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Heschel Basketball Teams Take on Baltimore!

Olivia Levine

The girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams left for the Weiner Family Tournament on Nov. 29, eager to prove themselves and to bring home the championship. The tournament was hosted by Beth Tfilloh (BT), a Jewish day school in Pikesville, Maryland. 

The boys started off with a lot of momentum, winning their first game 43-32 against Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT). Leading the team to victory was incredible playmaker Imri Rom and starting center junior Jordan Cohen Mintz. Captain Tal Visser’s range from the three-point line was also impressive. Unfortunately, the boys’ dominance ended in game two.

The boys lost their second game 30-45 but still kept their heads up high, hoping to qualify for the semifinals (semis). During their third game of the tournament against Golda Och Academy (GOA), Heschel managed to return to their dominance and secured a 44-33 victory, qualifying them for the semis. In their last regular game of the season, the boys gave their all against Beth Tefilloh (BT), who, for some reason, seemed to lack Heschel’s motivation. Although the game was close, Heschel had the upper hand throughout and won 47-31. They were prepared to fight tooth and nail in the semis to secure a spot in the finals.

Unfortunately, Heschel was unprepared for what was to come. BT had unexpectedly left off their starters and refrained from using their plays in game four in order to keep Heschel off their tracks. With Heschel’s starters already exhausted from game four, they watched as BT sank shot after shot. Somehow, Heschel managed to hold them off, that is, until the last minute. BT managed to draw a foul on a three-pointer, giving them three free throws. Although BT missed their first shot, they made the second, making it impossible for Heschel to recover. The Heschel boys were officially knocked out of the finals. However, they beat GOA in the third-place game, securing themselves a respectable position in the tournament, especially from a team commonly referred to as the underdogs.

Jordan Cohen-Mintz, nicknamed “JCM” by Heschel fans, reflected on the team’s performance in the tournament. He said, “Although we didn’t win it all, it was a fun and positive experience. The team grew and got better.” After the tournament, Cohen-Mintz maintains a positive outlook as the team continues their season: “Now we are ready to take down the rest of the Yeshiva League.”

The girl’s team was not as lucky. While they lost a few games, they finally won against BT’s Junior Varsity team 31-25, securing themselves as fifth in the tournament. Many players on te team still viewed it as a learning opportunity, allowing them to grow as a team in the future and create lifelong bonds. 

Junior shooting guard Manu Sinayuk said, “The tournament gave us the chance to really get to know each other as a team, which will help us play better in the future. At the end of the day, that was the most important goal of the tournament and is way more meaningful than who wins and who loses.”

Congratulations to both the boys’ and girls’ teams on an amazing season so far. We wish them the best of luck in the rest of the season!

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About the Contributor
Olivia Levine, Editor-In-Chief

Olivia Levine ’25 is an Editor-in-Chief of the Heschel Helios. Olivia joined Helios in ninth grade, and in the spring of 2023, she became an Editor-in-Chief. Her favorite part of Helios is watching writers develop their journalism skills, creativity, and leadership abilities, with the help of other club members. Aside from Helios, Olivia is also the President of the Environmental Club, Head of the Blood Drive Committee, a member of the Hesed Council, a member of the basketball and hockey teams, and a student ambassador. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys listening to music and walking on the pier with her dog.

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