Hapoel Holon 86-81 Maccabi Tel Aviv (OT)
Top seed UNET Holon defeated #2 ranked Maccabi Tel Aviv in an incredible overtime finish 86-81. The top two teams in the league battled it out defensively, holding each other to nearly 5 points less than their season average per game. Terrell Tu Holloway showed he was the real deal leading the team with 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. MVP Glen Rice Jr. also had a solid showing for Holon with 23 points and 14 rebounds, yet also had 7 turnovers. Norris Cole’s recent play has opened eyes around the league, and his 23 point performance and the team’s hot three point shooting kept the game close. However, when overtime came Holon proved again they have too much firepower to be stopped. The win gave UNET Holon some breathing room as the leagues top ranked team as the stretch run begins.
Nahariya 88-96 Nes Ziona
Nes Ziona got the best of Nahariya as they took them down 96-88. Nes Ziona trailed by 4 at halftime but outscored Nahariya by 18 points in the 3rd quarter alone, and with a 14 point lead heading into the final frame, they cruised to a drama-free victory. Former University of Pittsburgh star, Talib Zanna, dominated for Nes Ziona by scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, despite struggling from the foul line (6-13). Youngster Golan Gutt had 14 points and 6 assists and Daequan Cook was the only player to really pitch in off the bench as he provided 17 points. Coach Alfasi of Nahariya relied heavily on his core players to give his team a chance. Corey Webster led all scorers with 27 points along with 6 assists while Alex Young and Tyrone Nash contributed 13 and 11 points on of their own. Aside from these stable three starters, the player to keep an eye on young up and comer Yiftach Ziv. The 22 year old played unselfish basketball and played at the both ends of the court as he had 19 points in 26 minutes on the court. Nes Ziona will face Hapoel Tel Aviv next and Nahariya will have a tough matchup with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Bnei Herzliya 79-75 Maccabi Haifa
Herzliya completed an impressive comeback over Maccabi Haifa defeating them 79-75. After only scoring 6 points in the first quarter, Herzliya was able to battle back led by the likes of Brandon Triche and Jeff Adrien. Still down 13 points to begin the 4th quarter, Herzliya did to Haifa what Haifa did to them in the 1st quarter, holding them to 7 points in the frame and taking the final ten minutes by 17. Former Syracuse University star, Brandon Triche, had 29 points off the bench and Jeff Adrien filled up the stat sheet with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. For Haifa, their main problem was a lack of bench production. The bench scored 16 points and the inability to score in the 4th quarter can most likely be attributed to tired starters being forced to play extended minutes because the bench was busy blowing away a big lead. Trevor Gaskins had 19 points and the rest of the starters had very respectable numbers, but they weren’t able to finish in what should have been a win for Haifa. Haifa will look to move on from this tough loss against Gilboa Galil and Herzliya will face maccabi Rishon next.
Hapoel Eilat 79-75 Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion
In a tight game all the way through, Hapoel Eilat knocked off Maccabi Rishon by a score of 79-75. Though Eilat was able to squeak out the win, 4 out of their 5 starters had to play over 30 minutes and Eric Griffin was the only player to help out off the bench. The 4 starters aside from Isaac Rosefelt all scored in double figures and shot relatively efficiently from the floor. Amit Simhon led all scorers with 18 points and Demetrius Treadwell had a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards in the victory. Aside from the fact they lost, it was an almost identical story for Maccabi Rishon. All of the starters played at least 30 minutes and handled virtually all of the scoring duties. It was only Paul Delaney who provided productive minutes off the bench. Murphy Holloway had another day at the office with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Drew Crawford scored 15 points and collected 5 rebounds in the tough loss. Rishon hopes to not fall in the standings as they face Herzliya next and Eilat will face Maccabi Ashdod next as they hope to climb the standings.
Hapoel Jerusalem 92-84 Hapoel Gilboa/Galil
Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Gilboa Galil 92-84 in a great offensive showing for the team. While Trance Kinsey (19 points) and Jerome Dyson (18 points) led the way for Jerusalem, they had plenty of support in the scoring department with a total of 5 players scoring 12 or more points. The story of the game was inefficiency from the top players of Gilboa Galil. Their top three scorers (D’Angelo Harrison, J’Covan Brown, and Zach Leday) shot a combined 19-50 which led to a team shooting percentage of 39%. The win solidifies Hapoel Jerusalem in the #3 spot for the week and pushes Gilboa Galil down to #7.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 69-76 Maccabi Ashdod
In a battle between two playoff teams Maccabi Ashdod defeated Hapoel TA 76-69, giving them sole custody of the #4 seed, pushing Hapoel TA to #5. Solid showing from Tel Aviv’s Raviv Limonad and Tony Gaffney (12 points each) kept the game close through a high scoring first half by Ashdod. But it was Sek Henry who stole the show by willing his team to victory in his 29 point performance. Neither teams shot particularly well in this game with each shooting below 25% from three. The difference was the dominance displayed by Ashdod on the glass, out rebounding HTA 48-26. In a game between two pretty evenly matched teams any advantage could be the difference in the game, and in this situation a ranking.