(10) Katz Pulls Off the Upset; Takes Down (7) Ida Crown to Head to Tier I
The second matchup of day one featured the seventh-seeded Ida Crown Aces against the tenth-seeded Katz Storm. After an underwhelming performance at Sarachek last year, the Aces were looking to write a different story this time around while the Storm intended to throw a wrench into those plans with an upset triumph.
Ida Crown delivered the game's first punch, taking a quick 11-2 lead, which they would turn into a 19-9 advantage as Katz struggled to contain the Aces' quickness on both ends of the floor. Eight points led to a strong start from Avi Okner, who finished the game with a dozen.
If the first quarter was Okner’s, the second was Zack Izyaguyev's.
The Storms adjustments included getting the Junior Izyaguyev more touches. He heated up from beyond the arc as part of an eight point outing to slice into the Katz deficit before a putback from Yuval Ovaknin, and a late scoop and score from Judah Paradu gave the underdogs a 26-25 halftime lead.
With a berth in Tier I on the line, both teams pushed in the second half and changed hands on the scoreboard. Jakob Wortman took over the scoresheet for Ida Crown by scoring a slew of his 10 points in the third, while Katz was spearheaded by Asher Rosen, who made six threes as part of his 20 point afternoon, none bigger than his triple following a nifty crossover, giving the Storm a 37-32 hold, which they would expand to 44-35 after three quarters following Rosen punctuating his sensational stanza with a layup.
The fourth was dominated by Katz, who completed the upset with stifling defense and execution in the paint en route to a 60-43 victory.
With the loss, Ida Crown falls into Tier 2 qualifying against the 23rd seed Farber Fire with tip-off slated for 8:00 AM, while the 10th seeded Storm advance to the Tier I quarterfinals against the second seed and reigning champion Valley Torah Wolfpack on Friday at 2:00 PM.
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