Sun, Sand and Sport in South Florida

Sun, Sand and Sport for the Falcons in South Florida
Posted on 02/28/2019
Sun, Sand and Sport for the Falcons in South Florida

Enjoying everything that South Florida has to offer, the Flatbush Girls Varsity Basketball Team took in the sun, the sand, the sport and the racing on a sunny Thursday (2/28) that saw the Falcons play an amazing half of basketball only to fall in the second half to the Ida Crown Aces (Chicago, IL) in the second preliminary game of the RASG Hebrew Academy Tournament and Shabbaton in Miami Beach, Florida.

 Tip Off

The schedule for the tournament has a bye built in to the opening rounds of pool play, and Flatbush’s bye came in the Thursday morning session. That meant that that there was time for a leisurely team breakfast before the first event of the day – the 3-Point Shootout and the Hot Shot contest.

With all the teams gathered in the Hebrew Academy Gym, thte 3-Point Shootout was first and the Hot Shot competition was second. Flatbush’s entrants in each contest were the last to go. Coming off a great showing in the opening round game, everyone wanted to see if Renee Kubie would still have the hot hand from beyond the arc. She did, hitting 11 of her long-range shots. Esther Habert was Flatbush’s other entrant. She had a vocal following from her fellow Falcons, but did not shoot nearly as well. In the Hot Shot, both Kayla Motovich and Lorraine Levy represented Flatbush, and they competed at the same time at opposite ends of the court. With all the contestants having gone, the results of the opening round were in. Advancing to tomorrow’s semi-finals were Flatbush’s own Renee Kubie and Kayla Motovich!

 Renee Kubie Levy & Motovich

With the afternoon free, it was time to hit the beach!.. Having been reunited with Assistant Coach Jon Gabriel – who arrived late last night to Miami, The Flacons reveled and relaxed in the warm Florida sunshine – a much nicer setting weather-wise than what they would have been experiencing with their classmates back home in Brooklyn.

 At the Beach

After hours in the sun, it was time to step back out on the hardwood, and battle the heavily favored Aces of Ida Crown.  Flatbush took the opening tip, but came up empty. The Aces took a long rebound and quickly moved up the quote for the first score. It looked like Ida Crown might be of and running, but the defense settled in, anchored by Betty Greenberg and Kayla Motovich, keeping the Aces off the scoreboard for the next 2 1/2 minutes. It would not be until 3:38 before Ida Crown got another field goal. But offensively, Flatbush could not get the ball to drop. Defense was absolutely outstanding for Flatbush, holding the mighty Aces to a mere five points the entire first-quarter. But the offense could get no traction, inside or out. At the end of the first quarter, the score stood 5-0 in favor of Ida Crown.


That changed quickly on the first possession of the second quarter, as Esther Habert found the bottom of the net from long-range for Flatbush’s first three points of the game. Motovich added a jumper, to get Flatbush’s total to five. The defensive intensity was great and kept Flatbush close, but the offense still struggled. With 2:46 to play, Ida Crown led 10-5. Raquel Oved came up with a nice defensive stop to take the ball back for Flatbush. The Falcons showed a little more patience on offense, but the shooting just was not working. When the half came to an end. The score stood 12-5 in favor of the Chicagoans.


The Flatbush defense got a stop to open the second half, but two straight turnovers led to easy Aces points. After another empty possession was followed by another Ida Crown basket, Coach Jon Gabriel called for a quick timeout in the hopes of getting the Falcons back on track. It did not help. Ida Crown was running now, and in the blink of an eye it was a 19-point game. It took over four minutes, but Joy Cattan got a runner to fall for the first Falcon points of the second half. Cynthia Hamoui hit on a corner jumper in the final seconds of the third quarter, but the damage was done. Ida Crown gained immense distance from the Falcons and led 34-9 at the end of three quarters of play. 

 Joy Cattan Cynthia Hamoui

Flatbush scored first in the final quarter on a pair of Motovich free throws. Oved returned with her in-your-face defense and Renee Kubie got to the line for another Falcon point. A Habert bank shot from three made it a 25-point game with 2:30 to play. After an Aces lay in, Simone Dweck hit a pair of freebies making it 25 points again. After a stop, Hamoui was sent to the line. She hit one to get it to 24. That was now the goal, to keep it under 25. If they could do that, they would prevent Ida Crown from finishing pool play as the overall number one seed heading into the playoff rounds. With 45 seconds to play, Ida Crown was looking for just one more basket; Flatbush was looking for one big stop. The defense made Ida Crown work hard, and almost came up with the turnover. But, with the clock winding down the ball found its way inside and they converted and easy layup. The final score was 48 for the Aces and 18 for the Falcons.
It was a frustrating result, as the defense was outstanding for one half of play, but the offense was no where to be found. The end of pool play left the Falcons with the 10th seed overall, which set up a very interesting match-up for Friday morning’s preliminary round of action – a face off with the Jaguars of the Atlanta Jewish Academy (Atlanta, GA)!

The night saw the Falcons race to the finish line. The coaches took the team to K1 Karting, an indoor go cart racing center. The big winner was Lorraine Levy, as the speed demon took the checkered flag in both of her groups races. The fender-bender award went to Simone Dweck and Sarah Gammal (Was it just a gentle tap? Hard to argue with the evidence of Gammal’s shattered helmet) – both were unscathed in the end, and fun was had by all!

Lorraine Levy Levy & Gani

NEST NOTES: The Falcons open the playoff round taking on the Atlanta Jewish Academy Jaguars (Atlanta, GA) at 9:45 am. The winner plays later in the afternoon against the second-seeded Shalhevet Firehawks with a berth in Saturday night’s semifinals on the line.

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