In front of a packed house last Wednesday night in Paramus, the Frisch Cougars stormed back from down 15 points in the fourth quarter to shock the Heschel Heat in overtime. After a strong start to the season, including a thrilling first place finish in Los Angeles at the Glouberman Tournament, injuries to Danny Weinberger and Shmuli Coates had left Frisch reeling. After a dominating double digit victory just days before against TABC, Frisch hoped to come out strong against Heschel, adjusted to their new lineup.
After a meaningful Senior Night ceremony honoring the eight seniors on the team, the Cougars came out flat against the Heat, hitting just two field goals in the first quarter falling behind 14-6 after one quarter. The second quarter was more of the same, as Heschel out-shot, out-hustled and simply dominated Frisch to take a 29-17 lead into the half, in a balanced attack led by Ricky Sutton (nine first half points), Netanel Shapira (five points) and Ethan Nessim (six points).
Heschel started the second half with a steal and 3-point play by Sutton, opening up a 15 point lead. Inspired by a stirring and fiery halftime speech by Coach Daniel Tamir, Frisch began to chip away at the lead, playing their trademark tough defense and showing patience on offense, both of which were absent in a flat first half. But the real story of the second half was senior star Max Zakheim, who saved his best home performance of his career for his last. Dazzling the crowd with an assortment of step back jumpers, deep three pointers, feathery floaters and acrobatic drives to the basket, Zakheim willed Frisch back into the game, finally knotting the game in the closing seconds of regulation with an impressive take to the basket in traffic. A last second jumper by Sutton hit back iron and the for the second time this season, Frisch and Heschel were headed to overtime.
Zakheim started off the extra session with a long 3-pointer to give Frisch their first lead of the game, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Heschel’s Sutton answered with a jumper of his own, followed by consecutive misses by both squads, the last one leading to senior Aaron Lubat’s 17th rebound of the game. With Heschel now doubling Zakheim, Eitan Dukas connected with a deep 3-pointer of his own, his fourth of the game, giving Frisch a six point cushion and its biggest lead of the game. Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch by Zakheim allowed Frisch to hold onto a 60-57 win, with Heschel missing two chances to tie in the final 10 seconds. For the game, Frisch was led by Zakheim’s 33 points (29 in the second half), Dukas’ 14 points and Lubat’s dominance on the boards (17 rebounds, seven offensive) while Heschel was paced by Sutton’s 21 points.
By Yeshiva League Pass