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Top Seeds Hold Court in Tier I Playoffs

There haven’t been many upsets in the first stages of the FM Home Loans IBL playoffs, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been madness. It sets up what should be a thrilling final two weeks of the season.

Tier I

Round 1

(9) KMK 48, (8) Gold Seals 45

In a game streamed live on our Facebook page (AFI Israel Basketball League), the undersized but scrappy guys from Maryland pulled out the win. Gold Seals couldn’t take advantage enough of the size discrepancy as they consistently settled for long jumpers. Early in the game they got second chances off offensive rebounds, but KMK buckled down late to earn the win. Gold Seals, who were led by Moishie Kahn (14 points) and Chesky Lewin (11) had a chance to tie, but Lewin’s three at the buzzer wouldn’t fall. KMK was led by three double-digit scorers in Jaim Magendzo (15), Raanan Glashofer (11), and Ezra Beletsky (11).

(7) Lobos 59, (10) All American Poly 52

In a rematch of last week’s FM Home Loans Game of the Week, the Lobos prevailed this time. Chaim Hirsch (14 points) of Lobos hit four shots from downtown in the first half, and he was one of four Lobos in double figures. Nussi Felder (16), Elisha Rudman (14), and Gavi Singer (11) also joined that group. Dovid Marmurstein (22 points) had another great game for All American Poly, but they come up short and their season comes to an end.

(5) Project Tzitzis 48, (12) Kol Hanearim 33

Yosef Rudansky led Project Tzitzis with 14 points as the veteran-laden team advanced to the quarterfinals. Kol Hanearim was a fun, upstart team who loved to run, but the guys from Project Tzitzis have been in the league long enough to know how to counter. Moshe Wasserman of Kol Hanearim led all scorers with 15 points as his team’s season is wrapped up.

(6) Papa’s Fried Potatoes 54, (11) Ashreinu Holy Bagel 44

Papa’s prevails in another rematch from the final week of the regular season, as they got off to a strong start and didn’t look back. Anytime Ashreinu threatened going on a run, the Fried Potatoes had an answer. Uriel Cohen led the Fried Potatoes with a game-high 23 points, while Max Mayerhoff paced Ashreinu with 18 points. The Fried Potatoes will face Tommy’s Midrash Ballers in the quarterfinals this weekend, with the winner of that battle moving on to face B-Woods in the semis.

Quarterfinals

(1) KHK/SZG Investments 61, (9) KMK 45

The lack of size finally caught up with KMK as they ran into the buzzsaw that is KHK/SZG Investments. However, the final score doesn’t do justice how close this game really was. KHK held just a three point halftime advantage until Yisroel Feld and Yoel Schreier took over in the 2nd half. Those two had 17 points apiece in the win. Jaim Magendzo paced KMK with 16 points in the loss. KHK/SZG will take on Yeshiva League Pass in the semis this weekend as they will attempt to avenge their only regular season loss.

(2) B-Woods 66, (7) Lobos 48

Lobos started off hot out of the gate, jumping out to a 7-2 lead. But B-Woods went on a run, quite literally, for the rest of the game. The Lobos couldn’t keep up with the fast pace that B-Woods was playing at, and that ends Lobos’ season. Noah Rossi led B-Woods with 17 points in the win, as they advance to the semifinals.

(4) Yeshiva League Pass 66, (5) Project Tzitzis 49

Another game that was closer than the final score indicated, as Project Tzitzis kept the deficit within arm’s reach for much of the night. But the Heller twins were too much in the end. Moshe (23) and Aharon (17) nearly matched Project Tzitzis on their own, and Ethan Aaron chipped in another 15 to make the difference.

Tier II

(4) Locketch Group 33, (5) The Chaburah 27

The Locketch groups gets the revenge they were seeking after The Chaburah won this regular season matchup. Loketch Group advances to take on top-seeded Shtark Sharks in the Tier II semifinals, which is a rematch from the final week of the regular season. The Shtark Sharks grinded out a three-point victory in that contest.

(2) Zalman’s Hot Dawgz 55, (7) Nesiv HaTorah 29

Zalman’s gets the better of Nesiv HaTorah in the second matchup between these two teams this season. Zalman’s will take on sixth-seeded Piaseczna in the other Tier II semifinal. The Hot Dawgz won their first matchup by 22 points.