Maccabi Tel Aviv crushes Eilat to book spot in State Cup quarterfinals

Rishon edges Yavne in round-of-16 • Herzliya stuns Maccabi Haifa • Ness Ziona overcomes Ashdod

MACCABI TEL AVIV players celebrate after defeating host Hapoel Eilat 97-76 in State Cup round-of-16 action. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
MACCABI TEL AVIV players celebrate after defeating host Hapoel Eilat 97-76 in State Cup round-of-16 action.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Israel State Cup basketball action was at the forefront this week as a number of teams from both the top division and the second-tier 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 Beersheba 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 State Cup. The visitors took an early 23-17 lead after 10 minutes and continued to add to their advantage throughout the contest to win by a comfortable 21 points.
Big man Othello Hunter dominated Eilat inside the paint and starred for the yellow-and-blue with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, Nate Wolters added 16 points, Jake Cohen chipped in with 15 points while potential 2020 NBA lottery draft pick Deni Avdija racked up stellar numbers of 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Maccabi. Rafi Menco and Jonathan Skoljebrand led Eilat with 17 points each and Kyvon Davenport scored 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Rishon Lezion slipped by Elitzur Yavne 82-80 as it needed late-game heroics by Frederic Bourdillon and Noam Dovrat to avoid an upset against the second-division squad in 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 for Rishon while Johnathan Williams and Oz Blayzer clocked in with 11 points apiece in the win. Daniel Mullings with 22 points and Elad Hoffman with 19 points led the way for Yavne in defeat.
Also, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil eliminated Hapoel Haifa from the State Cup 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 chipped with 15 points apiece as their squad advanced to the quarterfinals. Jason Siggers, who just returned to Israel, paced the Haifa Reds with 14 points.
Elsewhere, 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 40 minutes, but Gabe Levin’s 23 points along with Anthony Fisher’s 22 points and Jakim Donaldson’s 12 point-12 rebound performance overcame the Premier League side. James Young with 30 points led Haifa while Scott Suggs added 14 points in the surprising defeat.
Ness Ziona 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 six shots.
Daequan Cook and Jeremy Hollowell added14 points each for Ness Ziona and Stu Douglass led Ashdod with 18 points as the port city side was eliminated from the competition.
Ironi Nahariya beat pesky Hapoel Galil 78-68 in Kfar Blum after the hosts led 39-34 after 20 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 apiece in the tough win. Wayne Langston, Ron Sabag and D.J. Sharp all scored 14 points in the tight defeat.
In league action, Hapoel Holon recorded a big win at home over Hapoel Beersheba, 92-73, as Marcus Foster was the star of the show with 29 points.
Holon’s 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. T.J. Williams scored 21 points and John Petrucelli chipped in with 16 points for Beersheba in the defeat.