On Saturday night (11/11), the Flatbush Boys Varsity Basketball team came almost all the way back from an 18-point deficit, but could not get over the final hump falling to the HANC Hurricanes by a final score of 73-69 at the YoF Elementary School Gym in Brooklyn, NY.
With a last minute venue change, the Flatbush Basketball players found themselves playing a meaningful game on a court many thought would only serve as a practice facility after leaving middle school. But, at the outset it looked as if the friendly confines of the Falcons Middle Division teams’ home court would be just that for the Flatbush Juniors and Seniors.
Making the first start of his career, Senior Guard Murray Dweck announced his presence with flair as he opened the scoring with a swish from three-point range. Flatbsuh was clicking on defense, with Senior Co-Captain Maurice Mosseri leading a defensive barrage that turned the Hurricanes over multiple times early on. But, the falcons could not convert on multiple wide open lay ins, and soon Flatbush was looking up at the visiting Hurricanes on the scoreboard. An Eddie Lincer power drive gave the falcons back the lead at 9-8, but HANC scored the next 6 points. Only a Joe Kattan three ball allowed the home squad to close the gap, and Flatbush trailed 13-12 at the end of the 1st Quarter of play.
Two threes out of the break by the Visitors pushed the lead out to 7 with only two and a half minutes gone in the period. Flatbush responded, though, with inside baskets from Mosseri and Lincer cutting the lead down to 4 points. But, poor shooting coupled with transition hoops and offensive boards by the Hurricanes soon made it a 9-point game, 27-18. Flatbush looked inside for some answers, and they got them – all game long – from Senior Center Jack Mishaan. He pulled down a huge rebound, giving the Falcons a big lift. It sparked a Flatbush run, with Kattan hitting on ad rive, Lincer following with a 3 and Mishaan coming up with an inside finish to make it a two point game. Flatbush was back in it! The Falcons had two separate chances to take the lead, trailing by two with the ball in hand, but both times the three balls fell short. At the half, HANC held a 29-27 lead, but Flatbush had momentum and the Falcons were pressing hard!
Unfortunately, no one told the Hurricanes about the momentum swing. The visitors opened the half with 3-pointers on their first two possessions, followed by a regular field goal on their third. Made Mosseri baskets kept Flatbush within range, but a big turnover followed by Flatbush foul and a Hurricane conversion of the traditional three-point play left the Falcons facing their first double-digit deficit of the game, 44-33, with 3:16 to play in the quarter. It proceeded to get worse from there, as the threes continued to rain down in the Elementary School Gym. Though Flatbush hit for a pair of their own, HANC continued to score at a torrid pace. By the end of the quarter, the Hurricanes held a commanding 58-41 lead.
Flatbush could have packed it in at that point, but one thing about these 2017-18 Falcons so far is that they never think the game is out of reach and they clearly do not quit. Lincer hit on a pair of shots and Mishaan again came up with big rebound after big rebound, with one on the ofensive end finishing with a fading put back that made it an 11-point game with 5:32 to play. Out of the ensuing HANC timeout, Richard Silverman came up with a backcourt steal, which he converted successfully to get the deficit down to single digits, 58-49.
Next up was Kattan, who hit on a three, bringing the partisan crowd to its feet and bringing the lead down to 6. When Mishaan pulled in another defensive board and Mosseri followed in kind with a three of his own, it was suddenly a three point game! But, time was running out. Trailing by three with 1:28 to play, HANC was called for an illegal screen, handing the ball back to Flatbush. Unfortunately, the Falcons immediately turned the ball over without getting a look at the basket, and the Hurricanes made them pay, drilling a dagger 3-ball. Mosseri was fouled on the ensuing possession, but hit only one of two, leaving the Falcons trailing 65-60 with 54.7 second to play. Flatbush put the Hurricanes on the line, and it was an effective strategy, as they missed on consecutive front ends of one-and-ones. Yet, Flatbush could not capitalize, coming up empty on the offensive end after each of the HANC misses. the game looked all but over. Nevertheless, the coaches kept on coaching and the players never, ever quit. With time running down, a fading Silverman 3-pointer gave flatbush a prayer of a chance. But, in the end, the deficit was just too great to overcome. HANC held on, making two free-throws with 1.1 seconds left for the final score of 73-69.
Afterwards, Head Coach Michael Gurock had mixed emotions. “I cannot be more pleased with the effort the boys gave out there tonight. It was a great effort to come back. But we cannot give away points, cannot give away rebounds.” Added Coach Gus Kennedy, “And, we have to protect the ball!”
NEST NOTES: Jack Mishaan had a career high 20 rebounds on the night.
The Falcons will have an opportunity to test themselves in a competitive scrimmage setting when they host the Varsity from Packer Collegiate Institute, a private school in Brooklyn, on Monday evening. Tip off in the Falcons Nest is set for 5:45 pm.