Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-3-2013 | Bulldogs Sneak Past Hawks, 49-47

11-3-2013 | Bulldogs Sneak Past Hawks, 49-47

By: Shua Friedman

The 5th place game in Tier 1 featuring the #6 HAFTR Hawks and the #8 Yavneh Bulldogs started off slowly, with the score being only 3-3 three minutes into the game. But the slow start quickly turned into a shootout with a quick three from Ari Baratz for HAFTR. Right after, Sam Kleinman matched him with a three of his own to tie the game at 8-8. Another three-pointer by HAFTR from Mark Spivak, then another three for Yavneh by Adam Karnett tied the game up at 11-11. Two possessions later, Yavneh scored another 3 from Kleinman, which made it the fifth straight three-pointer. The next two possessions were all about Spivak, as he first nailed a mid-range field goal, then another three-pointer to make the score 16-14, with HAFTR in the lead. Kleinman then made a layup to tie the game back up. Yavneh then took the lead to make the score 18-16 to end the first quarter.

The second quarter was an aggressive battle of the paint between the big men. The Yavneh guards kept looking to get it to their center, Ittai Guttman. He had 6 points in the opening 3 minutes of the quarter. With the score 25-24 in favor of the Bulldogs, the other Yavneh big man, Adam Schor, had a nice put back layup while getting fouled to make the score28-24. Then Guttman was back at it, as he scored another inside shot since the Hawks did not have a way to stop him. HAFTR wasn’t making many of their shots, letting the Bulldogs pile up their lead. With 1.4 seconds left in the half, Ori Guttman of the Bulldogs was fouled on a put back layup, and he made both free throws. The score was 36-26 going into the half, with the Bulldogs in the lead.

Yavneh continued their focus on their big men in the second half, with Ittai Guttman getting four more points to start the second half. The Bulldogs kept attacking and playing aggressively, and forcing turnovers to maintain their lead. HAFTR was finally finding their scoring rhythm towards the end of the quarter, lowering what was a 17 point deficit, back to a 12 point deficit. A three by Ari Baratz of HAFTR lowered it even more to make the score 49-40 with 53 seconds left in the quarter. Spivak then came back again for HAFTR with a drive and a free throw to make it 50-43. But a three-pointer by Kleinman of the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to 9 to end the quarter.

From what was at first a blowout to becoming a 7 point game in the 4th quarter, this game was looking more and more like it was going to come down to the wire. Both teams were pushing the ball down the court forcing fastbreaks to try and gain an edge. Two minutes into the quarter, the score was 54-46 with the Bulldogs still on top. Spivak tried to get HAFTR in a position to take the lead by making two free throws to make it a 6 point game. Then, after a three-pointer by Baratz pulled the Hawks within 3 points, a free throw by Matt Rosenberg of HAFTR made it a two point game with 3:30 left to go. Itta Guttman was then fouled under the basket, and made a free throw to put the Bulldogs back up three points. But Spivak then made two more free throws to make the score 55-54, in favor of Yavneh. Two more made Yavneh free throws put them up by three, but Baratz came up big in the clutch with a three-pointer to tie the game up with 1:13 left. After a contested layup from David Rudomin, the Bulldogs went up by 2 points with just 40 seconds left to go in the game. Then, with 9.9 seconds left, Yavneh got the ball back after a missed HAFTR layup which would have tied things up. HAFTR fouled quickly to put the Bulldogs at the line with a double bonus. But Karnett sank both free throws in the clutch to put the Bulldogs up by 4. The deficit was too much for HAFTR to overcome, and they ran out of time against the Bulldogs and ended up losing 61-57. The leading scorer for HAFTR was Ari Baratz with 21 points, and for Yavneh, it was Sam Kleinman with 17 points.

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