Maccabi Tel Aviv 81-82 Hapoel Jerusalem
For the full game recap and analysis click here. 4th seeded Hapoel Jerusalem used one of the best comeback efforts of the year in an 82-81 victory over 3rd ranked Maccabi Tel Aviv. Down by 13 points with a quarter to go, Jerusalem held Maccabi to 15 points while scoring 29 themselves in the final quarter of the game. A strong team showing by Maccabi, led by Alex Tyus (18 points), John Dibartolomeo (13 points) and Deshaun Thomas (12 points), allowed the team to dominate for three quarters. However, an incredible offensive showing from Jerusalem’s Jerome Dyson ( 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) willed Hapoel to victory and now give them a real chance of snatching the top seed in the league.
Maccabi Haifa 77-87 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated last place Maccabi Haifa 87-77. Haifa now sits 2 games back of the 11th seed with relegation incredibly likely as the season winds down. Trevor Gaskins 19 points and Reginald Buckners 16 paced Haifa’s offense and kept the game close, however the locals for the team managed only 18 points on 4/15 shooting. Hapoel Tel Aviv used a team offensive effort with 5 players scoring in double-digits, helping Hapoel solidify their spot in the playoffs as the season slowly winds down. Following the game Haifa Head Coach Ofer Rahimi stepped down as assistant Nati Cohen replaced him on an interim basis.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 78-76 Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion
It came down to the wire but Gilboa Galil hung on to beat Maccabi Rishon 78-76. Harrison, Brown, and Leday all had typical outings, all three finishing in double figures. But the story for Gilboa Galil was youngster JaCorey Williams out of Middle Tennessee State University who had 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Williams has only been a member of Gilboa Galil for one month now after spending some time in the NBA G League, and he looks like he may become an important piece in the future. For Maccabi Rishon, five different players scored in double figures and star Murphy Holloway had a double-double of 15 points and 13 boards, but it wasn’t enough as they still fell a little short. Starting point guard Avi Ben Chimol really struggled in this contest only scoring 3 points and dishing out 5 assists.
Hapoel Holon 76-89 Maccabi Ashdod
Maccabi Ashdod took an early lead and never looked back as they knocked off Hapoel Holon 89-76. For Ashdod, this drama-free victory was all about the stars as Sek Henry, Cameron Long, and Gerald Lee carried to the squad. Though they didn’t need much help off the bench, that help only came in the form of Adam Ariel who scored 16 points, 12 of which coming from 3-point land. Hapoel Holon continues to live life post-Glen Rice Jr. and they continue to struggle without him. They have no certified star now and therefore need some role players to step up. Despite the loss, they did get some uncharacteristic production from the likes of TaShawn Thomas and Jordan Hamilton, finishing with 19 and 10 points respectively. Thomas, a former Oklahoma Sooner, is just 25 years old and could prove to play a pivotal role off the bench for the remainder of the season as Holon continues to figure life out without a go-to superstar. Hamilton, a former Texas Longhorn, also contributed 7 boards and 5 assists in the loss.
Nes Tziona 70-71 Nahariya
Nahariya nearly blew an 8 point 4th quarter lead but just held on to defeat Nes Ziona 71-70. Jonathan Skjoldebrand led his club in scoring off the bench with 13 points, and Alex Young, the player that opponents view as one of the more dangerous scoring threats, only managed to put up 6 points in 31 minutes on the court. Tyrone Nash produced a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds en route to a his ballclub squeezing out a win over a subpar team. For Nes Ziona, the bench outscored the starters 44-26. Former NBA 1st-round pick Daequan Cook led the game in scoring with 19 points to go along with 7 boards while veteran Tal Dunne contributed a big 16 points and 8 rebounds in the loss. Talib Zanna was the only starter to finish in double figures (12 points).
Bnei Herzliya 78-73 Hapoel Eilat
Jeff Adrien (19p/10r) and Shawn Dawson (23p) starred for Aril Shivek’s Herzliya side as they defeated visiting Eilat. Eric Griffin scored 16 points for Eilat in the loss.