Maccabi Tel Aviv blew away Hapoel Jerusalem at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Yad Eliyahu 96-76 as point guard Jeremy Pargo led the way with 34 points in a phenomenal performance to exact revenge from Hapoel’s 30 point victory in the Pais Arena a couple of months ago. The yellow and blue started out strong taking the game to Hapoel as Devin Smith and Pargo took Maccabi to a 15-6 lead only 4 minutes into the game. But Lior Eliyahu (16pts) and Bracey Wright (17pts) helped Jerusalem cut the lead in the first frame but three pointers by Marquez Haynes and Smith helped the home side to a 29-17 lead after 10 minutes. However, smart play by veteran guard and national team captain Yotam Halperin along with Tony Gaffney and Wright gave Jerusalem a shock one point lead at the half 47-46.
But that was as close as the Reds who were wearing black got to winning the game as Brian Randle rattled off 5 points in a row for Maccabi and they never looked back, dominating the balance of the game as center Alex Tyus finished off with 8 points and 8 boards, Haynes added 17 points points, including 5 3-pointers, but it was Jeremy Pargo who shined above all on this night.
Pargo’s 34 points and 8 assists in 35 minutes will go down in Maccabi Tel Aviv lore especially because of how personally he took the game and the importance of making sure that the Pais Arena disaster would be long forgotten.
Maccabi Haifa played a complete game dominating Nes Ziona at home in front of only 1000 fans. Recent acquisition Will Graves (18pts) & Rene Rougeau (19pts) led the way for Haifa as Israeli Dagan Yivzori chipped in with double-double scoring 15pt & handing out 10 assists. Craig Smith (19pts) & Mitchell Watt (16pts) led the way for Nes Ziona but poor performances by Israeli veteran Meir Tapiro (2pts), Preston Knowles and Tal Dunne each scoring only 4pts didn’t help the visitors on this night.
It’s quite remarkable what one player can do to change the fortunes of a basketball team and that exactly what Julian Wright has done for Bnei Herzeliya scoring 27pts in 32 minutes of play after coming over from Panathinaikos just 2 games ago. Josh Selby & Jasper Johnson each added 13 points as the home side was able to weather a 3rd quarter comeback by Nahariya which saw Josh Williamson scoring 19 points and Robert Rothbart producing a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Ashdod remained glued to last place in the Basketball Super League losing its 13th game this time to Eilat in the dying minutes. With the home side leading 74-73, Eilat’s super guard Afik Nissim (9pts) buried a 3-pointer with 25.5 seconds left in the game and Elyshay Kadir (13pts & 13rbs) then scored one from the line to give the visitors a 3-point lead. Zack Rosen (8pts) had a chance to tie the game but it was not to be as the Ashdod fans called for coach Lior Lubin’s dismissal. Kevin Palmer (18pts) led all scorers and Adrian Uter added 14pts for Eilat while James Nunally (16pts) & Avi Ben Chimol (14pts) tried in vain to help Ashdod to the win.
Hapoel Tel Aviv won on the road thanks to a strong 4th quarter and fine play by Yancy Gates (27pts & 10 rbs) & Durand Scott (25pts & 9rbs) leading the way at Gan Ner Arena in the Galil. Oded Brandwein (19pts) & Alex Young (17pts) tried to keep Gilboa/Galil & its coach Barak Peleg’s squad in the game, but Tel Aviv’s final frame offensive display was too strong for the hosts. Larry O’Bannon (14pts & 7assists) along with Jonathan Skjoldebrand (10pts) & Tamir Blatt who received 12 minutes of play due to Raviv Limonad’s injury took over late to overcome a 58-58 tie and win by 15 points. The loss was the host’s 4th in a row while for Oded Katash and Tel Aviv this was their third win in as many games.
Rishon Lezion picked up the victory after 2 straight loses with the help of a quick 14-2 run to begin the game on the help of a pair of 3-pointers by Isaiah Swann(12pts). The hosts continued to pour on the offense as Jeremis Smith (15pts) & Nitzan Hanochi (7pts) helped coach Sharon Drucker to a 24-16 lead after 10 minutes. However, Holon mounted a fierce comeback as Tony Crocker (15pts) and Isaac Rosefelt (13pts & 13rbs) helped even up the game at the half 39-39. The visiting side came out of the locker room strong on the play of Sean Evans (17pts & 10rbs) giving Holon coach Elad Hasin a 59-55 lead heading into the home stretch. But that’s when Jackie Carmichael (16pts & 12rbs) & Tony Younger (11pts) made all the difference for Rishon Lezion taking the last quarter 24-9 and securing the victory.