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YULA Claws Past Ida Crown for Tier I Semifinal Berth

Updated: Mar 31

The #2 seeded YULA Panthers defeated the #7 seeded Ida Crown Aces in an OT thriller to punch their ticket to the Tier I semifinal game.

In the first quarter, the lower-seeded Aces came out full of energy, grabbing an early lead. The shooting by Ida Crown, especially from deep, had YULA struggling to defend, leading to a 4-point lead after 1.

As the first half continued, Jaden Azeroul kept YULA in the game with his terrific shooting, including 2 smooth triples. However, the Aces never let it affect the confidence they played with, as star player Jakob Wortman made play after play all half long. As the second quarter came to an end, the score was 29-22 in favor of Ida Crown. 

It wasn't easy but the YULA Panthers outlasted the Ida Crown Aces in overtime to advance to the Sarachek Tier I semifinals on Sunday. (Photo Credit: MacsLive)

The Panthers came out of the locker room on fire with a barrage of buckets and steals. The Aces responded with some offense of their own, led by who else but Jakob Wortman. With the quarter winding down and just a few seconds remaining, Ida Crown stole a pass and netted a fast break layup, but it was just after the clock hit 0, leaving the game tied at 37 heading into the fourth. 

Throughout the final quarter, both teams went back and forth, scoring and defending, but neither team could grab the edge. The Aces temporarily gained momentum when Avi Meyer finished an alley-oop pass from Avi Okner with around 40 seconds left. Alex Gabbay responded and launched a game-tying triple from the right wing, sending the YULA faithful into a frenzy. The score would not change further, sending the game into overtime. 

In overtime, the Panthers showed why they’re ranked second in the tournament. Backed by a big 3-pointer by Yoni Holender and clutch free-throw shooting by Yishai Rosenblatt and Judah Robin, they pulled away and escaped the tough Ida Crown team by a score of 57-52. 

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