Games We Play: Lobos claim AFI Tier 1 championship
(photo credit: AFI)
Playoffs matches all set in Israel Basketball League.
Flag Football: Lobos claim AFI Tier 1 championshipFor the 24th year American Football in Israel hosted the Holyland Bowl championship game. This is the conclusion of a five month season for some 50 teams. The weather forecast called for snow in Jerusalem for Saturday night but the worst of it was some sporadic hail during the game. This years’ game ended with Lobos capturing their second title in three years by beating American Friends of Ateret Cohanim (J’lem Chai) 20-19.AFI fans were still recovering from last year’s last-second victory by Big Blue just to see J’lem Chai have a chance to win the game with no time left if they could punch in the two point conversion. However, they came up short giving Lobos the title.At the end of the first half J’lem Chai held a 7-0 lead. The second half saw Lobos score three unanswered TDs to go up 20-7 with two minutes left in the game.J’lem Chai scored a quick TD to make it 20-13 and got the ball back with 57 seconds left in the game.They drove the field and scored the TD but couldn’t come up with the two point conversion for the win.During halftime five players from past years were inducted in to the AFI Hall of Fame.Championship game results: Tier 1 – Holyland Bowl Lobos 20 American Friends of Ateret Cohanim 19 Tier 2 – Moshiko Bowl Wazoo 35 Terem 34 Tier 3 – Myra H. Kraft Bowl Net Sox 24 YLE Coyotes 12 Tier 4 – Israel Sports Radio Bowl Bonkers Bagels 25 Team Lifeline 19 Tier 5 – Jerusalem Sports Medicine Bowl Joes Eagles 32 Moshiko Brooklyn 31 Tier 6 – Izhak Fink Medics Bowl Kfar Zippori 32 Shlomies Bergers 6 Tier 7 – Blue & White Bowl Kesher Krew 31 City of Gold 22Hoops: Playoffs matches all set in Israel Basketball League.The final regular season games of the “Red and Dr. Murray’s” Israel Basketball League saw tight, fast-paced action, with the playoffs on the line. Eight teams advanced to the top-tier playoffs, in the race for the “Red Auerbach Championship Trophy”.Hawke&Co. clinched the pole position, finishing the regular season with a perfect record. Led by Yisrael Feld, the top seed won a close 57-53 contest over Jerry’s Kids.The highly-touted Jerry’s Kids team thus landed in fourth place – setting up a potential crowd-pleaser of a rematch of these two teams in the semifinals.Defending champion Lobos, coming off their first and only loss of the season, clinched the second seed, with two wins in the final week.In the first, they faced the fast and talented YakPak team. Lobos came on strong, opening up an early lead, and ran away with a huge victory, 60-35.Next, Lobos took on the “Big Fish”, a team whose tough schedule found them precariously on the playoff bubble, and Lobos triumphed again, 60-46.Still, the elite schedule left Big Fish in good stead, giving them the crucial tiebreaker in a 4-way deadlock for the last two playoff spots. In a twist of fate, this means that Big Fish will face Lobos again in the quarterfinals – with the winner playing Yak Pak or Potomac 18.Facing a must-win situation, SeaPort 17th-Big Apple Pizza defeated Potomac18, to grab the final playoff spot. Potomac, having already clinched a postseason berth, backed into the 6th seed.After a close first half with both teams running the ball and dishing beautiful assists, Seaport clamped down on defense and secured a 64- 46 victory.At least one significant contender was knocked out of the top tier playoffs this week, as the L.A Ballers finished under .500 and lost the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker. The Ballers’ disappointment was palpable, especially as they briefly believed their head-to-head victory over Big Fish would help them sneak into the big dance.However, their wildly intransitive performances resulted in a tie-break that found L.A. Ballers on the outside looking in, and competing for the Tier 2 “AFI Cup”.Also in the Tier 2 “AFI Cup” playoffs are Trumanaires and Bromptons, who recently met in the regular season, with the former prevailing 54-49. Trumanaires also very nearly upset Yak Pak, falling 55-52.