The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS) junior varsity (JV) boys basketball team defeated the Grace Brethren Eagles 50-49 to win the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) championship on Feb. 27. The JDS Lions were down for the duration of the game, but managed to come back and score the winning basket in the last two seconds.
With only a few seconds remaining in the game, the Lions were down by one point and had possession of the ball. The ball was then passed to junior Ari Gershengorn, who scored a layup to give them their one-point victory and the championship title.
According to JDS Coach Brian Westerman, this victory was a result of hard work and effort. While the Lions started the season off strong with a three-game winning streak, they soon fell into a slump, which sophomore Tomer Masica attributed to three key factors. “I think that’s just because we couldn’t communicate well, we weren’t getting back on defense, and we weren’t getting rebounds,” Masica said.
However, JDS was able to quickly recover, finishing the regular season with four more wins and only two losses. Midway through the season, the JV team gained a new player, as Gershengorn moved from varsity to JV. Westerman said that Gershengorn “brought a new heart and soul [to the team]” and gave them “the success to be able to win the championship this year.” The last time the boys JV team won a PVAC championship was in 2010.
Co-captain and sophomore Zach Gross said that what differentiated this year’s team from previous ones was their strong desire to win.
“Last season we were much more skilled, but we didn’t want it as much and our effort wasn’t there, so we lost in the semi-finals since it was a tough game. This year, we realized that we didn’t have as much raw talent, so we might as well pull it all out there and win,” Gross said.
Although next year many JV players will move up to varsity, Westerman is confident in the ability of the incoming freshman to win the championships once again.
This article was originally published in the Lion’s Tale, a student newspaper at JDS. Read more at www.lionstale.org.
By Matthew Rabinowitz