Maccabi Star Reporters: Basketball News

Miami wins bronze in an aggressive last game against Philadelphia

By Sam Sperling

August 9, 2018

Hosted at the MSC basketball courts was the matchup between Miami and Philadelphia competing for the bronze medal. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the two teams had a combined four turnovers before the quarter ended. Philadelphia was up by 3, 18-15, at the end of the quarter.

Philly started the next quarter strong with a three pointer. Then, the game turned dry, with a combined 16 missed shots, Miami and Philly both missing 8. That did not stop Philly from scoring. The score was 27-18 with one minute and thirty seconds left in the half.

Miami went to the line on a 3 point attempt, which turned into a shooting foul. Philly had good ball movement but could not produce to put them down in the second half.

Philly missed again, putting Miami in a one shot opportunity with 7 seconds left. A shot was taken with 6 seconds left. This upset the Miami coach. Philadelphia air balled a buzzer, beating 3 point attempt. Then, it was halftime.

The one person who was more upset with Miami’s shot was a spectator. The spectator was not suggesting to the assistant coach and head coach what to do, he was telling them what to do. He insisted that he knew the players well and knew what to do.

The Miami head coach was very kind about it and told the spectator that he knew what to do with his team. The spectator was furious about the coach’s response and was speaking explicit words to the coach. The coach was ignoring the spectator as the game started back up.

The game started back with the ball in Miami’s hands. The score was 30 to 27. Miami started the new half with a 3 point bucket from the corner. Philly responded to Miami with a three of their own. Miami scored 2 on their next possession. The score was now 35 to 30.

Philly had a 3 point shot and a 2 point attempt, but it was a shooting foul. Making 1 of 2 shots. After the two shots, Philadelphia did not score for the rest of the third quarter. Miami kept the score running up, heading into the 4th with the score 34-43.

Miami started the fourth quarter with a 2 point shot on their first possession. The spectator from Miami was not stopping now, in a critical situation like it was, he was yelling at not only the coaches but the players. Philly was still in it, but the players did not think they were. They hit the deepest 3 point shot of the entire game, but still did not give them confidence.

Miami was on a roll with 2 corner three’s in 5 shots attempts. Miami and Philly were constantly going to the line on shooting fouls. It was very physical on the court.

The Miami spectator was quiet for a while, then started his yelling again. A three by Philadelphia still was not enough, with 50 seconds left on the clock.

All Miami spectators were celebrating as the clock wound down. Philadelphia missed their last shot of the game, giving Miami the ball and the win. Final score was 52-65, with Miami taking home the bronze medal.


New Jersey sisters Paige and Nikki Ratner share their experience playing basketball in their first Maccabi Games

By Isabella Duzman, Ruth Seyoum & Romy Benracassa

August 8, 2018

On the third day of the Maccabi Games, two sisters, Paige and Nikki Ratner, from New Jersey, could be found practicing after their basketball game. Even though New Jersey’s girls basketball team won two games and lost three, the two girls confidently practiced their basketball skills with their coach. 

The team had a victory against Atlanta and Orange County, but lost to Los Angeles, Boston and Fort Lauderdale. Nikki Ratner, a 15-year-old going into her second year of high school, began to play basketball around second grade when she noticed her friends beginning to take up the sport. 

Soon after her 13-year-old sister, Paige Ratner, followed her sister’s lead and joined the sport.

The two girls disagreed on their favorite athlete. Paige stated that her favorite player is LeBron James, while Nikki said her favorite is Stephen Curry. 

Additionally, the 15-year-old plays on her high school basketball team during the school year. Although the two siblings are participating in the Maccabi Games for basketball, Nikki Ratner also plays softball in her free time. 

The sisters said this is their first Maccabi Games that they have been apart of. The sisters said that they have enjoyed the experience so far and enjoy creating new friendships.


Atlanta, O.C. basketball teams show good sportsmanship with decision to mix teams for scrimmage

By Barri Seitz

August 7, 2018

While the majority people would assume that the most important part of any athletic competition is the outcome, others would argue that it is the participants’ attitude and outlook on their opponent that really matters.

Today, in U-14 boy's basketball, Atlanta and Orange County Blue were scheduled to play. By the end of the first half, though, it became clear that one of the teams was far better than the other. The score at this time was thirty to zero.

Instead of continuing on with the game, which would have left the losing team devastated, the teams made a respectable decision. They would end timed play and instead scrimmage around with mixed-teams. Boys from Atlanta would join the OC team, while a few OC players would play alongside the Atlanta team.

“It felt good being part of another team,” Ian Yagoda of Atlanta said. He had been part of the winning team and loved being able to play with the boys from Orange County. His teammate, Idan Azani, said it was a perfect moment of empathy when the two teams connected with one another in that new way.

O.C. Blue player, Matthew Jakins, said, “it was fun that we could play with the other players…it was fun that we all got to score and play."

The key here is the “all." Every player felt included and vital to the team. No one was left out just because of their skill level. Coaches and spectators deemed this an amazing moment of sportsmanship and rachmanus.


Kfar Yona, Israel earns victory over U.S. mixed team in basketball

By Maya Arenson & Yael Berg

August 7, 2018

Kfar Yona, Israel played a mixed team of athletes from MEM/SPR/LOU/CAR/AA in their 16U basketball game at Momentous Sports Center this morning. The game ended with Kfar Yona as the winners, with a final score of 50-32.

Even with Kfar Yona in the lead for the entirety of the game, the mixed team kept faith and played the game with effort and drive.

After the game, Ori Stein, of the Kfar Yona team, described how well he thought the game went. He said he feels his team is “very strong and will do very well” throughout the competition.

Stein has played basketball for 11 years and is very passionate about the sport.

There was also some impressive game play by Ariel Yamin, another member of the Kfar Yona team. Yamin scored a basket within the last 15 seconds of the second period.

Benjamin Mendleson, the 16-year-old guard on the Memphis team, said that for his next games he would like to “improve on defense” so his team can get all the way to the finals. Mendleson has played basketball his entire life and also runs cross country.

Fellow teammate, Eli Kayser-Hirsh, the 16-year-old guard for the mixed team, who hail from Springfield, Massachusetts, said he wishes for his team to make it to the semi-finals.

Kayser-Hirsh has played basketball “since [he] could walk,” but he also enjoys participating in baseball and golf.


Hudson vs. Kings Bay Basketball

By David Gillman & Max Miller

August 7, 2018