Memphis Yeshiva Invitational

11-5-2016 | JDS Lions Squeak by RZJHS Tigers, 65-63

11-5-2016 | JDS Lions Squeak by RZJHS Tigers, 65-63

By: Akiva Finkelstein

The #2 seed JDS Lions played the #11 CJHS Tigers Saturday night, in a Tier 1 matchup which began with the Lions winning the opening tip and starting strong with a 13-2 run. The Lions pushed the ball and attacked the rim. On defense, they anticipated every pass, grabbing steals at every opportunity that arose. They were also hot from the three point line, dropping threes left and right. The Tigers struggled to slow them down, keeping them far behind the Lions when the quarter came to an end.

In the second quarter, the Tigers came out a little more aggressive, but they still couldn’t match the Lions’ quick and explosive performance. On defense they were right up in their opponents’ faces, not allowing them to get inside. On offense, they made their way inside the paint each play, finishing at the rim every time. Yoni Maltsman gave the Tigers a boost with five points in the first half, and Brian Knapp led the Lions at the half with 12 points. The first half came to a close with the Lions leading comfortably, 44-24.

The third quarter began with the Tigers playing tighter defense, and getting more defensive stops. The Lions, however, were far ahead going into the second half, and just had to maintain their already large lead. They did just that, never slowing down their fast paced offense. Towards the end of the quarter, however, the Tigers picked it up and gained some momentum. They finally started getting some defensive stops and driving to the basket more. As one coach of the Tigers said when the buzzer sounded, “You won the quarter, boys.” They cut into Lions’s lead, and were trailing 56-43 as the third quarter ended.

In the fourth quarter, a rally chant could be heard from the bench of the Tigers as they began their comeback. After a few great plays, the game was suddenly in reach for the Tigers. They were down by just nine, and were hungry for a victory. The Lions made poor decisions on offense, turning the ball over which helped their opponent gain on them. With just four and a half minutes remaining, they were down by just six points. The Lions tried to hold onto the ball and run the clock out. Meanwhile, the Tigers were determined to win the game, and they made it just a three point game with just 20 seconds remaining. Forced to foul, they were back to being down five after a few free-throws by the Lions and the Tigers comeback came up a bit short. The final score was 65-63 in favor of the Lions. The Lions were led by Bryan Knapp with 16 points, while the Tigers were paced by Eli Nasatir with 17 points.

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