Cooper Invitational

YULA Panthers Pounce Cooper Macs, 65-58

The last game of the day featured the #5 YULA Panthers against the #12 Cooper Macs, the host team of the Invitational. The Panthers scored the first 6 points, courtesy of their number one big man, Joseph Sassoon. Asher Kirshtein got the scoring started for the Macs when he went up for a put back and was fouled. He then went to the charity stripe where he picked up the first points of the game for the Macs. The Macs continued to struggle with their finishing, which set up easy points for the Panthers in the paint. Ethan Morris of the Macs then went to the line and made good use of his time there as a breather to restructure. He then managed a steal followed by a layup from Simcha Osdoba. Yisrael Weiner of the Macs then took a trip to the line where he made both free rows, bringing the team’s free throw percentage to 50%. The Macs ended the 1st quarter down 11 points to the Panthers, by a score of 19-8.

As the 2nd quarter got underway, Cooper was able to put a small dent into the YULA lead as Ethan Morris drained a 3-pointer. The Panthers countered by putting up another 4 points in the paint. Morris began to things into his own hands, and put down another three followed by a quick pass to Kirshtein who racked up two more points. Albert Fallas responded with a 10 footer, which creating another double-digit lead for YULA. The Panthers then forced a few turnovers, and the lead was back to 13 with a minute left in the half. Kirshtein then dished the ball to a wide-open Morris who then drained his third three pointer of the game. Noam Meisels closed the half with a fast break bucket, and at halftime the Panthers were in control, leading 35-21 at halftime.

The Macs kicked off the second half with an easy layup. YULA matched the layup, and then countered with some additional free throws. Fallas then hit a three that gave the Panthers a double-digit lead again. Osdoba then followed up with back-to-back layups as the Macs tried to stay within striking range of the Panthers. YULA then began to foul heavily with both teams in the bonus. Fallas continued to drain shots from downtown, giving him 9 points from outside. As the 3rd quarter came to a close, the Panthers were up, 53-42.

The 4th quarter got off to a bang, as freshman Benjamin Mendelson drilled a nice inside basket to get the crowd going and keep Memphis in the game. This set off a 9-0 run by Cooper which saw YULA’s lead drop down to 2 points. With just under 5 minutes left, the Macs were still hanging around with the Panthers with score being 58-51. With the clock down to two minutes left, the score remained unchanged until Nossy Orgel got a rebound and converted it into two points. YULA responded with a basket, but Osdoba responded with a game changing and-1. YULA then went to the line and hit both free throws to keep them in the lead. Osdoba then went back to the line and he hit both free throws. The Panthers then hit another free throw. With 55.9 seconds left, the Macs were down by just five points, but Fallas put the game out of reach by hitting both of his free throws, giving the Panthers the win by a final score of 65-58. The Panthers were led by Noah Pomerance with 17 points. The Macs were led by Ethan Morris with 23 points. The win allows YULA to remain in Tier I, where they will play Magen David on Friday. The loss by Cooper moves them into the Tier II Bracket.

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