The Flatbush Varsity Girls Basketball team could have been guilty of looking past their regular season game with Ramaz on Wednesday night (12/6), with the girts getting ready to return to Brookline, Massachusetts where they will try to defend their title in the Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament, but the Falcons did what they needed to do in closing out the Rams with a 36-30 win at the Falcons Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
It was clearly a defensive battle at the outset, as it took almost half the opening period before any points were put up on the board, but Flatbush opened the scoring at the 4:22 mark with a lay up by a cutting Carolyn Kassin. The Falcon defense was the story, though, as they kept Ramaz scoreless for the entire opening quarter. At the end of the period, the score was 8-0, Flatbush.
Points were still at a premium in the second quarter, with Ramaz finally getting on the board one minute in. This time it was Flatbush that struggled, with the only Falcon points coming on a Sarah Gammal baseline jumper at the 2:15 mark. Flatbush had a number of good opportunities to extend their lead, but could not get the ball to fall. Meanwhile, Ramaz kept plugging away. The Rams hit on a buzzer beater, and at halftime the Flatbush lead was a mere 3 points, 10-7.
A pair of Marlene Levy free throws at the start got Flatbush back on the board. The offensive play of the game came a few minutes later when a stumbling Kassin scooped up a loose ball and flipped it up in the same motion to Gammal who was sprinting for the basket, lifting Flatbush to a 16-11 lead. However, a defensive breakdown by Flatbush in the closing minute let the Rams close to 2 points before Jacqueline Mizrachi came up with a big finish at the offensive end to reclaim the points. The score was 21-17 Flatbush with one quarter to play.
Early in the final period, a Falcon turnover gave the Rams a chance to tie, but they whiffed on the lay in. An Esther Habert 3 gave Flatbush back a 5 point lead, 24-19. then, near Disaster struck with five min to play. Marlene Levy got caught inbetween a bunch of Rams and went down hard, with insult added to injury as Ramaz scored on the transition change, cutting the lead down to 2, 25-23. With their leader sidelined with a twisted ankle, Levy’s teammates picked her up. With under two minutes to play, back to back lay ups by Gammal and a re-inserted resilient Levy made it 31-23. It was a foul shooting contest from that point on. Flatbush struggled, with the team’s top two shooters missing the front end of all three one and one opportunities they were given. When Ramaz then came up with a big three, it was a three point game, 33-30, with a significant amount of time left to play. The defense stood tall, though. The Falcons shut down the Rams offense, and Gammal converted on her final two shots from the charity stripe. With one final defensive stop, the Falcons were able to run out the clock, securing the 36-30 win.
NEST NOTES: The Varsity Girls are now set to head off to Brookline, Massachusetts, where along with the Varsity Boys, they will compete in the 5th Annual Maimonides School invitational basketball Tournament and Shabbaton. The event will run from December 7-10, 2017. The Falcons will open the tournament with games on Thursday night as the Girls open with the Berman Hebrew Academy Cougars of Suburban DC at 7:00 pm. The Boys will follow with their opening contest, a game with the Atlanta Jewish Academy Jaguars at 8:30 pm.