Cooper Invitational

RZJHS Tigers Claw Past HAFTR Hawks, 54-53

HAFTR started off strong with two quick threes from the arc by Laniado as the Tigers big men use their height in the paint to score 6 of their own right on the Hawks tail. The quarter moved slowly as both make a push for the 5th place position.

The Hawks continued to dominate the three’s as Laniado went 4 for 5. The Tigers fell further behind going 11 points down with under 6 minutes to go in the half.  Nasatir and Chazan stepped it up to cut the lead down to 5.  As the half winds down the Hawks almost took flight but not quick enough before the Tigers pounce and looked to set a foot forward for the 2nd half.  The Hawks went for the kill with a buzzer beater from Kuritsky to end the half 36-23.

The Hawks began the third quarter with Kuritsky continuing where he left off.  He had a quick steal and a fastbreak layup. The Tigers tried to bite back but HAFTR’s defense continued to shut down any momentum Rochelle Zell had. Every time Chicago managed to beat the defense and score, HAFTR’s offense would respond with the same and then some. Chazan re-entered the game for Rochelle Zell after a minor injury and put up a quick 7 points for the Tigers hoping for a change of lead. The Hawks soared high into the last quarter still with a slight advantage.

The Tigers bench started to make an impact and the Tigers closed in making it a 4 point game. HAFTR’s Baratz put the lead back up as he drained a three, but the Tigers refused to go away.  Grant Primer drilled a three putting the Tigers right back in the game, keeping it tight knit. With less than 3 minutes to play, HAFTR still held on to the lead, but it shrunk to just two points. The Tigers suprised the Hawks, as Ostroff hit a three putting the Tigers up by one with 32 seconds to go in the game. With just 6 seconds to go, a jump ball gave HAFTR the opportunity for redemption and a chance to tie or win, but Baratz missed his last three, and their hope of victory was crushed. Rochelle Zell sealed their incredible comeback earning a hard fought win.

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