Hapoel Jerusalem upended Maccabi Tel Aviv 92-90 at Yad Eliyahu to punch their ticket to the Israel State Cup semifinals. The game went back and forth throughout the 40 minutes but the Reds finished the game with the upper hand to surprise the league champions. Trent Lockett and J’Covan Brown each scored 19 points, James Feldeine added 15 points while Tashawn Thomas scored 14 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and handed out 7 assists in the victory. Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 22 points and Nate Wolters chipped in with 16 points in the loss.
Nate Wolters shook off his rusty game at Barcelona with 8 quick points to start the first quarter while Trent Lockett went off for 8 points of his own including a mega dunk as he posterized Othello Hunter but Maccabi held a slim 14-12 lead midway through the frame. Scottie Wilbekin ratcheted up the offense for Maccabi and Tashawn Thomas countered for the Reds as the hosts stayed ahead 24-22 after ten minutes.
Both squads continued to play at a quick pace and remained neck and neck at 32-30 with 6 minutes remaining in the half as Cohen and Dorsey hit triples for Maccabi and Feldeine scored from long distance as well. Thomas and Feldeine built a 40-34 Jerusalem lead and a J’Covan Brown triple as well as a Suleiman Braimoh dunk and layup sent Oded Katash’s crew into halftime with a 49-43 advantage.
Quincy Acy drained a triple from the left corner to begin the second half while Wilbekin did the same plus score a pair of layups but Lockett continued his fine play with a trifecta as Jerusalem continued to hold a 57-55 lead midway through the third quarter. However, Wilbekin drilled another 3-pointer from the elbow, Hunter put back a missed Yovel Zoosman triple and John DiBartolomeo also got into the act as Ioannis Sfairpoulos’s squad went into the final frame with a 66-64 advantage.
Braimoh opened the fourth quarter with a corner 3-pointer, Tamir Blatt nailed one as well and Briamoh hit a layup in the paint as Jerusalem quickly retook the lead, 73-69 with 7:31 remaining in regulation time as Maccabi called a timeout to settle the troops. Baskets by Lockett, Brown and Thomas kept the Reds in front but a Wilbekin 3-pointer followed up by a pair of free throws by Hunter gave Maccabi a one point 88-87 lead. However, a clutch 3-pointer by Brown along with a free throw gave Hapoel Jerusalem the 92-90 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv to advance to the State Cup Semifinal