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(15) MTA Squeaks Past (17) HAFTR to Capture the Tier lll Championship

On the final day of Sarachek, HAFTR squared off with MTA to battle for the Tier lll championship. The Lions scored 41 seconds in to take the first lead of the game. After a couple of minutes of sloppy play, HAFTR went on a 9-2 run which forced MTA to call their first timeout with 5:22 to go in the first quarter. Kevin Levy was cooking from behind the arc and he helped HAFTR get a 14-10 lead after the first.

MTA held on to a one point lead to secure a Tier III Championship on Monday. (Courtesy of Leehy Hyman/Macslive)

MTA ended up taking the lead back 17-16 with 5 minutes to go in the second. MTA led 22-19 at half. MTA’s largest lead was 30-24 with 3:35 to go in the third. Up until this point in the third, HAFTR was turning the ball over nonstop and giving up easy transition buckets. After Coach Joey Hoenig called a timeout and ignited a fire under his players, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run and the score ended up being tied at 34 with just one quarter remaining.

Benjy Ambalo hit a massive three for HAFTR to start the 4th, giving them a three point edge. Abraham Schwartz, who played incredibly down the stretch, picked off Kevin Levy’s pass with 4:08 to go and took it for an easy layup. With MTA up by five, and HAFTR needing a strong response, Kevin Levy answered the call by hitting a three to cut the lead to two with 2:55 to play. The very next possession Abraham Schwartz hits a cold blooded three to put the Lions back up by five. With under a minute to go, Levy hit a three to cut HAFTR’s deficit to 2 and then Salem stole the inbound pass and got fouled on a shot. Salem only hit one out of two but HAFTR regained possession because of a long rebound. Off the inbound, Salem found Saffra wide open for a five foot push shot to give HAFTR a one point lead with 25 seconds remaining. MTA rushed the ball up the floor and ended up hitting a layup with 12.4 seconds left. On HAFTR’s last possession, Salem was forced to go backcourt due to MTA’s suffocating late game defense. MTA came out with the win 54-53, and are Sarachek Tier lll champions.

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