In what was already their third meeting this season, Magen David jumped out to a 2-1 series advantage by defeating the #1 Jewish team in the nation on Motzei Shabbat in Flatbush. The Warriors lost to Frisch and only won by single digits against Waterbury in their previous two games, but this was a major "get right" game in the now-healthy Jack Haber's first appearance in over a month. Haber got injured during the Cooper Tournament, and did not play in Flatbush's win in the Cooper Championship. While the final score (a 57-39 MDY victory) is not indicative of how competitive this game was, the Warriors were in control throughout the game, and an exhausted Falcons squad ultimately bit the dust in the final quarter.
Magen David set the tone early by jumping out to an 8-2 lead. Flatbush was able to tie the game up at 11 after one period. The second quarter was back and forth, with the Warriors again staking an advantage behind Jakey Akaranchi's corner 3 and basket cut for 2 on the ensuing possession. MDY did an excellent job throughout the half staying poised against Flatbush's pressing, trapping defense, which was mostly ineffective; the Falcons also had some ball control issues, as they committed several turnovers on sloppy passing. Flatbush was able to stay in the game behind two Ronnie Chaaya 3s; the score at halftime was 27-22.
The game remained tight in the third period, as Flatbush took their first lead momentarily, but the Warriors responded back immediately and held a 37-34 advantage after three. By this time the Falcons were fatigued and frustrated by their inability to generate offense from their electric, high energy defense. MDY won the fourth quarter 20-5, as they took advantage of the Falcons' exhaustion. Notably, Flatbush missed 10 straight free throws to close the game; the Falcons finished 7/21 from the free throw line. All of the factors involved in Flatbush's loss certainly compounded throughout the game, making a late comeback inconceivable from a mental standpoint.
Josh Chabbott scored a game-high 15 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Mark Sardar also had an excellent game for the Warriors, scoring 14 points, grabbing eight boards, and dishing out four assists. Joe Shamah and Beni Keda each scored 10 points for the Falcons. Flatbush will look to bounce back against the reigning champions North Shore on Tuesday; on the same night, Magen David will head to Riverdale for a battle with the SAR Sting.