Hankins stars as Jerusalem gets by Hapoel Tel Aviv in heated affair, Kiryat Ata downs Nes Ziona in State Cup action

Hapoel Jerusalem just got by Hapoel Tel Aviv 84-79 in a highly charged affair that saw plenty of sparks fly on and off of the court. Tempers flared when Khadeen Carrington stepped over Bar Timor which saw both teams exchange words both during the game and then after it but Jerusalem exacted a bit of revenge following their brutal league loss to Tel Aviv just a couple of weeks ago.

Or Cornelius – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Hapoel Tel Aviv raced off to a quick lead led by Kyle Alexander but Zach Hankins came back with a huge second quarter to give the capital city reds a 37-31 lead heading into halftime. Carrington and Levi Randolph helped Jerusalem pull away but John Holland and Braian Angola tried to pull the visitors back into the game in the final frame but their efforts came up short as the hosts took the win.

Zach Hankins – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Hankins scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in an MVP performance while Randolph scored 19 points and Carrington went for 18 points in the win. Alexander scored 17 points while Angola added 13 points and Angola scored 12 points in the loss.

Yonatan Alon – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Following the game sports director Yonatan Alon spoke about Zach Hankins and the performance that he put in which was reminiscent of his MVP season last year, “Zach plays well the game against Karsiyaka and he has had some medical issues throughout the season. Plus with the many flights, for such a big man it wasn’t easy. This was a big part of the reason why he was not playing as he did in this game.”

Zach Hankins – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Hankins also spoke about the victory, “We know what happened the last time we played them and I was here that time as well. There are a lot of things that we are trying to improve, but we came back to our defensive principles and our identity and we can do even more. We beat a great team and we can beat every team in Israel. This team can win every game all the way through the end of the season.”

Danny Franco – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“This was a terrific game, tough and physical as both teams cane into the matchup knowing that this was for a place in the State Cup Final Four,” Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Danny Franco said. “Playing Jerusalem at this stage on the road was not easy, especially after we finished first in the league in the first round of games. With a big effort we got back into the game near the end and we battled all the way to the last possession.”

Amin Stevens – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Kiryat Ata slipped by Nes Ziona 84-80 as Amin Stevens starred with 33 points to help Sharon Avrahami’s team advance to the semifinals of the Israel State Cup. In what was a tight game throughout the fourth minutes, Kiryat Ata was able to stay ahead of visiting Nes Ziona with strong play by Stevens on the offensive side of the ball along with Guy Palatin and Raz Adam making a difference on the defensive side to help the hosts punch their ticket to the next round of play.

Along with 33 points from Stevens, Raz Adam scored 14 points and Akiva Pruitt added 12 points in the win. Itay Segev paced Nes Ziona with 15 points and Jerome Meyinsse scored 14 points in the loss.

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