Tal's 28 Too Much For Aces
Senior guard Ben Tal proved to be too much to handle for the Ida Crown Aces (Chicago, IL) as he led his RASG Warriors of Miami Beach to a 63-51 victory in today’s Tier I qualifier matchup.
Tal poured in 28 points, including a beautiful crossover followed by a tough left-handed finish in traffic with 2:30 left in the game. The play stifled the Aces’ momentum as they fell short in their attempt at a fourth-quarter comeback.
Coming into the final frame down by nine, the Aces were able to cut the deficit to six on a three-pointer by guard Gabe Cohen, but that was the closest they would come as the Warriors used the fast break and good ball movement, facilitated by senior point guard Noah Schiff, to maintain their lead.
RASG opened the second half hot. Tal drained three consecutive three-pointers, with forward Jack Esformes contributing a deep ball as well. The Aces refused to go away, however. Led by senior forward Ryan Bokor, the younger brother of YU Macs’ star and 2018 conference champion Kevin Bokor, Ida Crown was able to withstand RASG’s run with two triples of their own from guards Amitai Kolom and Jordan Benditzson.
The Aces’ downfall came with their difficulty to feed Bokor down-low in the post against the feisty zone defense of the Warriors, who capitalized on turnovers to run the fastbreak and get to the free throw line.
RASG jumped out to an 18-9 lead thanks to back-back threes from Esformes, who finished with 11 points. From then on, the game was a game of runs, with Ida Crown playing solid defense and clawing back into the game, to which RASG would respond with fastbreak buckets and three-pointers.
Bokor showed flashes of brilliance as he began the game with a tough pull-up jumper from the left elbow. The Warriors were able to limit him to 10 points and four rebounds with their zone defense and physical play under the hoop.
With 4:15 left in the first half, Aces’ guard Jordan Benditzson drove baseline, sent a defender flying with an emphatic pump fake, and layed the ball in for two. Ida Crown was able to close out the half on a strong note, breaking the Warriors’ full-court press by hitting Bokor near halfcourt as he turned and fired a strike to a streaking Kolom who sailed to the basket for an easy bucket with only 3 ticks left on the clock.
Warriors guard Caleb Katz dialed long-distance twice, finishing with 10 points overall, while RASG big man Jacob Stein contributed six points.
Ida Crown was led in scoring by Amitai Kolom, who finished with 14 points, followed by Jordan Benditzson with 11. Guards Max Baker and Shmuel Horowitz chipped in four and six points respectively, with the former pulling down 3 rebounds as well.
The Warriors secured their spot in Tier I with today’s win, and will face off on Friday in the first round of Tier I.
The Aces, whose ever-loyal and rowdy fan base is a staple at Sarachek, will head to a Tier II Qualifier matchup on Friday against the winner from one of 13-20 seeded games.
All of the action can be followed on MacsLive, the official broadcast network of Yeshiva Sports and exclusive home of the Red Saracheck Tournament
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