Maccabi Tel Aviv overwhelms Kiryat Ata to advance to State Cup Final where Jerusalem awaits

Maccabi Tel Aviv blew away Kiryat Ata 102-67 to advance to the Israel State Cup Final where they will tip-off against Hapoel Jerusalem for the coveted trophy next Thursday night at Yad Eliyahu.

Sharon Avrahami’s squad opened the game strong as Amin Stevens scored in bunches down low to give Kiryat Ata a stunning 27-18 lead after ten minutes of play. But Oded Katash’s team started to get busy in the second quarter as Roman Sorkin, Tamir Blatt and Jasiel Rivero all found points to give Maccabi a 48-38 advantage at halftime. The yellow-and-blue used the third period to begin to pull away as Sorkin kept finding points as did John Dibartolomeo to bump the lead up to 30 points by the end of the frame to cruise to the win.

Roman Sorkin – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Sorkin scored 17 points and 9 rebounds, Bonzie Colson added 14 points and Joe Thomasson scored 12 points in the loss. Stevens scored 27 points and Raz Adam chipped in with 14 points in the loss.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We didn’t expect as to how we would begin the game,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash said. “But I’m very happy that we played the right way to flip the game and come back and when we went into half we were up by ten points and then we knew what we had to do to finish off the game. I’m not taking this win for granted because after being knocked out of Europe anything can happen.”

Sharon Avrahami – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“Maybe we shouldn’t have started out so strong against a team like Maccabi,” Kiryat Ata coach Sharon Avrahami said. “But we did have a great quarter. In the second quarter we missed many shots and we knew that in the third down by ten if we didn’t stay together we would come apart.”

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Bonzie Colson spoke about the victory, “It was a great game from us and great team effort. We lacked energy out of the gate but we knew that if we stuck to our game plan we would be ok and get things done. It’s important for us to win this championship, Jerusalem is talented team and if we stick to what we do, we should come out with the win. We lost last year and there will be a lot of motivation, but it will be fun to play them for sure.”

Amin Stevens – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Amin Stevens looked back at the game, “We kind of gave up on ourselves too early in the game. I started our hot and other guys tried to find their rhythm but it took time and many of them just couldn’t get into it.”

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Bonzie Colson went from the inside and outside for Maccabi Tel Aviv while Raz Adam did the exact same for Kiryat Ata to get the game underway, Lorenzo Brown went from deep while Akia Pruitt did the same ate the other end to keep Sharon Avrahami’s team in front 14-11 midway through the first quarter. Guy Palatin scored, Amin Stevens had a hot hand in the paint, Colson dunked off a break, but more points from Stevens and James Batemon gave Kiryat Ata a 27-18 lead after ten minutes of play.

Roman Sorkin – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Roman Sorkin put in a deuce to begin the second quarter, Ben Saraf put in points, Jasiel Rivero responded, Brown hit a jumper, Colson nailed a corner 3-ball, Stevens answered Adam both scored while Blatt went from deep for a pair of triples to hand Maccabi a 35-33 lead with five minutes left in the first half. Josh Nebo scored his first points of the game, Rivero put back points, Sorkin scored while Rivero move again added yet another basket to give Oded Katash’s team a 48-38 advantage at halftime.

John DiBartolomeo – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

John Dibartolomeo opened up the third quarter from downtown, Adam and Pruitt answered back, Dibartolomeo nailed a long deuce, Sorkin added a basket, Nebo scored a pair of buckets inside, Rafi Menco and Joe Thomasson both dialled up long distance to give the yellow-and-blue a 78-48 lead after thirty minutes of action.

Omer Mayer – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Isaiah Mucius and Stevens began the fourth quarter with points to try and make the score respectable but Menco from deep, Sorkin, Cohen and Thomasson on the inside, while Omer Mayer drilled home a pair of triples and added a layup to hit the 100 point mark and put the final touches on the victory.

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