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(20) Kohelet Beats (21) Or Chaim; Head to Tier III Semis

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

In the final Tier III quarterfinal game on Saturday night, the twenty-first-seeded Or Chaim Knights and the 20th-seeded Kohelet Kings squared off at Maayanot in a contest that ultimately met the expectations of a tightly-contested affair.

(Credit: MacsLive/Eidan Horn)

It was a see-saw battle for much of the first half before a late 8-2 Kohelet spurt spearheaded by Asher Kahlon and capped by Eli Wallace’s dime to Chezky Levitt, whose fancy footwork led to a jumper that beat the buzzer giving them a 33-27 lead.

The third quarter saw the tenacity of the two teams increase, as points suddenly came at a premium, despite threes by Levitt and Gabriel Pugman keeping Kohelet in front 42-38 as the final stanza approached.

Chaos ensued in the determinative frame as following some quick buckets by Daniel Benjamini extending the Kings' advantage to 51-44, there was a scoreboard malfunction delaying play, as controversy erupted over Kohelet’s point total. Still, aided by Macslive staff member Yosef Bluth, cooler heads prevailed, and the score remained. Benjamini would continue his fine play with a fadeaway jumper before a Maurice Nsiri triple kept Or Chaim close.

Ultimately, Pugman (3) and Wallace (5) combined for eight points from the charity stripe to secure Kohelet’s 60-54 victory and a date with the sixteenth-seeded MTA Lions, who knocked off the twenty-fourth seeded Cooper Macs 32-28 on Saturday at Mayaanot, in the Tier III semifinals at the Max Stern Athletic Center at 11:30 AM on Sunday. Wallace finished with 11 points following his 30-point outburst in Kohelet’s 71-59 loss to Berman on Friday in the Tier II qualifying round. Benjamini led all scorers with 23 points for the victorious Kings.

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