It was a storybook ending for Tel Aviv’s Tichon Hadash high school basketball team on Friday, hitting a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win a world championship tournament.
The dramatic 79-78 win over Greece in front a stunned home crowd in Heraklion, Crete, capped an undefeated run for the boy’s team, putting Israeli high school basketball on the map.
The International Schools Federation World Schools Basketball tournament featured 24 high school teams from around the world competing for the world championship.
Down by six points with under two minutes to go, the Israeli team seemed headed for defeat, but managed to crawl back, tying the game at 76 points apiece with only some 20 ticks left on the clock.
Two foul shots by the opposing team with 2.5 seconds left had Israel once again facing second-place, before Tel Aviv’s Ariel Lachovitz managed to grab an inbounds pass and nail a three-pointer from the corner as time expired.
“I prayed for the shot to go in and thanked God,” Lachovitz said after the game, according to Israel’s Channel 13 news.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was among those to congratulate the team on winning the crown just ahead of the Passover holiday.
The win was the first time an Israeli team has taken home the championship in the tournament, according to Channel 13.