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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JV Boys Basketball Opens Home Season with Two Victories

Falcons Rebound!
The mark of a good team is being able to work out a win when you are not at your best. By that mark, Flatbush’s JV Boys Basketball team is a good team. How good remains to be seen. The JV Falcons are a young group (the team starts three Freshmen when healthy, with another two playing key roles off the bench) and the season is in its early stages, but all signs point to a banner year for the precocious Falcons.

This past week saw the JV boys play their first games in the friendly confines of the Falcons’ Nest on Avenue J, and the boys defended their home turf successfully, if not easily. Coming in of a 2-0 record on the road, the team looked to make a statement in the opener against Yeshivat Lev Bonim, a team that while not very quick carries a lot of bulk, and can balance tough physical play with deft shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. With Abie Rosow sidelined for the first two to three weeks of the season with a nagging foot injury, the pressure was on frontline players Albert Richter, Joe Gindi and Yoel Goldberg to pick up the slack, and step up big they did! The big 3 controlled the boards and dominated in the paint converting inside baskets or kicking the ball out to shooters Kevin Haddad, Louis Zarif and Jackie Mishaan. The shooters staked the team to a commanding lead at the close of the 1st quarter. Coupled with unyielding defensive pressure from backcourt mates Jake Shalom, Elliot Beyda and Haddad, the Falcons stretched the lead to 20+ points at the half. Utilizing the entire roster, Coach Borenstein’s team maintained the lead throughout while getting on-court experience for every team member. The final score of 64-40 was not indicative of how lopsided the scoring actually was.
Jake Shalom plays shut-down defense
Kevin Haddad sinks a lay up
Jackie Mishaan for 3!
As commanding a performance as was seen opening night, the Falcon JV’s found themselves in the midst of an equally tight dogfight the next time out. In an earlier matchup with the Stars from Shaare Torah, the Falcons pressed from the opening tip and ran away with a 56-36 rout. There was no such surprise for the Stars this time. It was evident that they spent their time wisely, preparing for the vaunted Falcon Press. Though missing out on a number of open looks early on, the Falcon shooters Zarif, Beyda, Haddad, Shalom & Mishaan staked the team to an early lead. However, Flatbush’s lackluster play, along with a sense of confidence building in the Stars from breaking the press and registering a few easy baskets kept the game close. Every time it looked as if the Falcons would pull away, Shaare Torah would sink a big basket or the Falcons would commit a costly turnover. Flatbush just could not put their opponents away. However, even though the Stars closed the deficit to as little as one point down the stretch, the Falcons stepped up big when it counted, protecting the ball while killing the clock. And with Elliot Beyda drilling a huge 3-pointer coupled with Louis Zarif knocking down key free throws, the Boys from Flatbush sealed a 47-40 victory that was much closer than the final score would indicate.
Louis Zarif shoots a jumper
Yoel Goldberg feeds Jackie Mishaan in the corner
Elliot Beyda kills the clock
Nest Notes: In the victory over Shaare Torah, Sophomore Co-Captain Al Richter pulled down a team high 11 rebounds. The team was led in scoring by Jackie Mishaan and Louis Zarif who each finished the game with 11 points; Kevin Haddad tallied 8 points on the night.

The JV Falcons will next take the court in the opening game of a doubleheader with Heschel. The second game will pit the two school’s varsity programs and will mark the home opener for the Varsity Falcons. The Heschel Heat come in having won the prestigious Magen David Pre-Season Tournament defeating Ramaz in the finals, yet were on the short end of a 20-point loss to TABC (who beat the Falcons in an early pre-season game by 12). The Varsity Falcons come in licking their wounds from a total loss at the hands of the Ramaz Rams in the Finals of the Ramaz Pre-Season Tournament. Flatbush qualified for the finals by avenging an early season loss to SAR, turning the tables on the Sting with an exciting 47-45 victory behind the team’s signature pressure defense keyed by late game heroic steals from Nathan Haddad to protect the slim lead and close out the win.