Athena Winner Tournament down to four teams as all home teams win quarterfinal encounters

Oct 4, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

The Athena Winner Tournament, the Israeli women’s basketball preseason tournament prior to the main Athena Winner League season, continued on Thursday night with four the quarterfinals played, including two blowouts.

Hapoel Rishon Letzion reach triple figures in annihilation of ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem
Rishon Letzion playing at home in their first game of the tournament embarrassed ASA Bank Yahav Jerusalem, winning 115-49. Rishon’s captain, Eden Zippel, led all scorers with 25 points (including 3/6 from three) to go with 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. She had plenty of support, including from Serbian Mina Djordjevic (19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals) and American Courtney Hurt (19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals). On the other side of the court, Sydney Zambrotta was the only Jerusalem player in double-digits (19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal).

Rishon got ahead right from the start, leading 14-3 after 5 minutes and only increasing their lead as the game went on. It was always going to be tough for Jerusalem, losing the rebound count 36-25, but more damaging was their 40 turnovers, which resulting in 63 points for Rishon (as opposed to 13 Rishon turnovers which resulted in 11 Jerusalem points).

Elitzur Ramle walkover Maccabi Haifa
While the margin was not as dreadful as the game in Rishon, Ramle comfortably defeated Haifa 93-51 in Ramle to advance to the semifinals. Team Israel star Jennie Simms (17 points, 23 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steal), import Jillian Alleyne (double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds) and captain Eden Rotberg (11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal) led the scoring for the victors, while Jaelyn Brown (16 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block), Kathryn Westbeld (13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal) and Terezia Palenikova (11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists) were in double-figures for the visitors.

The home team also got out to a quick start to put the game out of reach early, leading 29-7 after 10 minutes. The bigs were crucial in the win, with Ramle winning the rebound count 32-16, scoring 13 second-chance points to Haifa’s 2 and scoring 44 points in the paint to Haifa’s 30.

Hapoel Lev Jerusalem defeat Maccabi Bnot Ashdod by double-figures
Hapoel Lev Jerusalem beat the reigning State Cup champions Maccabi Bnot Ashdod 87-65 in their first game at Malha Arena. Israeli Alyssa Baron-Peleg (23 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals), Noor Kayuf (21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals), captain Alex Cohen (16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks) and Shir Tirosh (13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block) led the way for the home team, while Tal Lev (18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocks), Daniel Karsh (17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals) and Aaliyah Wilson (11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block) were in double-figures for Ashdod.

Like with ASA Jerusalem, turnovers damaged the visitors in this game, with the home side causing 25 turnovers for 30 points, while on the other side the visitors caused 17 turnovers for only 6 points.

AS Ramat Hasharon beat Hapoel Bnot Petach Tikvah by 10 points
Ramat Hasharon beat Petah Tikvah 76-66 at home in a relatively even contest. For home team, Natalie Kucowski had a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block), Dor Saar (16 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals) and Maya Caldwell (16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block) led the scoring, while for Petah Tikvah Stephanie Watts led all scorers (20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks) and was supported by Paulina Hersler (14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block) and LaDazhia Williams (12 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists) were also in double-figures.

Again, turnovers made it difficult for Petah Tikvah, with their 24 turnovers resulting in 18 points, while they caused 14 Ramat Hasharon turnovers for only 8 points.

Semifinal Schedule
The tournament semifinals are scheduled to take place after the conclusion of Shabbat and Simchat Torah on Saturday October 7, with free entry for fans who want to see the teams live in action and live feeds of the game available on the Israel Basketball Association TV site:
AS Ramat Hasharon v Hapoel Rishon Letzion (Oranim School Sports Arena, Arlozorov 28, Ramat Hasharon) – 20:00 IDT (13:00 EDT)
Hapoel Lev Jerusalem v Elitzur Ramle (Malha Arena, Avraham Stern 3, Jerusalem) – 20:30 IDT (13:30 EDT)

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