Kiryat Ata drops Ramat Gan in OT to sweep QF series

Kiryat Ata stunned Maccabi Ramat Gan 74-72 in overtime to sweep their quaterfinal series and set up a semifinal clash against Hapoel Tel Aviv. Shmulik Brenner’s Ramat Gan controlled the game from the get go as Jordan Cohen and Nuni Omot kept the hosts in front, but JJ Kaplan along with James Batemon who hit a pair of crucial free throws to tie the game up at 65-65 at the end of regulation to send the game into the extra session. In overtime, Amin Stevens and Cohen traded baskets but an Akia Pruitt 3-pointer game Kiryat Ata the lead for good and take the victory.

Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Next up will be a best-of-3 semifinals series against the winner of the Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Haifa series.

James Batemon – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Batemon scored 23 points and Kaplan added 14 points in the win as Jordan Cohen scored 23 points and Adam Ariel chipped in with 13 points in the defeat.

Sharon Avrahami – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“I can’t really explain what happened here,” Sharon Avrahami said. “I know that we are the team with the smallest budget and I don’t know of any other team in the county has done what we did. For most of the season we played with only 3 import players. I’m so proud of everyone. Every game it was someone else who stepped up.”

JJ Kaplan – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

JJ Kaplan spoke about the keys to the series, “The trust, I know it sounds bad but when James Batemon and Guy Palatin went down it was next man up. We all want to see everyone to succeed, I was on winning college teams. We had faith, we believed.”

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