Athletes from as far away as Israel were among the young men and women competing at Beth Tfiloh Dahan High School (BT) at its 33rd annual basketball tournament last week.
The five participating schools, in addition to BT, each came with two teams: Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway (HAFTR) in Lawrence, New York; Yavneh Academy from Dallas, Texas; Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (Tanenbaum CHAT); Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) in West Hempstead, New York; and Mae Boyar High School from Jerusalem, Israel.
“It’s hard to quantify how many people showed up to all the games, since our school students — from preschool through high school — all attended games, as well as families that hosted athletes, staff, and other community members,” said Rina Goloskov, assistant director of communications for Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School.
In the Girls’ Round Robin, BT and the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway (Lawrence, NY) both started the tournament 3-0, setting the stage for an exciting Thursday afternoon game. BT staged a late comeback and snatched a 38-36 win with seconds to spare! The Warriors would complete the round robin with a 5-0 record and the top seed, but fourth seeded Yavneh Academy (Dallas, TX) played their best game of the tournament to earn a 41-40 upset win in the semifinals. HAFTR held off three-time defending champions Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (Canada) by the score of 52-32 in the other semifinal. On Saturday night, Mae Boyar High School (Jerusalem, Israel) reversed a loss from day 1 of the tournament with a 42-27 win over the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (West Hempstead, NY) to earn 5th place. In the 3rd place game, BT bounced back from the disappointment of the semifinals with an outstanding performance, defeating CHAT 49-26 for 3rd place. In the championship game, HAFTR played exceptional basketball and defeated Yavneh 51-35. The win marked the first girls’ title in HAFTR’s long history at the Weiner Tournament.
On the Boys’ side of the tournament, BT won an exciting opening game against TanenbaumCHAT by a score of 37-36. As the tournament progressed, CHAT repeatedly found themselves in close games, falling by just 4 to Yavneh and earning wins against HANC, Boyar, and HAFTR by a combined 12 points. Those three wins were enough to earn CHAT the #3 seed in the semifinals, and Boyar finished at 2-3 for the last semifinal spot. HAFTR and Yavneh both finished 4-1 to claim the top seeds. HAFTR elevated their play in the knockout rounds, beginning with a 59-41 win over Boyar in the semifinals, while Yavneh won their semifinal over CHAT, 52-44. On Saturday night, HANC took 5th place with a 45-37 win over BT. In the 3rd place game, Boyar played one of their best games, topping CHAT 48-27. In the championship game, HAFTR made it a clean sweep, defeating Yavneh 54-33 to earn their second straight championship in the boys’ tournament and their third boys’ tournament win overall.
— Marc Burkom, Physical Education Teacher, Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School