Hawke&Co. capture championship
Hawke and Co 370
(photo credit: Yair Smith)
Star point guard Yisrael Feld led Hawke attack, completing perfect season in Red & Doctor Murray’s Israel Basketball League.
In a hugely-anticipated championship game that lived up to every bit of the hype, Hawke&Co. won the title game of the Red & Doctor Murray’s Israel Basketball League.Hawke&Co. completed an epic perfect season, overcoming the defending champs Lobos in an emotional final, and taking home the Red Auerbach Championship Trophy.The protagonists had met once before, in a game that Hawke&Co. won by the slimmest of margins – one point, at the buzzer, in overtime – and this time around, for all the marbles, the game was even more intense than the last.Hawke&Co. were true to their reputation as the league’s best shooters, jumping out of the gate to an early eight-point lead, and using tenacious defense to make Lobos work for every point. Star point guard Yisrael Feld led the Hawke attack, slashing inside, and commanding help whenever he drove the lane. The opportunities thus created for his teammates quickly multiplied; in addition to his game-high 25 points, Feld’s penetration set the table for many Hawke&Co. layups and open look jumpers, and freed up teammates to crash the offensive boards for rebounds and put-backs.Feld’s teammates did not disappoint, as Shelby Rosenberg opportunistically scored eight points, Mason Wedgle, Yehuda Heller, and Jared Stein notched four apiece, and Dovi Grosser hit two straight treys to give Hawke&Co. the lead early in the second half. Jason Allen and Rosenberg set the frenetic defensive pace, with Allen sabotaging plays at every opportunity, and Rosenberg making his presence keenly felt with five blocks.With under five minutes remaining, Hawke&Co. extended their lead to 11, but the defending champs, in true Lobos spirit, rallied one last time.Thanks to lights-out shooting by Yehuda Gutkin, the post-up work of Zevi Binder, and and big plays by Moshe Klein, Aryeh Rudman and Nissi Merenstein, Lobos moved within three points, with just two minutes to play.However, once Hawke&Co. had made it a two-possession game again, Lobos faced a virtually insoluble dilemma: allow Feld to calmly pick his spots, filibustering much of the precious remaining time, or guard him tightly and risk getting burnt by his lightning first step to the hoop. Without the luxury of time, Lobos had to gamble on pressuring Feld, and he answered with a dizzying barrage of crossover dribbles and penetrating drives, to lock down the win.With the waning seconds ticking down on the 50-42 final tally, Hawke&Co. fans began the celebrations.The two classy teams exchanged handshakes and embraces, well-earned over a span of over two full, tightly contested, and well-played games. It came as no surprise that Feld was named the championship game MVP.In the Tier-2 “AFI Cup” Championship, Bromptons used phenomenal outside shooting, led by Adi Isaacs, and exemplary coaching, to pull away from a talented TK Associates-LA Ballers squad by a core of 61-48, and take home the trophy.