The girls’ varsity team at Northwest Yeshiva High School ended its 18–6 season on a high note, with a championship win at the Hillel invitational tournament in Miami.
Coach Jed Davis praised the team for hard work that paid off in establishing the 613s as not only one of the outstanding teams in Washington state but also one of the best Jewish teams in North America. “What is most amazing is that these 613s achieved their goal with only six varsity players, the tallest 5 foot 7 inches, and only one practice per week,” Davis said.
Janna Almo and Tamar Benzikry, with help from Yael Chotzen, handled the rebounding and scoring inside while the speedy Lillian Almo and Miriam Landau pushed the ball up the court and handled the perimeter duties. Marni Epstein proved to be a valuable asset, giving her teammates a rest when filling in for teammates who got into foul trouble.
“The hallmark of this team was their stamina and the ability to come from behind with incredible determination,” Davis said. “They consistently played their hearts out. They could have so easily had a mediocre record but they had the ability to come from behind with incredible determination. And the team chemistry was excellent.”
At the Hillel International Tournament, in the semifinals, they fought two 6-footers and came from behind to defeat Hillel North Miami Beach. And in the hard-fought championship game with Shalhevet-Los Angeles, they also erased a half-time deficit. This season-ending game saw Lillian Almo, Tamar Benzikry and Yael Chotzen end their careers playing an almost perfect game with Chotzen scoring a team record 27 points.