By: Ikey Gutlove (‘20)

The MTA Varsity Basketball Lions and the JEC Thunder have been well known Yeshiva League rivalry for many seasons. Last season when the opponents faced each other, the Thunder successfully came back from a 16 point first half deficit and secured the victory.

While many of MTA’s players this season were not on the roster last year, they all shared a common mindset of wanting to come out of this year’s matchup against JEC victorious, and this was noticeable straight off the opening jump ball.

Almost immediately the Lions came out with lock-down defense to prevent the Thunder from any easy baskets. On the offensive end, MTA kept their ball movement flowing looking for the open man resulting in many good quality shots. Throughout the first half of the game, the Lions held a slight advantage, but would only build on it as the clocked ticked down.

In the second half, the Lions continued to demonstrate their big-man presence by the basket, led by senior Mendel Hein and juniors Azi Goldberg and Tani Engel. Senior guards Tzvi Zigelstein and Ikey Gutlove hit their shots down the stretch, while juniors Akiva Coan and Yosef Zakon continued to pressure the opposing guards and force turnovers.

When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard displayed the final score of 56-33 in favor of the Lions. In this victory, the Lions displayed that they are a team to be reckoned with, and when their team chemistry is flowing, there isn’t much that can be done to deter them.

 

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