This past Sunday afternoon, the MTA Lions stormed into the Max Stern Athletic Center, with only winning on their minds. Coming off three consecutive losses and their most recent victory coming nearly two months prior, the Lions were willing to do whatever was needed in order to secure the win. On the opposing end were the HANC Hurricanes who have had severe difficulty containing opposing offenses, surrendering nearly 65 points per game this season, while only reaching the 50 point mark once. With all this in mind, the Lions appeared to be the favorite, but they knew they had to perform to live up to the expectations.
Right out of the jump ball, the Lions used the tactic of turning defense into offense as they sprung out into a trap defense forcing many turnovers leading to offensive opportunities. This defense was led by the efforts of guards Abie Schwartz, Ezra Halpert and Gavriel Rudman as they continued to trap the Hurricanes and prevent them from even reaching their own offensive end of the court.
As the game continued, the defensive efforts were still on display, but the big man show of Dani Wolk, Yosef Shmuel and Donny Book controlled the paint offensively. Whether it was setting screens, looking for open teammates, second chance opportunities or even simple buckets, the big men for the Lions displayed they have what it takes to compete against any opponent.
The second half was a similar story to the start of the game, but this time MTA used their secret weapon, their bench. Despite not being on the court as often as the starters this season, the Lion’s reserves also understood the importance of a win and that was evident on the court. The ball movement looked almost as if most of the players had been teammates since middle school, and they were just as dominant on the defensive end.
When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard displayed a final score of 71-36 in favor of the Lions. With this win, the MTA Lions are back above .500 and will look to continue their winning ways when they face off against Heschel next week. The HANC Hurricanes can keep their heads held high after a tremendous effort and will look to defend their home court when they host the North Shore Stars on February 1.