Hapoel Beer Sheva picked up an important win at last place Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion 85-78 to open up a bit of gap at the bottom of the standings. Dror Cohen’s Rishon Le’Zion registered five imports for the first time this season as they looked to stave off relegation but Christoforis Livadiotis’s squad led by captain Travis Warech were able to stand up to the challenge and take the hard earned win.
Warech ended the game with 9 points and 10 rebounds, Cody Demps added 18 points and Amir Bell scored 15 points in the win. Netanel Artzi who had been named Rishon’s captain just prior to the game scored a game team high 18 points as Tu Holloway and Maurice Watson each scored 16 points in the defeat.
“Tonight’s win was obviously super important for our club considering our place in the table, I don’t think that’s a secret to anyone,” Warech told The Sports Rabbi following the game. “I appreciate the squad for the way we fought: our fighting spirit is a crucial part of the identity of Hapoel Be’er Sheva and it was nice to see that on the floor tonight.
“More importantly though, I’m happy for Coach to get his first win with us. It’s never an easy transition on a coach or a team when there is a change in the middle of a struggling season, but I’m hopeful we can use the momentum from tonight moving forward. There’s a lot of season left, we have our work cut out for us, but I’m confident in the abilities of our squad to rack up more W’s.”
Hapoel Haifa downed Hapoel Gilboa Galil 72-68 in a tight game up by the Carmel Mountain. The Reds took an earful elad and were able to control the game throughout the 40 minutes to take the win as each team saw new players make their season debut in Will Daniels for Elad Hasin’s team and Tyus Battle for Gilboa.
James Dickey led the way with 14 points, Kadeem Allen added 13 points while Will Rayman and Gregory Vargas each chipped in with 10 points a piece. Sacha Killeya-Jones paced Guy Kaplan’s squad with 18 points and 13 rebounds, Battle scored 16 points and London Perrantes checked in with 14 points in the loss.
“This was a great win for us,” the game’s MVP James Dickey explained to The Sports Rabbi. “We lost a tough game to Holon just a few days ago and we just wanted to come in and play hard and get a win in front of our home crowd. The fans were great and we needed them. They were very loud and helped us get this win.”