Game decided at the buzzer


In an exciting nail-biter, Jeff Pine’s Rockets dominated the first quarter when Zach Pine scored basket after basket in a Manhattan Youth basketball league fourth and fifth grade division game Jan. 22. 

The ball would not drop through the basket for the Mavericks, despite several attempts.  Slowly but surely, the Mavs caught up with fancy shooting from Tyler Adams, synchronized brother-to-brother action from Will Goldstein to Trevor Goldstein, and the addition of two new players, Alex Nimura and Humberto Rivera.  But the Rockets kept at it, with steady offensive pressure from Truman Dunn, Jacob Cook and a stellar point guard performance by Max Matsumoto.  The score was 11-10 Rockets after the first quarter.

The Mavericks finally went ahead for the first time when Trevor Goldstein stole the ball, went coast-to-coast, and smoothly kissed the ball off the glass for a layup, bringing the score 23-21, Mavericks.

And despite a tireless performance from Pine, who not only led his team in scoring (27 points), but was a defensive and offensive rebounding machine, the Rockets never regained the lead.  They kept it close with a from-the-hip shot by Matsumoto, enthusiastic leaps by Aviv Porath, and quick moves by Tucker Rothbart. 

The Mavs’ Tyler Adams took over the third quarter, creating turnovers, weaving through the key and coaxing the ball into the hoop for a total of 21 points. When the whistle blew at the end of the third, the Mavs were ahead 40-36. 

The tension continued in the fourth, with the Rockets’ red glare keeping the score close. The Goldstein brothers combined for 24 points, and Tyler Rohan, in between guarding Pine, managed to score six points.  Jim Huynh also supported the Mavericks come-from-behind, and with just seconds left, a foul was called against Will Goldstein.  The Rockets were poised after the first shot in the one-and-one, which hit the rim and careened toward Pine’s outstretched hands.  He passed to Matsumoto, who made a gallant attempt to score, falling back to the floor as he released the ball.  Although his shot fell just short, the game was long on excitement. The final score was Mavs 50, Rockets 49.

In another game the same night, the Spurs won 52-38, making them undefeated after two games.  Sam Liberman scored 10 points for the Kings, all of whom tried valiantly.  This narrowed the gap, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the domination of the court by Greg Elefterakis and the rest of the Spurs.