Josh Berenbaum and Jordan Brenner
Sports and Community Editors
In a highly anticipated matchup between two basketball powerhouses in the Jewish community, the Wildcats trampled YULA in their first Liberty League game Thursday. Milken set the tone early with a quick basket and block, and never looked back en route to a 71-42 victory.
Students filled both sides of the gym in what was a rare capacity crowd at Hollander Gymnasium. Those who showed up were rewarded with one of the most dominant performances in the history of the Milken-YULA rivalry.
Controlling every facet of the game, the Wildcats were led by Idan Yohanan’s ‘17 21 points, and four three-pointers. Amitai Afenjar ‘18 who also scored 21 points was another cog in the Wildcat machine. His presence in transition and on the offensive boards allowed the Wildcats to score easy baskets. The constant movement of the basketball in the Wildcats’ half-court offense reflected the chemistry of previous YULA teams that have given Milken trouble.
Milken’s noticeable size advantage forced YULA to live and die by the three-point shot, and after it abandoned them in the first quarter, the Wildcats ran away with the game.
The Wildcats hope to use their victory as a building point for league play. In his postgame address to the team, Coach Whiting congratulated them on the victory, but warned them to “not be satisfied.” Holy Martyrs and Buckley will be fierce competitors for the Liberty League title, and Milken should not count out YULA, who they face in a rematch tomorrow night. The Wildcats finished third in the Liberty League last year.
Perhaps the highlight of the otherwise uneventful contest was when fan favorite and senior guard Kyler Shohed ‘17 delighted the crowd to a deep three-pointer late in the fourth quarter. Kobe Hekmat ’17 described the moment as, “the loudest Hollander Gymnasium has been all year long.”
The win moves Milken to 14-6 on the year and 1-0 in league play.