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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Falcon's Nest Notes: Day 2 in Memphis, TN

Tip Off v. Weinbaum Yeshiva of Boca Raton, Florida
The Boys from Flatbush took the court for the second game of the day as the top seed in Tier II of the Cooper Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memphis Tennessee, but it took until the second half for the team to show the kind of inspired play that earned them the top ranking.
Mayer Kamkhatchi scores inside on a feed from Nathan Haddad
Michael Shalom drives the lane for 2
Bobby Soffer runs the offense late in the 2nd quarter
The first half was filled with sluggish play and fouls galore, with the Falcons already shooting the bonus in the 1st quarter. The lackluster play allowed the boys from the Weinbaum Yeshiva of Boca Raton, FL to hang tough the entire half. The Falcons showed an early presence down low with strong play from center’s Mayer Kamkhatchi and Shawn Blinder and continued powerful rebounding from Murray Mizrahi. But, with Flatbush’s starting backcourt in early serious foul trouble, and the team shooting a dreadful 6-16 from the foul line in the first half alone, it was only through the gritty play of reserve guard Bobby Soffer that the Falcons could consider themselves lucky to be down by only one at the break, 20-19.
Michael Haddad shoots and hits from 3 point land!
Allen Maleh crashes the board for a rebound
After half-time, the spectators on Court 1 of the Memphis JCC saw a different Flatbush team return for the second half. From the outset, the backcourt trio of Joey Dayon, Michael Haddad and his brother Nathan turned up the pressure another notch on the Weinberg Yeshiva Storm. Though the teams appeared to trade baskets for a time, the Storm began to wear down, turning the ball over under the relentless pressure and continuing to foul the Falcons at a rapid pace. With time winding down in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons shooters pushed the lead out to double digits with two consecutive possessions yielding 3-pointers from Michael Haddad and Sam Silverman. Not much later, the Storm appeared to dissipate after the intense front-court pressure of the Haddad brothers caused a turnover in front of the Falcon bench which a diving Michael fed to a cutting Nathan for a backbreaking lay-up from with Weinberg never recovered. Maintaining the pressure and controlling the boards the rest of the way, the Falcons cruised on to a 61-41 victory.
Buddy Setton ices the game
Sam Silverman sets and hits a free throw
With a break for Shabbat that will feature home hospitality for dinner and an Oneg Shabbat with guest speaker Tamir Goodman, the first orthodox observant player to play Division 1 college basketball (he played for Towson State in Maryland, and later had a brief career playing professionally in Israel), the Falcons now get some well-deserved rest and will prepare for a Tier II semi-final battle on Motzei Shabbat against the Fasman Yeshiva of Skokie, Illinois.
Post game at the tote board, Coach Avi Borenstein waits with his players to see who the falcons will get to play in the Tier II Semifinals; Athletic Director Eric Amkraut looks on with pride.