The Flatbush 7th Grade Boys Basketball team took on a feisty YDE Thunder squad in the opening round of the MJDSBL playoffs Thursday night (2/22), and fended off the visitors’ upset bid with a 53-44 victory at the YoF Elementary School Gym in Brooklyn, NY.
Coming in to the game, the two teams were somewhat familiar with each other, with Flatbush having won their only meeting of the season, 41-24. But, that game was way back in December. Had YDE closed the gap enough since then to flip the score?
Offensively, it was a slow start for both teams. Abraham Tawil got Flatbush on the board first. YDE made it a 3-2 game when they scored their first basket , but by then three minutes had already gone by. However, another Thunder basket evened the score at 4-4 just a little over midway through quarter one. Flatbush soon retook the lead. YDE hang close, but to do so they picked up a lot of fouls, and Flatbush was in the bonus well before the end of the opening quarter. A Joey Levy three began to create some distance at 9-4. Ben Falack asserted control defensively, but the Falcons could not add to their lead. The 9-4 score remained the advantage Flatbush held at the end of the first quarter.
Falack hit the boards on offense as well, and his put back quickly made it an 11-3 game, and YDE took an early timeout to talk things over. It was time well spent, as the Thunder hit a three out of the pause. They repeated the task on the next possession, and all of a sudden it was a three point game. Abie Amar responded with a three of his own for the hosts. Two minutes in to the quarter, the score was 16-10, Flatbush. But Flatbush was struggling to score, and after another pair of YDE threes, the game was tied, 18-18, with under two minutes left in the half. Flatbush upped the defensive intensity, and Tawil came through with a strong drive and fancy finish to score the ball seconds before the buzzer. At the half, the score stood 21-18, in favor of the Falcons.
Levy got thing started right for Flatbush with a three, and the Falcons next generated a turnover with their press. But where there was defense in the first half, the game now became an offensive shootout as both teams traded baskets for a stretch. With a little under three minutes left in the third quarter, Flatbush led 31-25. Then, a swishing Levy three with under a minute on the clock gave Flatbush its first double digit lead of the game. The Thunder would score one more time, and after three quarters of play, the Falcons lead was 36-27.
After a Thunder basket to open the quarter, Flatbush got scores from Levy, Tawil and a strong rebound put back from big man Danny Hanan for a 42-29 lead with 6:19 on the clock. Marty Cohen soon added another three-ball to push the lead to 16, and soon thereafter his teammates pushed the lead out to 19 points, but YDE was not giving up. Three Thunder hoops later, and the deficit was down to 12 with three minutes left to play. Flatbush again buckled down on defense, and the boys forced a turnover that the Falcons turned into a breakaway lay up at the other end. With 1:54 to play, Flatbush led 53-39. YDE scored again, though, closing to 11 points. Falack then fouled out, and YDE hit both free throws to close to 53-44. It was a single digit lead, with 37.8. Flatbush went to the line, and missed the front end, giving the Thunder a glimmer of hope, but YDE came up empty from outside . Flatbush pulled in the rebound and ran out the clock. Final score: 53-44.
As the boys sang out in celebration at mid court immediately afterwards, “We’re going to the ‘Ship!”
NEST NOTES: The 7th Grade Boys were led in scoring by Abraham Tawil who registered 15 points on the night. Joey Levy was right behind with 13 points. Ben Falack, Danny Hanan and Marty Cohen all hit for 7 points apiece, and Abie Amar rounded out the scoring with 3 points.
The Falcons now await the winner of the other semifinal game between HALB and Magen David. When an opponent is determined, the site, date and time will be announced.