As the temperature starts rising, competition between the AZAA Basketball teams increases. On March 9 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Simon Atlas got back to its dominating ways after an off week by defeating Einstein AZA’s B team 38-20.
Max Alpert and Paul Stone, both 11th graders, led the way again for Atlas. This result is not shocking; Einstein’s B team is composed mostly of eighth graders and underclassmen. If Simon Atlas dominates the boards in the future like they did in this game, they may have a shot at advancing in the playoffs.
The highest scoring game of the week was between Oseh Shalom BBYO’s A team and Max Cowan AZA. Cowan is one of the few teams with the size to match Oseh Shalom. As Oseh Shalom outlasted Cowan in the final four minutes of the game, they won the Battle of Howard County by a score of 63-51.
Einstein AZA, the reigning AZAA Basketball champions, defeated Abe Pollin AZA by a score of 52-36. The rough stretch continues for Abe Pollin, which is named after the former owner of multiple Washington-area professional sports teams, including the NBA’s Washington Wizards.
Einstein basketball seems to be in its peak form, as they dominated on offense and defense, forcing multiple steals, controlling the glass and blocking or challenging shots throughout the game. They are led by juniors Matt Silber and Noah Salzberg, both juniors at Winston Churchill High School.
In one of the later games, Brandeis AZA’s A team beat Melech AZA’s A team 48-35. Both teams feature a mix of size and speed. Melech’s big men, primarily Ezra Sokobin and Ethan Frymark, were able to balance out the height of Brandeis’ players. However, Melech lacked an answer for star Brandeis combo guard Brent Greenberg, a senior at Quince Orchard High School.
Finally, Lantos AZA destroyed Melech AZA’s B team. In a modified rematch of the AZAA Football championship game, Lantos crushed because of the overwhelming size of senior Daniel Hirsch, strong defense of Robert Elenberg and the shot making of their perimeter shooters. If they play like they did against Melech’s B team consistently, they will have a chance at winning the championship, thus becoming the first team to win both the AZAA Football and Basketball Championships in the same year since Brandeis AZA did it a few years ago.
Max Byer is a junior in Lantos AZA.