Israel State Cup basketball action was at the forefront this week as a number of teams from both the top division and the Leumit League looked to advance to the quarterfinal round of the competition. Six of the eight Round of 16 games are now the books with the final two slated for Saturday and Sunday respectively when Hapoel Beer Sheva hosts Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Jerusalem welcomes Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Maccabi Tel Aviv eased by Hapoel Eilat 97-76 at the Red Sea city to advance to the quarterfinals of the Israel State Cup. The visitors took an early 23-17 lead after ten minutes and continued to add to their advantage throughout the contest to win by 21-points. Big man Othello Hunter dominated Eilat inside the paint and starred for the yellow-and-blue with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, Nate Wolters added 16 points, Jake Cohen chipped in with 15 points while potential 2020 NBA lottery draft pick Deni Avdija out us stellar numbers of 12 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds for Maccabi. Rafi Menco & Jonathan Skoljebrand led Eilat with 17 points each and Kyvon Davenport scored 16 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.
Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion slipped by Elitzur Yavne 82-80 as they needed late game heroics by Frederic Bourdillon and Noam Dovrat to avoid an upset against the second division squad in State Cup Round of 16 action. Bourdillon blocked Arik Nissim’s potential game winning three pointer with just 11 seconds remaining as Dovrat coolly hit a pair of free throws to help his team advance to the quarterfinals. Darryl Monroe and Dovrat each scored 15 points while Johnathan Williams and Oz Blayzer clocked in with 11 points a piece in the win. Daniel Mullings with 22 points and Elad Hoffman with 19 points led the way for Yavne in the defeat.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil eliminated Hapoel Haifa from State Cup play with a 87-69 win at the Romema Arena in the Carmel. After a tight first half, Gilboa/Galil used a 30-15 third quarter to pull away for the victory while dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. Jamar Gulley led the visitors with 21 points, Netanel Artzi added 17 points while Iftach Ziv and Justin Tillman each chipped with 15 points a piece as their squad advanced to the quarterfinals. Jason Siggers who just returned to Israel paced the Haifa Reds with 14 points.
Bnei Herzliya stunned Maccabi Haifa 80-76 as the Leumit League second division team took out the Greens. The two squads kept the game tight throughout the forty minutes but Gabe Levin’s 23 points along with Anthony Fisher’s 22 points and Jakim Donaldson’s 12 point and 12 rebound performance overcame the Premier League team. James Young with 30 points led Haifa while Scott Suggs added 14 points in the surprising defeat.
Nes Tziona downed Maccabi Ashdod 81-69 in a game that saw the hosts win every quarter of play. Jeff Withey continued to lead the squad as the former NBA big man scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while also blocking 6 shots. Daequan Cook and Jeremy Hollowell added14 points a piece for Nes Ziona as Stu Douglass led Ashdod with 18 points as the port city side was eliminated from the competition.
Nahariya beat pesky Hapoel Galil 78-68 in Kfar Blum after the hosts led 39-34 after twenty minutes. Travis Warech led the way for Danny Franco’s Nahariya with 15 points as Jerel McNeal and Itay Segev chipped in with 11 points a piece in the tough win. Wayne Langston, Ron Sabag and DJ Sharp all scored 14 points in the tight defeat.
In league action, Hapoel Holon recorded a big league win at home over Hapoel Beer Sheva 92-73 as Marcus Foster was the star of the show with 29 points. Malachi Richardson added 19 points and drew 19 fouls while Troy Caupain making his Israeli league debut added 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win. TJ Williams scored 21 points and John Petrucelli chipped with with 16 points in the defeat.