32nd Annual Weiner Basketball Tournament: "Most Exciting to Date"
By: Coach Marc Burkom '98 The 2018 Weiner Memorial Basketball Tournament was one of the most exciting to date, featuring a record SEVEN overtime periods over four days.
Girls Round Robin The two-time defending champion CHAT Tigers (Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto) continued an undefeated run that started back in 2016, but the Tigers were challenged and needed OT to squeak out a win over host BT (33-30). CHAT also demonstrated incredible heart and resilience, sustaining injuries to key players yet still earning the #1 seed for the semifinals. The HAFTR Hawks (Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway) and Yavneh Bulldogs (Yavneh Academy of Dallas) finished tied at 3-2, and the HANC Hurricanes (Hebrew Academy of Nassau County) earned the fourth semifinal spot with a 2-3 mark.
The Boyar Lions (Boyar High School, Jerusalem) won their first ever Girls Weiner Basketball Tournament game and finished at 1-4, tied with the host BT Warriors. After a terrific opening win against HAFTR (40-25), Beth Tfiloh played with great toughness and determination in the tournament but got a run of unfortunate bounces en route to four close losses, including a pair of overtime games, in the round robin and finished outside of the top 4.
CHAT continued their undefeated run with a 46-27 win over HANC in the semifinals, while Yavneh turned the tables on HAFTR, reversing a round robin loss to win their semifinal matchup 35-32. On Saturday night, Boyar picked up its second win on the trot in thrilling fashion, holding off BT in overtime to take 5th place by the score of 37-35. The third place game saw another thriller, as HAFTR needed double overtime to overcome Yeshiva League rivals HANC, 37-36.
Girls Championships In the Girls Championship Game, the CHAT Tigers advanced their undefeated streak to a jaw-dropping 21 games, defeating Yavneh 46-21, securing the title and spoiling the Bulldogs’ first ever title game appearance. Congratulations to all of our Girls Weiner Tournament teams, including the Yavneh Bulldogs for their runner-up finish and the CHAT Tigers for their third consecutive championship!
In the Boys round robin, another two-time defending champion, the Yavneh Bulldogs, set out to defend their crown, but it was the HAFTR Hawks who earned the #1 seed going into the semifinals. An impressive opening night win over host BT (48-45) got the Hawks off to a good start, and a statement win on Thursday night over Yavneh (58-47) installed HAFTR as perhaps the team to beat. Despite a round robin loss to HANC (52-39), HAFTR’s 4-1 record was enough for the #1 seed.
The BT Warriors finished as the #2 seed with double digit wins over Boyar, CHAT, Yavneh, and HANC and a lone loss to the Hawks. Yavneh started 3-0 with a trio of big wins but finished with the #3 seed at 3-2 after falling to HAFTR and BT. The CHAT Tigers won a pair of close games against HANC (44-42) and Boyar (35-32) to finish 2-3, earning the 4th and final semifinal berth. The Boyar Lions finished outside the playoffs with a lone round robin win over HANC, and the HANC Hurricanes also finished at 1-4 and missed the semifinals despite their impressive win over top seed HAFTR.
Beth Tfiloh and Yavneh played a classic semifinal that saw the Warriors prevail 36-32 in front of a delirious home crowd. In the other semifinal, HAFTR got out to an early lead and triumphed 62-37 over CHAT. On Saturday night, Boyar won a nail biter against HANC, 49-46, to secure 5th place. In the 3rd place game, Yavneh got back to their early tournament form with a 52-22 win over CHAT.
Boys Championships The Boys Weiner Basketball Tournament title game was perhaps the most attended game in Hurwitz Gym history. In a gym that was full to bursting, the Warriors played brilliantly and managed to hold HAFTR off through much of the game, but the Hawks refused to go away. Fighting off deficits of 41-38 near the end of regulation and 48-46 at the end of the first overtime, HAFTR forced a pair of overtimes and ultimately prevailed over host BT, 59-48. Both teams played with tremendous heart for an unforgettable game that will be talked about for years to come. Congratulations to our champions, the HAFTR Hawks, our runner-up, the BT Warriors, and all of our Boys Weiner Basketball Tournament teams.
Thank you to all the host families, coaches, referees, and BT staff who made this year’s tournament one to remember. We can’t wait to see everyone next year!