Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-6-2016 | Heschel HEAT Claim Cooper X Invitational Championship

11-6-2016 | Heschel HEAT Claim Cooper X Invitational Championship

By: Yakov Freiberg

“And then there were two…”, we heard in the seeding show. It wasn’t the two we expected, but the Championship game on Sunday of Cooper X featured the two teams that were still standing at the end. The championship game featured the #3 Flatbush Falcons against the cinderella of the tournament, #9 Heschel Heat.

Heschel won the opening tip, and quickly hit a three-pointer to get the scoring started. However, after the first shot by Heschel, it takes another 3 minutes to score again. Flatbush, on the other hand, struggles to score at all, getting only one free throw and a layup late in the 1st quarter. Things start to speed up as the quarter comes to a close, with Heschel adding another three-pointer, followed by a couple more free throws from Flatbush. The Heat pulled ahead as the 1st quarter closed, by a score of 15-7.

The Heat started to pour it on in the 2nd quarter, and went up by 15 points against the Falcons, as they attacked the basket with more and more aggressiveness. On the other side, Flatbush struggled to maintain any sort of cohesive defense while Heschel continued to put more pressure on the Falcons which turned into mistakes by the Falcons and points for the Heat. Flatbush finally threw down a three-pointer, but it was countered by a dominate play by the Heat. At the end of the first half, the Heat had a 28-16 edge on the Falcons.

As the second half got underway, Heschel had an explosiveness which set them apart from the Falcons. They continued to play really good defense and were able to increase their lead to 20 points, demonstrating why they deserved to win the Cooper Invitational. Flatbush then knocked down a jumper and three, keeping them away from a running clock scenario. The Falcons then slowed down the Heat, but it was not long until they were throwing down more threes to try to get back into the game. Flatbush’s frantic shots, along with the excellent rebounding skills of the Heat, made turnovers a key to their success. The Heat scored 22 points in the quarter, while the Falcons only managed 14. The 3rd quarter ended with Heat up 20, 50-30.

As the 4th quarter began, Flatbush broke the 20 point deficit, making it an 18 point game. Heschel started to get a bit worried as their defense was starting to get penetrated by drives to the basket. The Heat then tried to mimic their last quarter in an effort to put the Falcons behind by more than 20 points again. Flatbush started to gain some real momentum; Heschel needed to make a big stop if they wanted to go home with the crown. Flatbush’s perseverance pays off as they entered the 10 point range, but Heschel wouldn’t let that deter them. They bushed the lead back up to 14 points, and they were able to start running down the clock. Finally, the dream run was over, and the #9 seeded Heschel Heat took home its first Cooper Invitational Championship trophy by beating the Flatbush Falcons by a score of 64-54. Ilan Orgel of the Heat led all scorers with 28 points in the victory, while Kevin Haddad led the Falcons with 19 points in a tough defeat.

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