In a clash of Brooklyn 7th Grade Basketball Titans Monday night (3/12), The Flatbush Falcons turned a second quarter deficit into a solid halftime lead, then pulled away in the third quarter to defeat the rival Magen David Warriors and win the MJDSBL 7th Grade Boys Championship crown by a score of 46-28 at the Sephardic Community Center in Brooklyn, NY.
The Red Gym at the Sephardic Community Center was packed to the gills for the rivalry battle for the Boys 7th Grade Championship, and if you did not get there early, you could not find a seat. And early on, the Flatbush Falcons and MDY Warriors let the fans know they would be in for a treat.
Flatbush grabbed an early 1-0 lead, which Magen equaled at the 6:15 mark. Defense was the order of the day early on. It took more than half the quarter, but a Sammy Benun runner was good for the first field goal of the game, and a 4-2 Falcons advantage. It was short lived, as a Warriors three ball gave Magen a 7-4 lead. The scoring picked up from that point, and by the end of the first quarter, Magen David led by one point, 9-8.
Flatbush had a good look to retake the lead, but it was Magen that put the next points on the board with another 3 for a 12-8 lead a little over two minutes in to the quarter. Flatbush was patient on offense, working the ball, but just could not get the ball to drop. At that point, Falcons Head Coach Judah Rhine put on the press, and it paid off. A few minutes later, an Abie Tawil feed to Moshe Kopolovich was good, lifting the Falcons back into the lead, 13-12. Fouls and turnovers began to hurt the Warriors, and Joey Levy made them pay, with a pair of free throws followed by a three point jumper from the corner. A Ben Falack jumper in the lane moments later gave Flatbush a 20-12 lead, which they took into the intermission.
At the start of the second half Flatbush picked up where they left off, with a Benun three and then a Tawil rebound put back which gave the Falcons a 25-12 lead a few minutes in. A Danny Hanan put back at the 2:00 mark kept it a 13-point lead. Marty Cohen pushed the score to 33-16 with a long three with under 40 seconds to play in the quarter. Magen answered with a three, and with one quarter to play, Flatbush looked good, holding a 33-19 lead.
Defense continued to be key for Flatbush, causing a turnover on Magen’s opening possession, then stopping a one-on-one drive on the next. But Flatbush turned it over, and Magen inched a little closer. With a 12-point lead, Flatbush began running the clock, patiently passing the ball on the perimeter, trying desperately to shorten the game. With 5 minutes to play, though, the Warriors hit again, closing the deficit to 10. Flatbush stayed patient, and Magen was forced to foul. With four minutes to play, Benun went to the line and calmly sank a pair, pushing the lead back to 12. A minute later, Hanan pulled in a big offensive board, and Benun hit on a drive to make it a 14-point game.
The defense stayed strong, and with 1:46 turnovers play, the score was 43-28 in favor of the Falcons. Falack stepped out and came up with a big block on a Magen three attempt, and Flatbush ran the clock down to 55 seconds before giving the ball back to the Warriors. But, Flatbush denied them again, and off the rebound, a Warrior intentional foul sent Flatbush to the line, and then gave the Falcons the ball as well. It was all over but for the shouting, which came 28.9 seconds later. Final score, Flatbush 46, Magen 28. CHAMPIONS!!!