Defense Spurs Falcons JV & Varsity into Playoffs

Defense Spurs Falcons JV & Varsity into Playoffs
Posted on 02/04/2019

The Flatbush and Varsity Boys Basketball Teams turned fourth quarter deficits into a pair of comeback wins on the road Monday night (2/4) and secured MYHSAL playoff berths by seeping the Shaare Torah Stars on their own court in the basement of the Coney Island Avenue school in Brooklyn, NY.

  Lincer Scores

The JV Boys erased an 11-point fourth quarter deficit behind brilliant defensive pressure, taking the lead 55-54 on a Remy Zhoni jumper with under two minutes to play. A David Cattan runner in the lane took returned it to a one point lead, and a defensive stop gave Flatbush the ball and the lead with under a minute to play. Sent to the line with 23.7 to play, Nathan Shabot sank both freebies to put Flatbush up 3.  The defense made it stand up, with Steven Chetrit corralling the final rebound just as time expired. Flatbush took the victory, 59-56.

 Shabot scores Zhoni scores

The Varsity came in to the game knowing that a win would secure a playoff berth –and with a little help from others possibly lock up a first round playoff bye - and looked to build on the momentum of the fantastic JV comeback.  Could they complete the sweep in one of the more difficult road venues in the MYHSAL?

Flatbush had a great look for an opening score, but came up empty on their first three possessions. Meanwhile, Shaare hit on all three of theirs for an early 7-0 lead.  The Stars’ lead got as large as 9-0 before Kal Abed caused a turnover and Eddie Lincer finished on a drive to get Flatbush off the schneid – But by that time, half the quarter had elapsed.  The Falcons started to score, but the Stars were smoking hot from the field, and at the end of one, the hosts held a 20-11 lead.

 Abed drives Lincer hits inside

Shaare stayed hot to extend the lead to 12.  Joe Kattan then sparked Flatbush with a soft bank shot and intense defensive coverage on the Stars top sharpshooter. An Abed power drive cut the deficit to 23-17 with 4:03 left in the half. Flatbush had cooled off the host shooters, and closed the gap a bit more. At the half, the score stood 26-21 Shaare, but Flatbush had begun to right the ship and took a little bit of momentum into the locker room.

 Kattan defends

Lincer opened the second half scoring, and Rosow drew two fouls (hitting both free throws), and the lead was down to three a minute in.  A minute and a half later, Kattan hit the first three-pointer of the game for the Falcons and the game was all even for the first time since the opening tip at 28-28.  After another Rosow trip to the line, where he again hit both, Flatbush had its first lead of the game. 32-31. Eschewing patience, the Falcons worked the ball, and Abed made it count, hitting a three with two minutes left in the third for a 36-32 lead.  A lapse of concentration at both ends allowed Shaare the final 6 points of the quarter and with one period left to play, the Stars led 38-36.

 Rosow finishes

After a pair of defensive stops, Abed struck again from long range to put Flatbush back up, 40-38.  Plus, Shaare was now over the limit and the Falcons would be shooting free throws the rest of the way.  Shaare pulled even, though, at 41-41. Rosow answered with a big rebound drawing another foul. His throws took back a two point lead with 5 minutes to play.  A turnover let Shaare close to two, but Rosow was asserting his dominance on the glass, and grabbed another offensive board that he converted into a point from the line. The officials then seemed to put their whistles in their pockets. Shaare took advantage, and with 2:26 to play, the Flatbush lead was down to 1.  Kattan found Rosow under the basket for an easy two, but on the next possession, Shaare scored and got to the line to pull even at 49-49 with 1:40 to play. With just under a minute left, Lincer came up with the biggest finish of the night,  rolling in a baseline runner to put Flatbush back in the lead by two. Flatbush got a miss from Shaare, but gave up the rebound. However, the Stars stepped out of bounds. Abed was fouled on the next possession, and sank his pair of freebies. With 30 seconds to play, the defense got another stop, rebounded by Abed. Rosow added two more from the line, and Flatbush held on to earn the comeback win by a final score of 55-49. 

 Lincer from the line defense closes out
Final Score

Afterwards, an emotionally exhausted Head Coach Michael Gurock had much praise for the poise shown by his Falcons.  “I am just so proud of both our JV and Varsity teams.  I think that both teams were just so determined to win the games for each other that we would not be denied.  For the JV’s, I cannot say enough about the leadership from our sophomores Nathan Chabot, David Cattan, and Morris Dweck. They kept everyone together and grinded out tough baskets, were relentless on ball pressure and made the plays to help the team win. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Remy Zohni who stepped into a starting role and came up with a pair of key baskets down the stretch.” 

Coach Gurock had similar praise for the Varsity.  “I have to recognize Joe Kattan for his defense tonight on Jackie Haber (Share’s point guard and top scorer). Joe is known for his marksmanship shooting, but he marked their best player so beautifully.  It was a major factor in turning the tide of the game.  Kal Abed hit countless big shots, Eddie Lincer hit the huge go-ahead bucket and Jack Rosow was dominant in cleaning up the glass. This team loves to defend because it means fighting hard with one another.”

NEST NOTES:  The JV’s win meant the team finished in a tie for 5th place with these same Shaare Torah Stars.  A coin flip was held to break the tie and fell in favor of the Stars.  That meant the Falcons would get the 6th seed, and a date with the Magen David Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Varsity win secured a three-way tie for second place in the MYHSAL Eastern Division, and by virtue of the tie-break earned the second overall seed and a first-round bye.  The Falcons will host the quarterfinal game against an opponent yet to be determined.

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