Cooper Invitational

HAFTR HAWKS fall prey to YULA PANTHERS 71-47

Sunday morning started with an early morning matchup between two past Cooper Champions and Invitational mainstays, YULA and HAFTR. YULA started off the scoring with a triple from Miesels but the Hawks responded quickly with good ball movement, opening up lines to the basket, driving down the lane for an 8-0 run in just the first two minutes. YULA responded with an 8-0 run of their own to take the lead.  Both teams continued to battle with clean defensive stops and solid shooting for the last two minutes of the quarter.  With a buzzer beater to end the first, YULA led by three, 16-13.

To start the second quarter, The Hawks came out strong soaring into another streak, albeit a short lived one. The Panthers kept it close, but the Hawks kept the pressure on and stayed on top with continued impressive offense. YULA nabbed a three by Fallas, but Baratz on the HAWKS hit one right back to put the Hawks up by three, 35-32 to close the half.

The Panthers clawed back on top to start the half with the 8th lead change of the game. YULA continued to pour it on as Fallas and Meisels brought  their lead into the double digits with 4 minutes to go giving YULA their biggest lead of the game. The Panthers locked down on defense, and only allowed free throws by HAFTR in the first 7 minutes of the 3rd. The Hawks tried to ratchet up the pressure on defense as well, but got too physical and put YULA in the bonus with a full quarter and 11 seconds to go. The Hawks star Kuritsky, ineffective up until now, finally hits his first non-foul shot for HAFTR. Meanwhile Fallas continued to dominate with an amazing 12 points in the 3rd. At the close of the third, YULA pulled away with the lead, 54-39.

For the final quarter of the tournament for both teams, HAFTR mustered all their strength to stay in the game and grab another W before they headed back to the Five Towns tonight. However, the Panthers remained calm, and used their star shooters from behind the arc and continuedto pull away. To finish the game, The LA bench players came in one by one while Sasson and Fallas each took their turns on the bench, with a well earned rest and the win. YULA grabbed the 7th place spot in this battle of the coasts with the highest scoring win of the tourney, 71-47.

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