Mar 24, 2004 — Seniors Ryan Almaleh and Eric Antes led Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy of Overland Park, KS, to victory at the 13th Annual Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament of Yeshiva University, as the Rams defeated top-seeded and previously unbeaten Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (TMSTA), 50-34, in the championship game March 22.
The Sarachek tournament, March 18-22, is the most prestigious basketball tournament for Jewish high schools and attracts hundreds of students from across the US and Canada who compete for the championship trophy. TMSTA hosted the 18-school tournament at YU’s Max Stern Athletic Center on the Wilf Campus in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.
YULA, the defending champion and fourth seed, finished third with a 53-46 win over Torah Academy of Bergen County in the Tier I consolation game. YULA players Michael Freidman and Robert Karpeles were named Tournament All-Stars.
This year’s championship was the first for the Rams, who have participated in the Sarachek tournament since 1999 and were runners-up last year. The team entered the tournament as the number-three seed – its highest ranking ever – and qualified for Tier I with a 74-35 win over Fuchs Bet Sefer Mizrachi in Cleveland in the opening round. That was followed by a 49-45 quarterfinal win over Valley Torah of Los Angeles and a 59-47 defeat of Torah Academy of Bergen Academy in the semifinals.
“It was a wonderful tournament, the best I’ve seen in my seven years at Yeshiva University: Good competition, excellent sportsmanship, and a wonderful spirit and sense of camaraderie among the athletes, coaches, chaperones, and parents,” said Dr. Richard Zerneck, YU director of athletics and physical education.
Almaleh led the team with 19 points and averaged 12.8 points over the four games en route to being named Tournament MVP. Antes, who averaged 13.5 points, added 10 points in the final and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. Hyman Brand junior Alex Caster scored 17 points in the final, averaged 15.8 for the tournament, and was named an All-Star. TMSTA players Nathaniel Cohen and Reuben Berman were Tournament All-Stars.
Other participating high schools were: Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School (Miami, FL.), Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago, IL.), Yavneh Academy (Dallas, TX), Yeshivat Atlanta (Atlanta, GA), Yeshivat Rambam (Baltimore, MD), Yeshiva Ohr Chaim (Toronto, Canada), Hebrew Academy of Miami (Miami, FL), Weinbaum Yeshiva High School (Boca Raton, FL.), Akiva Hebrew Day School (Detroit, MI), Eshkol Academy (Baltimore, MD), The Ramaz School (New York, NY), and Robert M. Beren Academy (Houston, TX).
Bernard “Red” Sarachek, the tournament’s namesake, coached YU’s basketball team in 1942 and 1943, and from 1945 to 1969. He amassed more than 200 victories throughout his career.