Stellar Tokoto leads Ramat Gan to 86-78 win over Beer Sheva

Mar 5, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Ramat Gan downed Hapoel Beer Sheva 86-78 to get back onto the wining track and and end the first round of league games in 3rd place. Shmulik Brenner’s team started out strong with tremendous play from the eventual game most valuable player JP Tokoto while Grant Sheffield and JaKeenan Gant countered to give Oren Aharoni’s squad a slim 39-38 lead at halftime. However, Tokoto kept scoring, Kendale MCullum added points in the clutch while Itay Moskovits drilled home a pair of crucial baskets in crunch time to close out the victory.

JP Tokoto – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


Tokoto scored 20 points, McCullum added 14 points and Moskovits scored 12 points in the win. Sheffield scored 29 points and Gant chipped in with 18 points in the loss.

Shmulik Brenner – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


“I’m happy with the way we played,” Brenner said. “This was a good test for us against a team who are better than their spot in the standings. We wanted to finish third in the first round and this is a great accomplishment for the club. We spoke all week that their players will want to prove themselves to their new coach.”

JP Tokoto – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


The bench boss also spoke about the game MVP JP Tokoto, “JP was good. The 360 dunk was nice but JP can do a lot of things at a good level and when he is locked in he is a real asset for us. There are a lot of reasons we are happy to have him. As for Itay Moskovits who joined us a couple of weeks ago, he is working well with the situation of joining the team mid-season. He was cool, clam and collected in the second half and that helped him score the big baskets. This is what I expected from him. We didn’t bring him to save the team but to help the team.”

Oren Aharoni – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


“It feels good to be coaching but tough to lose,” Aharoni said after his first game as Beer Sheva’s coach. “We played well for some parts of the game but Ramat Gan are a great team and credit to them. Turnovers brought the loss upon us. It’s disappointing, but we did do some good things and moving forward now. The guys are dedicated and they are good guys while we are trying to strengthen our team.”

JP Tokoto – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


JP Tokoto and Adam Ariel got busy for Ramat Gan while Grant Sherfield scored for Hapoel Beer Sheva but points by Karam Mashour and Yahel Melamed off of Tokoto assists gave the hosts a 24-15 lead after ten minutes of play.

JaKeenan Gant and Grant Sherfield – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


JaKeenan Gant and Tokoto traded baskets to begin the second quarter, Isaiah Miles and Neta Segal did the same, Gant went from deep, Jarvis Williams added a deuce, Sherfield went from the outside and inside, Tokoto and Miles countered but a basket by Egor Koulechov gave the visitors a 39-38 advantage at halftime.

Kendale McCullum – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


Tokoto, Jordan Cohen and Kendale McCullum all scored to begin the third quarter, Gant went from deep and Gilad Levi scored inside, Itay Moskovits went from the inside and outside, Miles drained a corner 3-ball, Sherfield came back with a pair from deep, but points from Moskovits and Melamed put Shmulik Brenner’s team in front 64-56 after thirty minutes of action.

Itay Moskovits – Photo Credit: Yehuds Halickman


Roy Paretzky led off the fourth quarter with points, Melamed put in a pair of layups, Segal and Sherfield came back with a pair from downtown and a floater, Gant went from deep to pull to within 77-74 with 4:17 remaining in regulation time. Moskovits drained a triple, Tokoto put down a 360 dunk and Moskovits dropped a dirty deuce to wrap up the win.

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