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Falcons Use Second Half Scoring Spree to Advance to MYHSAL Quarterfinals

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After a very slow start, the Flatbush Falcons Varsity Boys Basketball team found their groove and soared past the HAFTR Hawks to advance to the quarterfinal round of play in the MYHSAL playoffs with a 66-52 win in front of a raucous hometown crowd at the Falcons Nest in Brooklyn, NY.

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The game got off to a very inauspicious start as a Flatbush turnover on their opening possession led to a Hawk lay in for the game’s opening points. In fact, Flatbush had turnovers on 7 of their first 8 possessions. Kevin Haddad got the Falcons on the board with a three but HAFTR answered with one if of their own. The score stood 5-3 Hawks with just three minutes in.until an Isaac Arazi finish knotted the score at 5. A Haddad free throw soon gave Flatbush its first lead and ignited the Falcons. Flatbush turned two consecutive steals in to lay ups, and after Louis Zarif’s pick of a Hawk guard’s pocket and ensuing drop off of the ball in the basket, the score stood 10-5 in favor of the home team and the Falcons looked to be off and running. HAFTR answered right back, though, until a beautiful feed from Jackie Mishaan – making his season debut after having just been cleared to play completing his rehabilitation from early season arthroscopic surgery to repair torn ligaments in his knee – to Abie Rosow brought the crowd to its feet, and after one quarter of play, Flatbush had the lead, 12-9.

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Back to back hoops from Haddad and Rosow gave Flatbush some separation to start the second quarter.  A pair of free throws from Richard Silverman lifted Flatbush to a 20-13 lead with under 3 minutes left in the half. For all the offense Flatbush found, it was the defense that was the key to the Falcon lead. Zarif and Haddad along with Joe Oved early in the game and Yoel Goldberg in the second quarter, stymied the HAFTR offense.  At the same time, Flatbush continued to push the play when possible, and Haddad capitalized by drawing fouls.  He drilled 6 straight free throws down the stretch, and the Falcons took a 10-point lead into intermission, 28-18.

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Defense stayed on point out of the gate in half number two as Rosow stripped the ball on a drive and Oved capitalized at the other end with a rebound put back. Midway through the period, Flatbush continued to extend the lead behind a Rosow turnaround and a Haddad three giving the hosts a new biggest lead of 17, 39-22. HAFTR went on a mini run to cut the lead down to 14, but FB showed patience, and another Rosow jumper before the end of the period made it 46-29 Flatbush with one quarter left to play.

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In the fourth quarter, the Falcons converted in two straight possessions to boost the lead to 20.  But, they soon got a little bit complacent at both ends.  Slowly, HAFTR began to find the stroke from outside, and with 5:37 left to play, had the lead down to a manageable 9 points, prompting Flatbush Head Coach Michael Gurock to call timeout. It was productive, as the Falcons got a defensive stop then hit on a give and go to put the led back to double digits. The teams began to exchange baskets until Zarif hit on two consecutive drives then found Rosow for another drop in to take back a 60-46 cushion with two minutes to play.   From there it was an exchange of hoops, and HAFTR just could not get any closer than 12.  Flatbush’s closed out the win , 66-52, sending the Falcon faithful home, very happy indeed!

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NEST NOTES:   Flatbush was paced by a masterful offensive performance by Kevin Haddad who led all scorers with 36 points.  Abie Rosow added 16 points in the winning effort.  For the visiting HAFTR Hawks, they received 20 points from Jason Mishkin and 11 points from Shai Laniado(11 points).

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The win advanced Flatbush’s Varsity Boys to the Quarterfinal round of the MYHSAL playoffs where the Frisch Cougars await.  The Cougars will look to avenge an early season defeat at the hands of the Falcons back in November in Brooklyn while the Falcons will look to repeat the winning performance.  Date and time for the game is as yet undertermined.

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