Both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams at Barrack made exciting playoff runs to reach the finals.
Both Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy varsity basketball teams have won their way to the Tri-County Independent School League (TCISL) Championship Game.
The Barrack boys varsity defeated Renaissance Academy Charter School in their home quarterfinal before going on the road to defeat Collegium Charter in the semifinal round.
The Barrack girls varsity defeated Mercy Vocational High School in their home quarterfinal before also winning in the semifinal round on the road at Collegium Charter.
The boys varsity team took the court against Renaissance in the first game of a home quarterfinal double header on Monday, Feb. 10. The regular season contest against the two had been cancelled due to inclement weather, so the Cougars, who finished the regular season in third place, entered the playoff game without much knowledge about their 6th ranked opponent.
However, from the first quarter, they dominated their opponents and won easily 51-23 after leading 25-11 at the half. Ari Yosef led the home team with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Marc Meltzer had 7 points and a dominating 11 rebounds. Cory Barnet finished with 4 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals while Jake Gordon added 4 points and 4 boards.
In the second game of the double-header, the Lady Cougars (18 – 2) matched up against Mercy, a team they had already beaten twice during the regular season. The visitors surprised Barrack by jumping off to a quick 12-6 lead. Barrack reduced Mercy's lead slightly during the second quarter but still trailed at half-time with a score of 20-16.
The atmosphere inside Barrack's gym was electric as the second half started. The fear of this remarkable season coming to a premature end spurred the Lady Cougars on. Back to back breakaways by Lindsay Chevlin and Maya Shapira helped Barrack take the lead by two points, 26-24, at the end of three quarters.
With the crowd chanting 'defense,' the game was tight throughout the last period. A Mercy 3-pointer and a pair of free throws gave them a 3 point lead with under two minutes remaining. Visibly emotional, coach Rebecca Trajtenberg urged her players to keep their heads up and they responded with two clutch layups to take a 34-33 lead. That ended up being the final score in an unforgettable contest.
Coincidentally, both Barrack teams took the road the next night for semifinal showdowns against Collegium Charter.
This time, the boys game proved more dramatic. Down 26-35 at the end of three quarters and having lost to Collegium by 15 points earlier in the season, Barrack started the final quarter with a 9-0 run to tie the game. However, Collegium then went on a run of its own to take a 7 point lead with two minutes remaining.
The final two minutes belonged to Barrack, however, as the team slowly pegged Collegium back, culminating in an Ari Yosef drive to the hoop with three seconds left. He was fouled on the play and converted the ensuing free throw for an old fashioned 3-point play, giving Barrack a 51-49 victory. Yosef once again led the Cougars in scoring with 25 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Shawn Martin contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds while Cory Barnet added 5 points and 7 boards.
The Barrack girls went into their semifinal game buzzing with confidence from their victory the night before and the fact that they had beaten Collegium previously during the regular season. Barrack took an early 8 point lead but then watched their lead dwindle, eventually falling behind by eight points.
Turning to defense in the second half, the Lady Cougars denied Collegium the ball, pressured their guards and began dominating on the boards. Lindsay Chevlin led Barrack's offensive attack with 16 points, including hitting three shots beyond the arc. With a backdrop of unrelenting cheers from Barrack's bench players and road crowd, the team advanced to the championship game with a 38-32 victory.
Visit Barrack's basketball page to read game reports written by the coaches, team administrators and the athletes themselves. Content from these reports was used to write this article.