The Heshel Heat spoiled JEC’s opener in a hard-fought game in yet another electric atmosphere in Manhattan. Just like the Heat's double overtime win against Ohr Yisroel last week, this game featured late game drama. With the 34-30 win, Heschel improved to 2-0.
The Heat blazed to an 8-2 start, led by two 3’s from junior Jordan Cohen-Mintz. JEC responded, chipping the lead down to 11-6 to end the first quarter. The second quarter was dictated by ruthless defense and poor shooting. Neither team scored more than six points in the period, with Heschel going into halftime leading 17-11.
Heschel came out of the half strong, jumping out to a 24-13 lead behind seniors Jesse Storch and Imri Rom. However, around the six-minute mark JEC’s offense awoke, and after a controversial buzzer-beater (see video below) by Eitan Speyer in which the ball was released with .1 seconds on the clock, hit the rim, bounced twice off the top of the backboard, and went in, the lead was cut to 2. Heschel led 24-22 but JEC had the momentum going into the fourth quarter.
JEC continued their momentum into the fourth quarter, going on a 8-2 run to put them ahead 30-26 at the four-minute mark. A clutch three-pointer by Storch cut the gap to 1 and after a turnover by JEC, a midrange by senior Ben Hymowitz gave Heschel the lead. JEC had the ball and 35 seconds to hit a game-winner, but a costly miscommunication leading to yet another JEC turnover, cementing Heschel’s second win of the season.
JEC’s Speyer led all scorers with 14, followed by Heschel guard Rom with 8 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Cohen-Mintz contributed 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Yechiel Kadosh and Aviel Elyaszadah had 10 and 9 rebounds for JEC, respectively. The Heat look to improve to 3-0 with a home matchup against Rambam on Thursday.