABC’s all around depth in talent should help them make a deep run in the tournament. TABC has never won a Sarachek championship and is looking for their first. Don’t be surprised if you see the Storm make a deep run in the tournament.
6. SAR High School (Riverdale, NY)
The SAR Sting are coming into Sarachek after a solid 9-5 regular season record which gave them fourth place in the MYHSAL Western Division. The Sting are led by star senior Judah Oppenheimer. The Sting are coming off a disappointing first-round loss against the Magen David warriors by 14 points. Oppenheimer led the sting with 10 points. Oppenheimer has the ability to break out for a 20 point performance on any given night. The sting proves to be a nightmare to play against if they are hitting their shots.
7. Maimonides School (Brookline, MA)
The Maimonides M-Cats coached by Coach Ed Gelb boast a 9-4 record are currently in 6th place in the Massachusetts Division 4 standings. The M-Cats play against tough competition out in Massachusetts so they should be used to the intense high-pressure games that happen during Sarachek.
8. Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
The YULA Panthers coached by Coach Vince Oliver finished the regular season with a record of 15-11 which gave them third place in the Liberty League in California. In a game earlier this year against the Shalhevet Firehawks, Shalhevet edged out the Panthers for a two-point victory. Look out for rivalry games between YULA vs Shalhevet or valley Torah.
9. David Posnack Jewish Day School (Davie, FL)
The David Posnack Rams coached by Keith Feit, finished their regular season at a respectable 14-9 record giving them 3rd place in the 3A division 8 standings. However, the Rams lost their quarterfinal game against Hebrew Academy of Boca Raton. The Rams will look to avenge their first-round playoff loss as the 9 seed in the tournament.
10. Fasman Yeshiva High School (Skokie, IL)
Fasman Yeshiva High school coached by Coach Jeremy Geller finished their regular season with a respectable 9-3 record which earned them the 3 seed in the IHSA tournament. In the first round of the tournament, Fasman lost to Rochelle Zell Jewish high school. Although their season ended in disappointment, Fasman hopes they can try to make a run through Sarachek.
11. Valley Torah High School (Valley Village, CA)
The Valley Torah Wolfpack coached Coach by Lior Schwartzberg were last year’s runner up to the Shalhevet Firehawks. For the last two years, yeshiva league legend and current Yeshiva University Macabee Ryan Turell lit up the tournament with his incredible skill set. This year, without Turell, the Wolfpack’s seed has dropped pretty far since last year’s tournament. The Wolfpack finished their regular season with a solid 20-8 record. In the CIF Division 4A playoffs, the Wolfpack lost by 4 to La Quinta. Although their seed may seem low, don’t sleep on the Wolfpack.
12. Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School (Baltimore, MD)
The Beth Tfiloh Warriors coached by Coach Ari Braun currently have a league record of 7-12 Senior Guard Gav Landau leads the team in scoring averaging nearly 16 points per game. If Beth Tfiloh wants to make a run in the tournament their going to need a lot of help to win big games.
13. The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (New York, NY)
The MTA Lions, the host of Sarachek, have a lot of experience in searches because they get an automatic bid. Although the Lions record is 6-8, they have proven they can win big games and are unfazed by the intensity. In the Steve Glouberman tournament, the Lions had a big come from behind win against the TABC Storm. The Lions are led by seniors Eitan Warburg and Eitan Pfeifer. As some teams can confirm never get too confident against MTA.
14. Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Skokie, IL)
The Ida Crown Aces coached by Rabbi Yakov Danishefsky finished their season with a losing record of 9-12. In the IHSA semifinal, the Aces got blown out by Providence St. Mel by a score of 102-36. After that very disappointing loss, the Aces look to regain their confidence and attempt to make their run in the tournament.
15. Cooper Yeshiva High School (Memphis, TN)
16. Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida (Boca Raton, FL)
The Katz storm coached by Coach Adam Liberman finished with an overall record of 7-15. The Storm is led by junior Noah Mamman who is averaging just over 13 points per game. In Mamman's highest scoring game this season, he scored 23 points and shot 60% from the field. Overall, the Katz Storm is not such a strong team and will probably need to get lucky if they make a run in Sarachek.
17. Southern California Yeshiva High School (San Diego, CA)
The Southern California Yeshiva Hawks coached by Coach Raynell mills boast a record of 13-5. The Hawks leading scorer is senior Raphael Shpitalnik who averaged around 14 points per game. In Raphael’s best game of the season against Del Lago Academy, he scored 31 points while shooting an amazing 71%. In the CIF San Diego section 5 tournament, the Hawks lost a close battle by 3 to Clairemont High School. The Hawks may be a sleeper team worth watching.
18. Robert M. Beren Academy (Houston, TX)
The Beren Academy varsity basketball team is coached Coach Chris Cole and have had a disappointing season with a 1-10 record. Overall, this season has been disappointing for Beren Academy and they hope to win at least one game in the tournament.
19. Hebrew Academy of Montreal (Cote St-Luc, QC)
20. Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)