Pine leads Rockets to win
Anxious to repeat their win against the Rockets, the “Maverick Seven” came on strong in the first quarter of a Manhattan Youth Basketball League game last week in the fourth and fifth grade division. Tyler “Birthday Boy” Adams made three great attempts to erase last week’s rare low-scoring tally, but not until he overcame a great move by Max Matsumoto did his killer layup connect. His Maverick teammates played excellent defense, despite a nice rebound and great pass by Aviv Porath. The Rockets attempted to score but were thwarted by Jim Huynh, whose pass to teammate Trevor Goldstein was relayed to Adams for another basket. The Rockets answered with a beauty of a swoosh from Zach Pine. Trevor’s next move under the basket resulted in a foul; his two foul shots tied the game 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, the Mavericks’ Aidan Ostermaier used his height to full advantage, doing his best to block and rebound, but Pine followed his shots well and consistently rebounded his infrequent misses. Pine’s first foul shot was good, but Trevor (almost a foot shorter) was able to steal from Pine as he rebounded his second shot. Trevor made his fast break, but Truman Dunn was already there to defend the Rockets’ basket and Adams had no shot. Truman followed his great defensive play by setting a pick, and Pine went in and up. Ostermaier responded by setting a pick as well for teammate Adams. As referee Vinnie counted down the seconds, Tyler Rohan stole the ball and passed to Adams. Pine grabbed the rebound, and as he made his way up the court to try to add to his 19 points, Adams stole the ball again and shot. The ball was just shy of the basket, ending the first half with a five point lead for the Rockets.
In the second half, Trevor made a nice bounce pass inbound to his brother Will Goldstein, who sailed in for a great layup. Rohan continued to burn with steals (8) and rebounds. Trevor’s next basket put the Mavs ahead 24-23. But the unstoppable Zach Pine made three consecutive baskets for the Rockets. Rohan was finally able to steal the ball from him and pass to Adams, who was fouled in the act of shooting his layup by an otherwise great block by Jacob Cook. The basket (and both foul shots) were good, but the Mavs couldn’t hold the lead. Matsumoto’s steal and subsequent soaring layup ended the third quarter at 37-30, Rockets.
In the fourth quarter, Pine continued his one-man show, with unequaled offensive and defensive skills. Rohan tried to narrow the gap with a great layup. Teammate Adams used his combined skill, lucky string, and the presence of Grammy Joyce to sink a record eight free throws (and five baskets). Alex Nimura and Ostermaier continued striving for greatness on defense, and the offensive power of the Mavs was spread out evenly among their players. But between Tucker Rothbart being coached to “use his butt” and the rest of the team being coached to “pass it to Zach,” the Mavs’ lost. Pine’s individual point total of 38 equaled the entire score of the Mavericks, with the remaining six going to Matsumoto. The final score was 44-38, but coach Matt Goldstein was pleased at the “best game yet” played by the entire Maverick team.