Kochman’s 19 lead JV into playoffs

PARK SLOPE, BK- Adam Kochman’s hot shooting turned a close game into a comfortable win for the Berkeley Carroll JV Boys, who posted a 48-29 victory over St. Ann’s at the BC Athletic Center in Park Slope Thursday.

He nailed five triples finishing with a game high 19 to help lead the Lions to the ACIS playoffs. They still don’t know who they’ll play next Monday with tomorrow’s season finale at home versus United Federations helping determine who the road quarterfinal opponent will be.

Early on, Kochman’s teammates helped build a 9-2 lead with a finally healthy starter Rob Paller contributing a couple of his 10 while running the offense. With guard Jesse Chalfin finishing off a tough lay-in while getting fouled at the end of the first quarter, BC was firmly in control up double digits.

But St. Ann’s slowly chipped away playing an inspired second quarter with one of their players doing most of the damage inside to spark them all the way back. They outscored the Lions by 11 with a teammate draining an uncontested trey with two seconds left to give them a 20-19 halftime lead.

Following another three to start the second half, fill-in coach/AD Joe Wood saw his team respond well to the adversity outscoring their opponent 29-6 the rest of the way.

In particular, Kochman’s torrid shooting changed the game. After working a nice give-and-go with Paller cutting for a 15 footer, he then went to work nailing a three from the left wing. He would make St. Ann’s pay with a couple of more daggers.

Also contributing was Milo Ben-Amotz, who came off the bench for six including a big three from the key off a nice pass.

The hot perimeter shooting proved to be too much for St. Ann’s to overcome. The Lions continued to execute in the final quarter breaking a full court press with ease getting uncontested lay-ups from a host of players including Blaise Cohen.

Center Mike Andria flashed and found trailers helping the host club pull away.

Varsity Boys Earn Home Playoff Game: The Varsity BC Lions completed a successful final couple of days of the regulat season with road wins over Loyola and St. Ann’s earning a home playoff game versus Packer Monday.

The two ACIS league rivals who split the season series will be meeting in the quarters for a third consecutive year on the Lions’ home court. Two years ago, Packer stunned them with a come from behind win thanks to a last second three but last year, Berkeley Carroll returned the favor advancing to the semis before falling to eventual league champ Dwight.

It should make for an intriguing rubber match at the BC gym with tipoff scheduled for 4:30 PM.

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Hirsch the hero in Lions’ win over Packer

PARK SLOPE, BK- It was all on the line. With his team trailing by a point following two free throws by Packer’s leading scorer, none of that mattered to Giancarlo Hirsch.

Given an open look from behind the key, the poised Berkeley Carroll senior floor leader didn’t hesitate nailing the winning trey with 10 seconds to spare lifting the host Lions over their league rival 56-54 at the BC Athletic Center in Park Slope before a nice crowd Friday.

“That was amazing. … That was the most fun game I’ve ever played,” Hirsch boasted after scoring his team’s last five including a crucial offensive tip home defying gravity on his way to finishing with a game high 28 to bounce back from an off game the day before in a loss to Riverdale.

Last game of the playoffs (2007 ACIS Qtrs), a kid banged a shot and beat us in the same way. So it feels good to do it back to them.

It wasn’t surprising that a game between the ACIS rivals went down to the wire considering that Packer had a few starters back including their guard who paced them with 15 including the two freebies after drawing enough contact to get a call. Something which as Hirsch alluded to wasn’t too easy for either side in a seesaw action packed affair which even saw the senior get teed up in the first half after being a little peturbed.

But as he also pointed out, they didn’t let it get to them persevering to earn their fourth win of the season and third at the BC gym. Overall, they improved to 4-3.

Early on, the Lions got a spark from shooting guard Cole Kitchen, who caught fire nailing three in a row from downtown on the left wing giving them an early eight-point lead.

“I started out shooting the three and I don’t know. I was just on fire. Towards the end of the game, I got a little excited there,” he explained of some later misses when it tightened up.

Packer never panicked despite falling behind chipping away to keep it close the rest of the half. When their shooting guard nailed an uncontested three before the halftime buzzer, they trailed by only three.

The teams exchanged leads in a competitive third quarter with the Packer leading shooter remaining on fire hitting for three more. But the Lions were able to stay afloat thanks to some savvy play from Hirsch and key third guard Joe Longo, who scored all four of his points at the line to offset a foul plagued day for senior Phil Seay. He still chipped in with 10 playing with three fouls due to a botched call before fouling out when he hacked the Packer point guard with BC leading by just one.

After he made both, Lions’ coach Mike Kubera opted to let his team play it out not allowing Packer to setup their defense. It turned out to be a wise decision when Hirsch came off a screen and hit nothing but net from the outside forcing Packer to burn their last timeout.

BC defended the initial play well nearly forcing a turnover but with three seconds left, Packer got one last chance with a tough three by the point guard from the left corner going off the rim as the buzzer sounded while the rest of Hirsch’s teammates mobbed him.

“He’s our leader,” praised Kitchen.

“On and off the court. He’s a big supporter of us. At the end, he was able to keep it under control.”

Notes: BC returns to the court Monday facing off against league power Friends Seminary with the JV playing first. Tip times are 4 and 5:30 at the BC gym.

JV Falls To Packer: They kept it close for a half but the BC JV Boys came undone in the final 16 minutes falling 48-24 to Packer.

Shooting guard Adam Kochman’s 15 including an end of the half three-point bank shot weren’t enough for Walter Paller’s young squad who dropped their second straight and first in league play.

Varsity Girls Post Road Win: The BC Girls Varsity netted a 54-41 road win over Kew Forest earning their second consecutive win improving to 2-3 on the season.

Due to next Wednesday’s road tilt at Marymount being canceled, they get the rest of December off before returning to action at United Nations on January 6.

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