Hapoel Jerusalem 66-78 Bnei Herzliya
Bnei Herzliya pulled a major upset over Hapoel Jerusalem in what was the highly anticipated debut of new Jerusalem head coach, Oded Katash. Jeff Adrien led the way for Herzliya with 18 points and 10 boards in a game that was never close as they cruised to the win against a struggling Jerusalem team, 78-66. Herzliya had very little help from their bench (17 points), but Shawn Dawson and Brandon Triche shot efficiently from the floor and combined for 33 points.
Star shooting guard Jerome Dyson led all scorers with 22 points to go with 6 rebounds and 3 steals, but he struggled with turning the ball over. Jerusalem finished the game with a sloppy 20 turnovers, a number that will have to be lower in the future if they want to compete with any team, no matter where they are in the standings. Besides Dyson, Jerusalem had virtually no help in the way of scoring from his teammates as the other 4 starters combined for 23 points, a number Dyson basically put up on his own.
Hapoel Jerusalem will look to turn things around next week when they face a tough test in Maccabi Tel Aviv and Herzliya will try to carry this momentum from a great win into their next matchup with Gilboa Galil.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 76-85 Nes Ziona
In surprising fashion Nes Ziona defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 85-76 with a dominant second half showing. After trailing by 8 points at halftime, Khalif Wyatt’s efficient 23 points led Nes Ziona to a second half comeback, outscoring Maccabi 17 points the final two quarters. Using a team basketball approach, Nes Ziona put on a passing clinic by racking up 25 assists for the game against their opponents 13. Maccabi knows how quickly the standings change first-handedly, as this loss has moved them down to #2 with UNET Holon taking over the top spot as the second half of the season is in full swing.
Maccabi Haifa 82-77 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Maccabi Haifa cruised to victory defeating Hapoel Tel Aviv by a score of 82-77. Up 15 at halftime, their lead dwindled down to 5 in towards the end, but ultimately they were able to hold on to their lead that they got right from the get-go by outscoring Tel Aviv 27-11 in the first quarter. The scoring duties for Haifa were pretty well distributed, but it was Trevor Gaskins off the bench who led all scorers with 17 points in the contest. Gaskins, a Panama native, signed with Maccabi Haifa for the rest of the season just one week ago. Brandon Bowman pitched in with a double-double off the bench scoring 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds while starting small forward Willy Workman had 10 points of his own to go along with 5 assists and 4 steals.
Hapoel Tel Aviv’s struggles came from a lack of production from the bench. The bench only scored a combined 16 points, leaving a heavy load for the starters. Rafi Menco, Raviv Limonad, and Matt Howard all contributed 14 points and Jerel McNeal led his team with 16 points, but 4 out of 5 starters scoring in double figures was not enough to beat a bad team.
Maccabi Haifa will look to push their winning streak to 3 in their next game against Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Tel Aviv will try to get back on track versus Maccabi Rishon.
UNET Holon 105-88 Maccabi Ashdod
UNET Holon continued playing a great brand of basketball abolishing #4 Maccabi Ashdod 105-88, and claiming the top spot in the standings. Known for their incredible offensive performances, this weeks team scoring was as efficient as one will ever see in professional basketball. Although MVP Glen Rice Jr. only took 6 shots from the field, the team collectively shot 27/33 (82%) from the field and 13/31 (42%) from three. Ashdod’s Cameron Long had 28 points in the game, but was canceled out by Holon having 6 players score in double digits while all shooting above 50% from the floor. UNET Holon is the hottest team in the Israeli League right now and the dominant win over a solid Maccabi Ashdod squad showed the rest of the league they have no intention of slowing down.
Hapoel Eilat 83-80 Hapoel Gilboa/Galil
In a tight game between two teams side-by-side in the standings, Hapoel Eilat squeaked out a victory over Gilboa Galil, 83-80. Jordan Loyd paved the way for Eilat scoring 24 points to go along with 7 boards and 3 assists. Fellow starters Demetrius Treadwell and Amit Simhon also contributed 15 and 17 points respectively. Despite getting only 15 points from the bench, Eilat was able to take an early lead and never look back.
As for Gilboa Galil, they finally found some scoring production from a player outside of the big three of D’Angelo Harrison, J’Covan Brown, and Zach LeDay. Ezequiel Skverer, born in Argentina, tallied an important 15 points off the bench. But the usuals all put up impressive numbers that cannot go unnoticed. Harrison led all scorers with 27, Brown had 15 points and 7 assists, and LeDay had a double-double of 13 points and 13 boards. Despite all this, Gilboa Galil fell a little short.
Eilat will try to catch Gilboa Galil in a game against Maccabi Haifa and will face Bnei Herzliya coming off of an impressive win.
Nahariya 79-89 Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion
Maccabi Rishon defeated Nahariya 89-79 in a game that was over early. Nahariya’s starting unit, led by Alex Young’s 21 points and Igor Nesterenko’s 16, kept the game close throughout but did not have the necessary help from the bench to make this a real contest. While Rishon Lezion’s Drew Crawford and Murphy Holloway both put up 22 points, it was the teams passing that was the difference in the game. Playing great team basketball throughout the game, Rishon had 26 assists which led to 4 starters scoring in the double-digits. Nahariya now sits only 1 game ahead of last place Herzliya and Maccabi Haifa. With less than half of the season left to play, the team must step up or they will be in real danger of being relegated to the lower division.