Jerusalem blows out Rishon, Gilboa relegates Ashdod, Haifa stuns HTA, Maccabi Thumps Holon, Nes Ziona records 1st win, Beer Sheva slips by Nahariya! Israel Basketball Highlights & Recaps Gameday 26

Hapoel Jerusalem squashed Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion 88-73 in a game that didn’t live up to its billing. Rishon Le’Zion began the contest strong, but an 18-0 run by Jerusalem to end the first quarter sent the Reds on their way to the blowout win. John Holland led the way with 18 points, Nimrod Levi added 13 points and 8 rebounds, Bar Timor chipped in with 12 points, while Jeremy Pargo scored 11 points and dished out 8 assists. Zach Hankins led Rishon with 17 points and youngster Noam Dovrat added 14 points in the loss.

Maccabi Haifa used a game winning 3-pointer by Speedy Smith to snatch a 82-79 victory at Hapoel Tel Aviv in a hotly contested battle. In a game that went back and forth for the full 40 minutes and with time running down on the shot clock, Smith stepped up from way, way downtown and drained the winner to keep the Greens in line to take 5th place. The devastating loss sent Hapoel Tel Aviv tumbling out of a playoff spot with there games remaining in the regular season. Smith ended with a game high 24 points and 7 assists, while Roman Sorkin and Michael Brisker each scored 14 points in the win. Jordan Davis and Tomer Ginat each scored 17 points for the Reds.

Maccabi Tel Aviv thumped Hapoel Holon 100-69 as the yellow-and-blue pulled away after a close first half to cruise to the 31-point victory. Deni Avdija led all scorers with 24 points, Sandy Cohen and Angelo Caloiaro each dropped 18 points a piece while Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points in the win. Jimmy Hall with 18 points was Holon’s high scorer in the loss.

Hapoel Gilboa Galil continued their hot play with a 92-81 win at Maccabi Ashdod that saw the Port City side tumble to the Leumit League and relegation after ten years in Israel’s top division. Joe Thomasson was the Galilee squad’s high scorer with 25 points as the guard continues to shine since joining Lior Lubin’s team while Michael Young added 18 points and Yotam Hanochi scored 12 points in the win. Paul Stoll led Ashdod with 18 points and 10 assists while Jairus Holder scored 17 points in the loss.

Hapoel Beer Sheva snuck by Nahariya 67-69 in the northern capital as Rami Hadar’s squad continues to move up the standings. Nahariya big man Itay Segev had a chance to send the game into overtime with two late free throws but he missed the front end forcing him to have o miss the second and hope for a put back on a rebound, but the Southern Reds recovered the ball to take the win. Caleb Agada busted out of a first half shooting slump to finish the game off with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals, Paul Delaney who made his season debut for Beer Sheva scored all of his 17 points in the first half to keep the visitors in the picture while Spencer Weisz scored 10 points and added 9 rebounds. Segev and Travis Warech each scored 12 points in the defeat.

Nes Tziona recorded a much needed 88-80 win over Hapoel Eilat to pick up their first victory since returning from the break. Nadav Zilberstein’s squad controlled the pace of play throughout the contest save for a 3rd quarter hiccup that saw the Red Sea squad close to within 2-points and threaten the hosts, but that would be as close as they would get in 8 point win. Cameron Oliver starred for Nes Tziona with 31 points and 8 rebounds, Golan Gutt added 16 points while Tal Dunne checked in with 12 points. Rafi Menco led Eilat with 17 points and Devon Scott chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

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