Maccabi Haifa downed Hapoel Tel Aviv 80-73 in a huge relegation zone matchup at the Carmel Mountain. The back and forth battle saw a number of lead changes but the Greens big man Roman Sorkin and guard Chris Dowe took the bull by the horns over the final few minutes to take the win. Both Sorkin and Dowe scored 22 points a piece while Kalin Lucas checked in with 19 points in the key victory. Justin Tillman led the Reds with 22 points and Tyrique Jones added 13 points in the loss.
“It took us a couple of months to get that winning feeling back but now we have to continue,” Sorkin, the game’s MVP said. “We always have believed that we can stay up in the top league and we’ve battled hard against many teams. Our coach spoke to us about where we stand and we had to respond. We are a team of men and we battled today to the win.”
Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion hung on to just get by Bnei Herzliya 87-84 on the road. The visitors jumped out to a 27-10 lead after the first quarter but Sharon Drucker’s squad clawed back into the game with big men Elijah Thomas and Terrell Parks leading the way and even took a slim 73-72 lead in the fourth quarter. However, rising star Noam Dovrat and Golan Gutt hit big shots down the stretch while Akil Mitchell woke the paint to help Guy Goodes’s team to the win. Dovrat played close to 40 minutes and scored 23 points going 5/8 from beyond the arc while dishing out 6 assists, Mitchell added 18 points and 10 rebounds and Jamil Wilson chipped in with 15 points and 9 rebounds but left late in the game with what looked to be a knee injury in the win. Elijah Thomas paced the hosts with 19 points, Abdul Gaddy added 18 points and Terrell Parks scored 15 points in the defeat.
Hapoel Eilat sunk Hapoel Gilboa Galil 89-75 in a game that was never in doubt from the tipoff at the Red Sea city. The hosts controlled the pace of play throughout the contest as Joe Ragland led the way with 28 points and 6 assists, Josh Nebo added 15 points and 12 rebounds while Casey Prather chipped in with 15 points in the win for Ariel Beit Halachmi’s squad in the win. Kerry Blackshear was Gilboa’s high scorer with 19 points and Iftach Ziv scored 17 points in the loss.