By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has qualified for the quarterfinals of the Israeli Cup after defeating Hapoel Afula 97-60. Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi's scorers with 25 points in 25 minutes, and Jake Cohen had another great night with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Devin Smith contributed 13 points and MarQuez Haynes added 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jeremy Pargo had 11 points and 5 assists, and Yogev Ohayon made 7 assists.
Maccabi's starters were Devin Smith, Jeremy Pargo, Jake Cohen, Yogev Ohayon, and Aleks Mari?. At the start of the game Pargo was the only player who managed to provide points for Maccabi, and the score stood at 8-5 Afula after four minutes of action. Cohen added points from the foul line and downtown (assist Sofo Schortsanitis) to close to within one, 10-9, but a run by Afula gave them a 17-10 lead with two minutes on the clock. Points by Sofo and Smith, along with a triple by Sylven Landesberg at the top of the arc, tied the score at 17-17 as the period ended.
A lone free throw by Landesberg gave Maccabi their first lead of the game, but Afula quickly reclaimed the advantage. A string of layups - two in traffic by MarQuez Haynes, and Landesberg with an and 1 made it 28-23 Maccabi near the halfway mark, and from there the yellows never looked back. Points from outside the arc by Cohen, Haynes, and Pargo broke the visitors' lead wide open, and the half ended with Maccabi holding an impressive 49-31 lead.
The hosts opened strong in the second half, cutting their deficit to 14, 54-40. Smith, Sofo, and Landesberg got Maccabi back on track, building a 65-44 lead five minutes into the period. Smith and Landesberg celebrated from downtown, as Maccabi cruised to 78-48 going into the final period.
The final quarter was all garbage time, as Maccabi's lead swelled to 87-50 thanks to points by Arad Harari, Orr Leumi, and Haynes. In the end, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv crushed Hapoel Afula by a score of 97-60.