April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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JEC Varsity Basketball Thunder Past Visiting Falcons

The game was projected as a turkey after Thanksgiving. The Flatbush Falcons travelled from Avenue J to the JEC gym in Elizabeth, on a rainy Monday night, fresh off a Tier 2 win in the Cooper/Memphis Tournament and sporting a 3-1 record in East Division play. On the other side of the ledger, JEC had struggled to an 0-4 start, against the top of the West Division teams, but 0-4 was 0-4.

The contest started as advertised, as the Falcons flew off to an 11-4 lead at the end of the first period, and the Thunder looked stuffed.

But, in the second period, JEC senior captain SG Moshe Heller had other ideas for the Thunder. After the team struggled for 2:20 to score, Heller blasted a long trey, to narrow the score to 11-7 Flatbush. From there the game was back and forth as JEC forwards Joe Matthews and Jacob Winters netted treys, and captain senior Jake Goldberg had two buckets, while for the Falcons, sharpshooter Eddie Lincer dripped two treys from six feet behind the left elbow.

By the time the teams were ready to settle in to the half time pumpkin pie, the score was 23-17 Flatbush, but everyone in the building knew the Thunder was about to erupt on the stormy night.

And erupt JEC did. With 5:14 to play in the third period, JEC finally tied the score at 28 all. Lincer, however, would have none of it and blasted another trey to give the Falcons a 31-28 bulge.

The night from that point on was going to become a gun fight between Lincer and Heller. The next four points were scored by Heller from the charity stripe, and JEC had its first lead at 32-31 at the 4:02 mark in the third period.

For the rest of the third period, it was a high stakes, back and forth drama as the teams traded foul shots and nifty scores. By the time the horn sounded, JEC was barely holding on to a 44-43 lead, and the fans knew the final time in the game was going to be thrilling.

And it was. Lincer opened the fourth period with yet another of his six treys from above the left elbow to give Flatbush a 46-44 lead. Heller matched him mano a mano and a deft left-handed layup at the 5:21 mark tied the game at 48.

Flatbush exerted itself from there and built a 54-50 lead with 2:03 left in the period. Heller was fouled, and on his miss, JEC senior captain guard Yair Kimmel grabbed the rebound off the offensive glass, and Goldberg dropped in a bucket to tighten the lead to 54-52 with 1:19 to play.

Flatbush again exerted itself and built another four point cushion at 56-52 from the foul line with 1:04 in the game. But JEC was not done. On a drive to the hoop, Heller was fouled and hit both free throws, and then was fouled again, and converted, to narrow the score to 56-55 Flatbush at the 30:1 mark.

JEC fouled the Falcons to force them to the foul line and the Falcons managed one of two, to hold on to a 57-55 lead with 12:1 left in regulation.

JEC called time out and set up its “spider” motion play. A pass from Kimmel to Goldberg, and a bounce pass on a cut to Heller resulted in a super-clutch Moshe mid-paint jumper to knot the score with 1:7 left in regulation. Flatbush was unable to convert on a full court shot, and the game went into overtime.

Flatbush’s sharpshooter, Jack Kattan (nine points), started the four minute overtime by nailing a three from Elmora Avenue. But, Heller was there again for JEC and drained his own three pointer to tie the score at 60 all.

From there, JEC went to a box and one defense on Lincer and was successful in denying the Falcons star the ball in the OT period.

With the score tied at 60, JEC stole the ball and on a no-look pass, Moshe to Mathews on the left side of the glass, JEC converted a layup to take a 62-60 lead with 2:11 left in the game.

From there, JEC never relinquished the lead, by converting 6 of 7 from the charity line in OT, and won the game going away, 70-62.

The game had many features. Aside from being converted from a turkey to a full course victory meal for the Thunder, the night’s featured players were Moshe Heller for JEC with a career high 35 (of JEC’s 70) points, while Eddie Lincer was a sight to behold with 28 (of Flatbush’s 62) points for the Falcons.

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