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Falcons Soar Past Mayhem, in Message-Delivering Rout

Flatbush’s message was received loud and clear. Ten days after losing to Magen David 57-48 in overtime in the Yeshiva League Finals, the ultra-motivated #3 Falcons stepped back onto the YU court and pummeled the #14 Fuchs Mizrachi Mayhem 77-43 on Thursday morning. They were led by Yeshiva League all-star Beni Keda, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Isaac Cooper added 16 points, Ronnie Chaaya had 12, and Solly Gadeh dished out seven assists in the convincing rout. 

The teams felt each other out in the opening frame, and Flatbush emerged with a 14-13 lead. You could already see the makings of a rout, as Flatbush star Beni Keda started to impose his will in the paint and draw fouls. The Falcons, initially stagnant and grounded, started to play with freedom. “We had a plan coming in here,” coach Matt Malc told MacsLive at halftime. “After the first 30 seconds, we threw it out the window and are just playing our game.” Out went trying to spread things around on offense and overload defensively. The second stanza saw the Falcons begin to flex their muscles. Their press stopped Fuchs in the half-court, forcing turnovers. The transition game led to quick threes, like a corner one from sharpshooter Isaac Cooper, after Solly Gadeh drew the defense to him in the paint to give Flatbush a 27-15 lead. As the half wound down, Keda finished it with a flourish, grabbing a rebound off a Ronnie Chaaya miss and laying it in for a commanding 39-22 Falcons advantage at intermission.

Beni Keda slams home two of his 17 points as part of his double-double in #3 Flatbush's 77-43 rout of #14 Fuchs Mizrachi in Tier I qualifiers on Thursday. Photo Credit: (Ashley Botnick/MacsLive)

The Mayhem began the second half inspired, coming up on an 8-0 run, slicing their deficit to nine. They forced turnovers with a press and were aggressive on the glass. However, the Falcons responded with authority as a Beni Keda dunk after a feed from Isaac Cooper put their lead back into double digits. They excelled in transition for the rest of the game, with Ronnie Chaya giving Fuchs their own taste of Mayhem. He polished a 13-2 run, stretching their advantage to 54-32 and highlighting a 22-6 third-quarter surge which saw them take a 58-37 lead into the fourth. The last frame saw both teams empty the benches a few minutes in, as Fuchs star Nate Jacobs continued to be locked up by Ricky Haddad and was held to 18 points, below his 28.3 average in Ohio, including going 0-5 from downtown. Threes by David Natkin and Alan Anzaroot put a bow on this one, as Flatbush clinched a spot in the quarterfinals. “We were playing lazy and soft,” Beni Keda said postgame. “We had to come back and be physical and we did that.” “The message after we lost to Magen David was to get 'em at Sarachek,” Isaac Cooper confirmed to MacsLive. “We’re hungry to get back to the finals here and are determined to win.” 

If they can continue that brand of basketball for two more games, they’ll have a chance to do the funniest thing ever by avenging their finals loss on the national stage potentially against their fellow Magen David boys from Brooklyn— if both teams reach that stage. 

As for Fuchs, they were simply outclassed here. Yet there's still what to play for. They’ll head to the Tier II bracket, looking to defend their title. 

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