Varsity Boys’ Basketball traveled Tuesday night to Coconut Grove to take on the Ransom Everglades Raiders, who then held an unblemished 20-0 record on the season.
Going on the road and playing an undefeated Ransom Everglades team, who had been ranked highly in the state across all classes, was an especially daunting task, but the Lions exhibited they were prepared to knock the Raiders off their high horse right from the tip.
The Lions played a solid first quarter on both sides of the court, leading at the end of the first 12-7. Ransom then responded with 11 unanswered points, forcing Coach Craig Mankoff to call a timeout with his team down 18-12.
The Lions quickly got back into the game, going on a 10-0 run of their own and leading at the half 24-21.
The second half was much of the same: a tough, brutal back and forth game, with each possession meaning more and more as the clock wound down. Several key stops in the fourth quarter and clutch free throw shooting by the Lions pushed Hillel over the finish line, handing Ransom Everglades their first loss of the season in convincing fashion, 56-46.
It was by far the most complete effort the Lions have put together all season.
Senior Samuel Taieb and sophomore Daniel Abbo led Hillel with 15 points each, with senior guards Myles Gilbert and Saul Birmaher both adding career highs with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Lions’ fifth starter, senior Alan Berkman, added 5.