July 10, 2024
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JEC Thunder JV Basketball Clashes With Maor for Close Win

After a three week break from league play, the JEC Thunder traveled to South Jersey last Wednesday to take on the Mavericks of Maor Yeshiva in Long Branch. Maor started the game effectively bouncing to an early 15-point lead before the Thunder’s freshman guards made the long drive down worthwhile and made it rain inside.

Hitting five 3-pointers in the last three minutes of the first quarter, JEC cut the lead to 4 points. Maor’s stifling defense held the JEC to three points in the second quarter but a bold defensive effort kept the Thunder within striking distance only going down 8 at halftime.

To start the third, Maor went on a small run pushing the lead to 13, and then it was JEC’s turn to go on their own run. The Thunder began breaking down Maor’s defense and cut the lead to 2. The pressured defense and knockdown shooting by freshman Joseph Mathew (18 points, six 3’s), along with the distribution by Dovid Reiser and Moshe Heller, kept JEC close. Down by 5, with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Yair Kimmel, missed the second of two foul shots but a hustle play by Reiser allowed him to save the ball and pass it right back to Kimmel for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer; this gave Maor a 1-point lead. The last few minutes were back and forth and the Thunder finally took their first lead of the game with three minutes left to play.

Up by 1, the Thunder had a costly turnover which resulted in a wide open layup that gave Maor the lead with 1:05 left in the game. When only 50 seconds remained, Reiser hit a 3, coming around a screen to give Thunder a 2-point lead. Maor kept trying, but the Thunder’s stellar defense turned them over with five seconds left. Captain Shua Coan was able to hit two clutch free throws at the end to give the Thunder a 4-point victory, 55-51.

The Thunder was led by Joseph Mathew (18) and spread out scoring by Moshe Heller (8), Dovid Reiser (7), Shua Coan (7) and Yair Kimmel (8.) The defense by Justin Silbiger and Coan showed that heart trumps height, undersized by Maor’s taller front line.

The Thunder look to close out their regular season playing for a home court playoff game, taking on the Heschel Heat this Monday January 11 at the JEC.

By Rabbi Yisroel Rich, RTMA Director of Student Activities

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