Local Hoops: Maccabi TA beat Nahariya in State Cup

Hosts were led by Nikola Vujcic, who scored 19 points and took seven rebounds.

Maccabi Tel Aviv 88 (photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv 88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv outclassed Ironi Nahariya 86-72 in the first leg of their State Cup quarterfinal tie at Nokia Arena Sunday night. Maccabi led the entire game and will be confident of qualifying for the semifinals when the second leg is played next Sunday in Nahariya. The hosts were led by Nikola Vujcic, who scored 19 points and took seven rebounds, while Nahariya's Juan Mendez had 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Yotam Halperin scored 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter and helped the hosts to a 26-18 lead after 10 minutes. Nahariya remained close to the perennial cup champion and was only down six points (47-41) at halftime. Maccabi maintained a single-digit advantage through the third period and took a 67-60 lead into the final quarter. The visitors came within three points in the fourth, but a 10-0 run helped Tel Aviv take a substantial lead and win by 14 points. Bnei Hasharon 97,Hapoel Gilboa/Afula 72 Bnei Hasharon is all but assured of advancing to the semifinals after thrashing Hapoel Gilboa/Afula in Herzliya. The hosts led by six points (12-6) midway through the first period, but the introduction of new signing Avi Sukar helped Gilboa/Afula take a 19-17 lead at quarter's end. Good play on both ends of the court by Jason Williams helped Bnei Hasharon go into halftime with a six-point advantage (45-39) and Lee Nailon's fantastic third quarter (16 of his 31 points), gave his team a 77-59 lead with one period remaining. The hosts continued to increase their advantage in the fourth quarter and take a 25-point margin into the second leg. Hapoel Yokne'am 89,Ironi Ramat Gan 85 National League team Hapoel Yokne'am/Megiddo continued its surprising run by defeating Ironi Ramat Gan at Mishmar Ha'emek. The hosts raced to a 21-9 lead and were five points up (24-19) after 10 minutes. Ramat Gan ate into the advantage in the second period and after trailing 41-39 at halftime, finally grabbed the lead in the third quarter. Hapoel's defense came up big in the fourth as it held its BSL opponent to just 15 points. Dagan Yavzori led the hosts with 22 points with Dennis Carr adding 21 points and 11 rebounds. John Allen was Ramat Gan's top scorer with 24 points.