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Bears Shoot Down Aviators with 2nd Half Surge

December 7, 2019
B Basketball 2019

Sobel in action last year (PC: Dylan Van Law)

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-Inniss layup extended the early advantage to 8-2 before the Aviators ended the 8-0 spurt with a layup. After Avenues and Edward-Inniss 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 19-18 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 TJ Wachter layup briefly gave the Bears back a 32-31 egde, but another Avenues 3-pointer left them 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-Inniss 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-Inniss gave the Bears a commanding 52-39 advantage entering the final frame.

Early in the fourth, Edwards-Inniss 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-Inniss (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.

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