Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-6-2015 | HAFTR Hawks End Soar back into Final Four, Defeat Cooper Macs, 60-44

11-6-2015 | HAFTR Hawks End Soar back into Final Four, Defeat Cooper Macs, 60-44

By: Shmuel Perl

The third game of the day on Court II featured a matchup of two talented teams battling it out for a chance to play in the Tier I semifinals. The #6 ranked hometown Cooper Macs were coming off an overtime win against #11 North Shore, while the #3 ranked defending champion HAFTR Hawks barely escaped a feisty Fasman team in round one. Both of these talented teams had to overcome their issues in round one, while HAFTR had to manage without a number of inured players. Abie Perlow, HAFTR’s star center, scored the first points of the game on a strong layup inside. Perlow continued to dominate, scoring two more inside baskets to give HAFTR an early six point lead. The Macs got on the board when JJ Kampf connected on a free throw and Caleb Milobsky put back Kampf’s second miss. On the other end, Brian Nathan drilled a three from the top of the key, but Milobsky responded with a three for Cooper. After a few possessions in which both teams came away empty, Jeffrey Owen nailed two free throws to cut the Hawks lead to one. HAFTR battled back to extend its lead, going on a 6-0 run in which they forced the Macs into some bad plays. Perlow scored two more times, and both teams exchanged baskets as the first quarter came to close. After one, HAFTR led 21-10 behind the strong play of Perlow who had himself close to a double-double with only eight minutes of basketball played.

Cooper started the second quarter playing stifling defense, but Max Rosner hit a three to put HAFTR up 14. The Macs still could not find their way, but Milobsky bailed Cooper out again, draining a contested baseline jumper on which he was fouled, and converting the three point play. Both teams made some free throws, and Milobsky hit another three to make it a 30-19 game. Jason Abraham made a jumper for the Hawks, while the Macs continued to be plagued by turnovers and overall sloppy play which led to easy points for the Hawks at the other end. With one minute left in the half, Milobsky had another three point play, and at halftime the score was 34-22 HAFTR.

HAFTR got off to a roaring start in the third quarter, as Abraham scored from the baseline and Max Rosner scored on a put back to give the Hawks a sixteen point lead. The Macs finally got going when Mark Fertel drained a corner three and Jeffrey Owen put back a missed basket, but a HAFTR thee point play shifted the momentum back to the Hawks. The rest of quarter was full of tough defense and little scoring, but it was HAFTR’s pounding of the offensive glass that was clearly the difference maker. Besides wiping the floor with the Macs in the rebounding battle, HAFTR was also able to shut down Cooper’s best player, Jeffrey Owen, through the first three quarters.

The Macs started the final quarter well, forcing two turnovers and turning them into to transition buckets by Jeffrey Owen. Owen made a free throw, but Perlow responded with a basket on the other end. Luckily for the Macs, they forced another turnover and Owen once again scored in transition to keep them in the game with five minutes left to play. HAFTR scored again, but a clutch triple from JJ Kampf cut the lead back to ten with four minutes left. Both teams scored, but a costly foul by Jeffrey Owen brought Abie Perlow to the line. Perlow hit one of two, but, after a badly missed three by Kampf, and another foul drawn by Perlow, the Macs were staring down a seemingly insurmountable 13 point lead with just over three minutes to go. A great hustle play by Owen to grab a rebound that looked HAFTR all the way, and the two free throws that he subsequently made after drawing contact, brought the Hawks lead down to eleven. The Hawks then missed two free throws of their own at the other end, while Owen, who turned it on in the fourth, made one for the Macs. Jason Mishkin hit a baseline jumper for the Macs, and a bad turnover by Milobsky gave HAFTR the ball back with a chance to seal the game. HAFTR turned the possession into two free throws, but Owen responded with a layup on the other end. With one minute left, the Macs turned to their press, but the Hawks easily broke it, and Max Rosner turned it into a wide open layup. Down 14, and under a minute left, Cooper’s shot at a comeback was officially over. The two teams played pretty even basketball for the last three quarters, but it was the hot start of Perlow and the Hawks that propelled them to a victory. The Final score was 60-44 HAFTR, who were led by the 19 points and 19 rebounds of the 6’4 Abie Perlow. The Macs were led by Jeffrey Owen and Caleb Milobsky who both scored 18 points. The Hawks head back to the Final Four, while the Macs move into the Tier 1 consolation bracket.

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