It took an MVP performance from Amy Sherman to settle bragging rights as the two campuses of the The Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (TanenbaumCHAT) recently hooked up in the championship game of the 13th annual Israel Becker Tournament.
Yadin Koschitzky, in blue, drives to the basket against Gray Academy player. [Avraham A. Witty photo]
Sherman’s 17 points led the Wallenberg campus to a 38-30 overtime victory over their northern Kimel foes in the basketball tournament final.
It was the third meeting in a week for the two teams. The Kimel girls won a round-robin meeting 49-38 earlier in the week and had defeated Wallenberg in overtime a few days earlier at the school’s Alumni Cup tournament.
Both CHAT teams were joined by Gann Academy of Boston atop the standings with a 3-1 record following round-robin play. Wallenberg advanced to the championship game by knocking off the defending champions from Boston 26-23 in one semifinal, while Kimel moved on by beating Gray Academy from Winnipeg, 39-30, in the other final four matchup.
Laura Wilchesky joined Sherman on the first all-star team, along with Kimel’s Elise Kovac.
Julia Kovac, Laura Elman and Maddy Venn-Mitchell of Wallenberg were second-team all-stars.
Ramaz, a New York school easily defended the boys title, defeating Toronto’s Yeshivat Or Chaim 61-44 in the championship game. Ramaz won its six games in the event by an average of 21 points, with only Kimel staying within single digits of them, falling by nine.
Or Chaim was somewhat more competitive this year against the New Yorkers, having lost to them 69-20 in last year’s semifinal. They advanced to this year’s final, squeaking by Wallenberg, 38-37.
Mike Berg of Ramaz was named tournament MVP, while Or Chaim’s Eli Herskovitz, Eden Kadish from Wallenberg, and Kimel’s Cory Capland were first-team all-stars. Yonah Dorfman of Or Chaim was named to the second team.
Or Chaim’s Akiva Maresky and Kimel’s Sarah Edgerley won the tournament’s sportsmanship awards.
The TanenbaumCHAT band and school mascot entertained those in attendance at the Kimel campus, while Rogers Cable 10 showed up on opening night and filmed a segment that aired the following day.
TanenbaumCHAT hopes to provide live audio streaming of tournament games next year.
The five-day event is held in memory of former TanenbaumCHAT student Israel Becker, who was killed in a car accident in 1994.
Players are housed around the Beth Avraham Yoseph Synagogue of Toronto and take part in programs to bond over Shabbat, while attending services and sharing meals.
“We talk about sports, leadership and Judaism,” said Zev Steinfeld, a Jewish studies teacher and assistant basketball coach with the senior girls team at Kimel. “We broke them into small groups, which had kids from each team, so that they could get a chance to hang out and meet each other. I think they made a lot of friends and were able to take a lot away from the experience.”