This afternoon, the boys’ basketball team opened their PSAA slate with a 71-50 victory over Avenues, avenging last season’s December loss to the Manhattanites and leveling the all-time series at 1-1.
The Aviators opened the scoring with a layup, but the Bears grabbed a lead they would hold through the quarter after a free throw and layup from Owen Sobel. A Matt Fajfer 3-pointer and CJ Edwards layup extended the early advantage to 8-2 before the Aviators ended the 8-0 spurt with a layup. After Avenues and Edwards traded 3-pointers, the Brook held a 13-7 edge. Sobel scored the Bears’ next six points on a pair of layups and a floater to build a 19-10 lead, but the Aviators closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to trail 18-19 after one.
The Aviators opened the second frame with a 9-3 spurt, behind a 3-pointer and three layups, to take a 27-22 advantage. A T.J. Wachter layup briefly gave the Bears back a 32-31 edge, but another Avenues 3-pointer left the Brook behind 32-34 at the break.
The Aviators came out of the half with a well-executed set play for a corner 3-pointer to push their lead to 37-32. At that point, it appeared the fans were in for a taut second half battle, but the Bears responded to the challenge with a 31-2 game-breaking run, spurred by suffocating defensive pressure. Wachter lit the fuse with a putback layup, a free throw, and a steal which led to an Edwards layup, knotting the score at 37-37. The Bears regained the lead for good after a five-point possession, courtesy of a technical foul by Avenues. After Scanlon drew a foul, an Aviator kicked the ball into the rafters, drawing the tech. Scanlon hit both free throws, Sobel connected on one of his technical free throws, and Wachter scored a layup to give the Brook a 42-37 lead. Avenues interrupted the 10-0 run with a layup, but the Bears continued the surge with a 21-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Numerous timeouts from Avenues’ coach and former Duke University stand-out, Thomas Hill, could do nothing to stem the onslaught.
It started when the Aviators were tagged with a second technical, leading to a Scanlon free throw. Scanlon then drove for a layup after benefiting from a bone-rattling screen from Wachter. Wachter followed with a putback before the Bears began a stretch where they stole the ball on five consecutive possessions, part of the 11 they pilfered in the frame. A layup from Sobel and a layup and free throw from Edwards gave the Bears a commanding 52-39 advantage entering the final frame.
Early in the fourth, Edwards punctuated the scoring parade with his second dunk in as many games. Scanlon followed with consecutive layups, the second courtesy of a behind-the-back pass from Sobel, that capped the incredible run and left the Blue & White ahead 63-39. From there the Bears salted away the 71-50 win.
Sobel powered the victory, imposing his will in every facet of the game with a triple-double that included a career-high 25 points and 13 steals. Scanlon (16), Edwards (14), Wachter (9), Fajfer (5), and David Song (2) rounded out a balanced scoring attack. The Bear defense was impressive in racking up 26 steals in the game.
The Bears are back in action on Tuesday in their annual match-up vs. Denmark’s Hjemly.