Maccabi downs Holon again as Cline makes debut, Herzliya drops Haifa, Gilboa & Eilat win

Maccabi Tel Aviv dunked all over Hapoel Holon 100-81 as Chris Jones, Othello Hunter and Oz Blayzer and newcomer TJ Cline supplied the offense to run to away with the 19-point victory. The yellow-and-blue took a 46-36 advantage into the second half and never looked back as each time Holon attempted to cut the lead, Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad responded as they cruised to the victory.

Oz Blayzer led the way with 19 points, while Othello Hunter and Chris Jones each went perfect from the field as the pair scored 17 and 15 points respectively as Jones added 9 assists in the win. Isaiah Miles scored 18 points, CJ Harris added 14 points and Maxim De Zeeuw chipped in with 11 points in the loss.

Othello Hunter – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Maccabi Tel Aviv got off to a fast start as Yovel Zoosman scored in the paint and from the outside, while Elijah Bryant, Othello Hunter and Oz Blayzer all added buckets to give the yellow-and-blue 13-3 lead midway through the first quarter. TJ Cline entered the game for his Maccabi debut and immediately dished off a perfect no look pass to Hunter who put down a dunk but Isaiah Miles and Guy Pnini hit 3-pointers, however, points by Bender and Cline gave the hosts a 25-13 lead after ten minutes of play.

TJ Cline – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Cline continued with the hot hand and nailed a triple as did Blayzer with a pair from deep and Chris Jones added a layup to give Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad a 36-18 advantage with 6:58 left in the second quarter. CJ Harris, Miles and Tyrus McGee put in points from the outside to cut the lead down to 38-30 with 3:30 remaining in the first half but Jones with an off balance basket and Cline scored as well to keep Maccabi in front 46-36 at halftime.

Maxim De Zeeuw – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Maxim de Zeeuw opened up the third quarter with a midrange jumper but Blayzer stuffed him when the Belgian tried to dunk on him leading to an easy basket by Bryant, Jones added a 3-point play and Hunter added points to give Maccabi a 57-42 lead midway through the frame. John DiBartolomeo fed Hunter for an alleyoop, Jones went up the middle for an uncontested layup, Sandy Cohen hit a trio of triples as Miles, Harris and Oded Brandwein all scored but Stefanos Dedas’s club went into the final period down 77-59.

Oz Blayzer – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Pnini from downtown, McGee and De Zeeuw with points inside cut the Maccabi lead down to just 8-points, 81-73 with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Blayzer scored from long distance, Hunter hit a turnaround in the paint and then a jam while Zoosman added a steal and a dunk while Jones kept scoring as the yellow-and-blue cruised to the win.

Hapoel Eilat sunk Nes Ziona 89-84 thanks to a late 16-3 run to notch the road victory. Brad Greenberg’s Nes Ziona came into the game riding a 5 game winning streak as Tal Dunne with a near miss triple-double paced the hosts throughout the game. But the trio of Casey Prather, Joe Ragland and Markel Brown were too strong down the stretch as the Red Sea city squad took the win. Prather ended the game with 28 points, Ragland added 20 points and Brown chipped in with 18 points plus a 360 degree dunk in the victory. Dunne scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 7 assists as Braian Angola scored 15 points in the loss.

Bnei Herzliya knocked off Hapoel Haifa 91-79 with a strong fourth quarter as they held the Carmel Reds to only 10 points to snatch the win. Sharon Drucker’s Herzliya jumped out to a 26-15 lead after the opening frame but Elad Hasin’s squad came right back as the sides kept it close for thirty minutes until the hosts played lockdown defense over the final ten minutes to record the victory. Elijah Thomas led the way with 19 points, Coty Clarke added 17 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists while Max Heidegger chipped in with 16 points for Herzliya. Amit Simhon was the Haifa high scorer with 20 points as Keenan Evans and Rakeem Buckles scored 14 points a piece in the loss.

Hapoel Gilboa Galil dunked an overmatched Nahariya 92-79 in the Galilee as six players scored in double digits to give their new head coach Avishay Gordon his third straight win. After a fairly competitive first half in which the hosts led 44-39 after twenty minutes, Gilboa ripped off a 33-21 third quarter to take an insurmountable advantage to collect the victory. Kerry Blackshear scored 19 points, Iftach Ziv added 16 points and 9 rebounds while Isaiah Cousins chipped in with 16 points in the win. Michael Young led Nahariya with 21 points and Malik Newman scored 19 points in the loss.

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