The boys varsity basketball team made it two in a row — and avenged a heartbreaking loss two years ago to the same opponent — when they pulled out a thrilling triple overtime victory over host school MTA.
The game featured 15 lead changes as both teams played their hearts out. MTA, coached by ICJA alum and captain of the 2008 Sarachek champion Aces, stormed out to an early 8-0 lead. But the Aces calmly clawed their way back and led 15-14 after one quarter. The rest of the game was a back and forth affair in which the Aces relied on their tough man-to-man pressure defense.
Down the stretch the Aces made several clutch plays to either tie the game or take the lead. Junior Daniel Otani, who finished with 16 points, hit a game-tying three with under a minute to go in the first overtime, and then snagged an offensive rebound off a free throw for the final go-ahead basket in the third overtime. Junior Zack Cooper had a late game driving basket and finished with 16 points. Senior Isaac Gordon scored a key late basket and free throw. And senior Ethan Frank, who finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, hit a final free throw in the third overtime to extend the lead to 2 with under 10 seconds to go.
The Aces came to NY with a goal of being the first team to win Tier 2 by winning four straight games, and are halfway toward their goal. They move on to play in the Tier 2 semifinals Sunday evening at either 6 or 7:30 PM (TBA) against RASG of Miami, who defeated the Aces just a year ago in this tournament.
Click here for full game story of today’s game.
In Thursday’s opener, the Aces started off tournament play with a resounding 61-30 win over Atlanta Jewish Academy. The team was led by junior Zack Cooper’s 17 points, and junior Daniel Otani pitched in 13.
Photo by Macslive