Nes Ziona downed Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion 99-75 as six players scored in double digits to record the win. The victory keeps Lior Lubin’s squad in prime position to clinch a playoff spot while Rishon moved that much closer to being relegated to the Leumit League as they are mired in last place.
Diamon Simpson got to work inside for Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion while Frank Bartley countered from the outside for Nes Ziona as the hosts grabbed a 22-19 lead after ten minutes of play. Garrett started getting hot from deep while Bartley continued to score for Lior Lubin’s team but Archie Goodwin caught fire to end the half with 19 points and give Dror Cohen’s team a slim 47-46 lead.
Golan Gutt couldn’t miss in the third quarter as the Israeli hit a quartet of triples while Garrett added points as well to help Nes Ziona end the period with a 74-58 advantage. The newly reacquired Wayne Selden who was the Europe Cup Final Four MVP last season scored in bunches over the final frame to close out the victory.
Garrett led the way with 20 points, Gutt finished the game with 15 points and Selden added 14 points in the win. Archie Goodwin scored 22 points, Diamon Simpson added 15 points and 10 boards while Tu Holloway scored 12 points in the loss.
Game MVP Golan Gutt reflected on the victory, “At halftime we spoke about playing together and stronger. As for my third quarter I just do what I know and when it comes together it’s very hard to stop me and I am happy that is what happened.”
Bnei Herzliya defeated Hapoel Haifa 89-64 as five players finished in double digits to hand Oren Aharoni’s club the win up by the Carmel Mountain. After going down 27-21 following ten minutes of play, the visitors stymied Haifa as they held the hosts to just 9 second quarter points which set the tone for Herzliya to dominate the semi half and notch the win. Maurice Kemp scored 20 points, Chinanu Onuaku added 18 points, Chris Babbs chipped in with 16 points while DJ Cooper recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. James Dickey paced Haifa with 22 points and Gregory Vargas added 12 points on the loss.
“I think it was a good team effort tonight,” Maurice Kemp said following the win. “They came out very strong in the first half so we had to focus on our team defense and I think that secured the victory for us.”