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JEC Boosts Playoff Hopes with Soaring Win Over Hawks

On Motzei Shabbos, February 13th, the JEC Thunder faced off against the HAFTR Hawks in a thrilling battle. JEC emerged with a huge 68-56 win, thereby keeping themselves in control of their own destiny to finish in the top six in the western conference standings and nab a playoff spot.

After a devastating defeat at the hands of the Hawks in the Satran tournament, JEC made this a revenge game and knew that a loss would place themselves behind the eight ball in the MYHSAL playoff push. Following a slow start by both sides, JEC was able to build a small 6-2 lead, but HAFTR responded with a run, and the quarter ended in an 8-8 tie.

Tani Gottlieb’s 10 consecutive points in the second quarter swung all of this crucial game’s momentum to the Thunder.

In the second period, junior Tani Gottlieb reeled off 10 straight points to generate momentum for the Thunder. Gottlieb’s scoring, complemented by intense JEC defense and clutch 3s from Eitan Speyer and Yechiel Kadosh, pushed JEC to a 29-17 halftime advantage.


Out of the intermission, JEC did not lose an ounce of their momentum, and with some more sharpshooting from Gottlieb, Speyer, and Aviel Elyaszadeh, JEC went up a remarkable 38-18 not even halfway into the third quarter. With some more dominant scoring, powerful defense, and a WILD full court pass from Speyer to Gavi Walzman to beat the buzzer, JEC was up 53-32 going into the fourth.

Looking all but done, HAFTR proceeded to begin the final period with a 12-3 run. However, the deficit was simply too much to overcome, and despite scoring 24 points in the fourth, the Hawks succumbed to their wounds. 

Gottlieb, Walzman, and Speyer finished with 18, 17 and 15 points respectively. This was a crucial win for JEC as they continue to battle with SAR, Heschel, and Ohr Yisroel for three playoff spots. Now sitting at 6-6, the Thunder hope to keep the positive energy garnered from this win through their winter break. If they can defeat their final two opponents—Heschel and Waterbury—they will secure a playoff berth; if they win neither game, they will be eliminated; if they split, they will need help.

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