Both the boys and girls teams have been racking up January victories to push forward fruitful 2013-14 campaigns.
It has been a great couple of weeks for Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy's varsity basketball teams. The boys team won four games in a row to inch one game over .500 and the girls team improved to 15-2 on the season.
The Cougars four-game win streak began Jan. 16 with a comprehensive away victory at Westmont Christian. The Cougars looked sluggish in the first half but dominated the second half, winning 61-32. Marc Meltzer was a dominating force, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Ari Yosef had 12 points and Cory Barnet finished with 11 to go along with his 8 rebounds.
On Jan. 25, the boys varsity continued their tradition of Saturday night games against fellow Main Line Jewish school Kohelet Yeshiva. The packed Kohelet gym (on the former Akiba campus) provided an electric atmosphere as Barrack prevailed against the Knights 43-35. Ari Yosef led the way with 17 points while Marc Meltzer dominated the boards with 10 rebounds. Sammy Turk-Tolub had 8 points and 5 rebounds and Jack Kolansky added 6 points and 8 boards.
Two days later, the Cougars were back home facing league rival Phelps Academy, a traditional powerhouse. In a great confidence builder, Barrack prevailed 55-47. Ari Yosef led all scorers with 26 points, filling out his stat line with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Marc Meltzer contributed 6 points and 10 rebounds. Cory Barnet had 11 points and 4 rebounds while Sammy Turk-Tolub and Shawn Martin added 6 points each.
The following night the boys varsity team moved over the .500 mark for the first time in the season with a 72-18 demolition of Woodlynde. Or Ayash had a great game, finishing with 9 points and a team high of 16 rebounds. Ari Yosef led the scoring with 17 points while Jake Gordon had 11 and 11, which included an early game buzzer beater. Jacob Reich had 12 points and Mike Zlotnick added 8. Elijah Ackerman hit an impressive buzzer beater at the end of the game.
Meanwhile, the Barrack Lady Cougars are putting together a historic season. They have now won 15 games. Their only two losses of the year have come to Perkiomen. The girls varsity's 10th win of the season came Jan. 13 at Mercy Vocational. Sophia Shoulson was the game's high scorer with 25 points as Barrack won 45-39.
Two days later, Barrack defeated Woodlynde at home 48-22. Barrack came out strong, jumping out to an early 8-0 lead and were never in trouble thereafter. The game offered an opportunity for many players on the team to score, with Sophia Shoulson scoring 20 points, Maya Shapira 10, Tali Glickman 6 and Alli Einhorn 4.
Back home the following night, Barrack beat Renaissance in a tough affair. In a tight first half, Barrack took a slender 14-8 lead into the break before eventually winning 34-21. A week later, Barrack was on the road to take on Perkiomen for the second time after being blown out 72-31 at home earlier in the season. Perkiomen proved the stronger team once more. However, this time the margin was only 28 points.
Eager to get back into the winners column, Barrack visited Kohelet on the Sunday morning following the boys game. The Lady Cougars were far more powerful, winning 41-16. The next day, Barrack hosted Kimberton after defeating them on the road earlier in the season by 1 point. Much like their first meeting, this was a defensive struggle that Barrack ended up winning 25-16. Lindsay Chevlin led Barrack with 9 points while Tali Glickman was instrumental in the victory with her work on the boards and key fourth-quarter rebounding.
Barrack's girls varsity then completed the hat-trick of three wins in three days with a 30-16 victory over Delaware Valley Friends on the road on Jan. 28. The win was their 15th of the season. Point guard Talia Raikin pushed the team forward while Lindsay Chevlin had a very accurate 3-point shooting night.
"We are having a great season and hopefully it will continue," said head coach Rebecca Tratjenberg.
This article was written with assistance from numerous contributors to the Jack M. Barrack's athletics website.