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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Falcon's Nest Notes: Day 3 in Memphis, TN

Nathan Haddad feeds a pass to Murray Mizrahi
After Havdalah (or many Havdalot, as the lobby hallway of the Doubletree Hotel was home to multiple Motzei Shabbat services), it was time to return to the basketball courts of the Memphis JCC and a Tier II semi-final meeting between the Yeshivah of Flatbush and the Fasman Yeshiva of Skokie, Illinois.
Joey Dayan elevates to the basket for 2
Nathan Haddad drives the lane
Finally back on court with the second game of the evening, the first half of play saw the usual feeling out process as the two squads battled to see how the officials would call the game. In a portent of what would prove to be a key element in the game, Flatbush opened up the scoring by tallying the first point of the game on a Joey Dayon free throw after getting fouled on a strong drive to the basket. As is becoming its style, the Falcons brought defensive pressure early and often, resulting in a plethora of turnovers. But, the team was not able to settle down on the offensive end and did not capitalize greatly on the turnovers. By the end of the first half, Flatbush could manage only a 3-point lead. However, the Falcons established a dominant inside presence. Center Mayer Kamkhatchi was a beast on the boards, complimented by the play of fellow big men Shawn Blinder, Murray Mizrahi and Victor Silverman who each made significant contributions to the teams play at both ends of the court.
Murray Mizrahi sets to hit one of his 5 key free throws of the night
The Flatbush Press
Another 3 from Michael Haddad
The second half saw an energized Flatbush backcourt slowly take control of the game. Behind constant relentless pressure, the defense turned over the Fasman Yeshiva 5, leading to break-away lay-ups for guards Nathan Haddad and Joey Dayon, while Michel Haddad found a consistent stroke from behind the 3-point arc (he would finish the game 5-6 from 3-point range) and extending the lead to 10 points by the end of the 3rd quarter. As well as the backcourt played, the key element in the team’s success came at the free-throw line, a place where the team had struggled mightily to this point. For the first time this season, the Falcons shot better than 75%, converting on 14 of 18 shots from the charity stripe. The trademark Flatbush press, precision passing on offense and dominant rebounding at both ends of the court allowed the Falcons to take control and cruise the rest of the way to a hard-earned 58-34 victory. 
Mayer Kamhatchi grabs a rebound
Buddy Setton goes strong for the hoop
Bobby Soffer goes in for a lay-up
The Boys from Flatbush had an extra hour to enjoy the victory (the clocks move back one hour Sunday night) before taking the court Sunday morning where they will play for a Tier II Championship against the Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Warriors of Miami Beach, Florida. Rest up, and GO FALCONS!

The Cooper Flatbush Kippa
Joey Dayon keeps thing loose before the game
NEST NOTES: The Falcons were led in scoring by Michael Haddad and Joey Dayon who poured in 19 points each. Mayer Kamkhatchi gathered in a team-high 15 rebounds. Murray Mizrahi was 5-6 from the free throw line. RASG lost a close game to North Shore Hebrew Academy on the tournaments opening day; North Shore will play for the Tier I Championship tomorrow against Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA).