TI's Basketball Teams Finish on a High in Men's, USY Leagues.........posted Apr 8, 2012
The combined Tikvat Israel/Shaare Tefila Blue team advanced to the 2012 championship game on March 25, but B’nai Sholom of Olney took home the honors with a narrow 65-61 victory in overtime in the finale.
The turning point, according to assistant coach Damon Ehrlich, was a controversial jump ball call. "When BSO got the tip at the start of a two-minute overtime, they proceeded to score the only four points in OT. Congratulations to BSO."
Ehrlich said the team should be proud of its accomplishments, the best season by far for a Tikvat Israel basketball team.
TI’s team defeated B’nai Israel’s USY in the semifinals. The Blue team lost only one game this season and it was to BSO.
The TI team was composed of Coach David Sultan, Assistant Coach Damon Ehrlich, Brandon Ehrlich, Ross Apter, Leor Newman, Jonathan Bass, Daniel Mintz, Benjamin Kaminow, Kenny Oxman and Jamey Sultan.
TI’s team won two games in the playoffs of the Montgomery County Synagogue Basketball League, but lost in the finals of the Division II bracket.
The team had some close finishes but didn't win a game until Jon Bass was called up from the USY team to join fellow USYers Brandon Ehrlich and Leor Newman on the men's team.
In the playoffs, TI knocked off Temple Isaiah II, pulling ahead in the second half behind Bass, Ehrlich and Mark Bargeski. Mark Waldman hit a baseline jumper, Mark Becker hit a fast break layup and Michael Newman hit an important foul line jumper with a few minutes left.
TI was up by two points with one minute left in the game when Warren Berger intercepted a pass and was fouled. Then Mike Micek got open for a layup for the final points.
Ben Meltzer played a strong inside game as TI’s center, blocking shots, getting tough rebounds and even hitting a couple of three-pointers.
In the second playoff round, TI downed a combined Shaare Torah/Shaare Tefila team by six points. Newman hit a nice "no, no, no, yes" three-pointer as TI withstood pressure at the end. Quipped Berger, the player-coach: "It has been a few years since we had a two-game winning streak!"
The game was marred by an injury to Becker, who dislocated his little finger in a scramble for a loose ball. At halftime, the coach transported the injured player and his strangely bent finger to the hospital emergency room while Damon Ehrlich coached the team to the victory. Becker is OK and expects to recover shortly.
In the championship of Division II against Beth Shalom, the top seed,TI fell behind by 10 early. Bass, Berger and the younger Ehrlich provided TI’s early points, while Neil Kram sacrificed his body for the good of the team as he was run over by a defender trying to get through a screen. The elder Ehrlich made a nice driving layup over a defender.
"We played them even in the second half but could never get closer than 10 as they had very quick guards and good interior passing," said Berger.
"It was a fun season," he added. "We won some games and almost went the whole season without any injury! New recruits for next season are welcome."