Maccabi Tel Aviv downed a game Hapoel Jerusalem 83-78 in a tight contest throughout the entire 40 minutes to take the Israeli Classico for the third time this season. Derrick Williams scored a turnaround fadeaway jumper with just over a minute remaining in the final frame to break a 78-78 tie and give the yellow-and-blue the lead for good as they notched the hard earned win.
Ante Zizic and Williams paced Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad early on but Jalen Adams scored at will to put Yotam Halperin’s team ahead midway through the fourth quarter. However, John DiBartolomeo hit some big baskets as did Williams down the stretch to give the visitors the win.
Williams ended the game with 17 points, DiBartolomeo added 14 points and Zizic chipped in with 13 points in the win. Adams led Jerusalem with 26 points, Retin Obasohan added 14 points and Suleiman Braimoh scored 13 points in the loss.
“I want to congratulate the players as this was a complete game,” Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos said. “They played like a team, fought like a team and won the game as a team. We were up for a bit in the first half and we started the second half well. But at the moment Jerusalem went up 70-63 we didn’t panic and stayed calm. We had clear ideas to make the stops and score on offense. Many players stepped up to record this win.”
The game MVP Derrick Williams spoke to The Sports Rabbi following the win, “It feels great. I think we showed passion and character tonight on the floor. Obviously it’s a big rivalry game so everyone came to play, we just want to get as many wins as we can. It’s good for the team and our mentality, especially entering a hard week of games so it’s good we started it with a win.”
“This was a good basketball game, but of course it’s disappointing that we lost at the end,” said Jerusalem coach Yotam Halperin. “We were up by 7 points and then we allowed them to get back into the game very quickly. It may have been focus or perhaps fatigue but we will learn from this game.”
Retin Obasohan drilled home a triple for Hapoel Jerusalem to begin the game while Derrick Williams immediately answered right back for Maccabi Tel Aviv as Itay Segev and Jalen Adams scored for the Reds but Oz Blayzer nailed a pair from long distance to keep the score all knotted up at 11-11 midway through the first quarter. Blayzer, Ante Zizic and Willaims found points for Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad, Willy Workman and Obasohan responded but Zizic and Iftach Ziv scored as well to give Maccabi a 26-20 lead after ten minutes of action.
Ziv hit a midrange jumper to start off the second quarter, Noam Dovrat scored his first points as a member of Hapoel Jerusalem from the corner but Scottie Wilbekin put his name on the scoresheet and Jake Cohen scored a pair of buckets in the paint to keep Maccabi in front 34-27 with 6:31 left in the period.
Ziv found Cohen under the basket out of the timeout, Su Braimoh and Obasohan scored from beyond the arc, so did John Dibartolomeo but Adam Ariel did as well to tie up the game at 39-39 with 3:05 remaining in the half. Zizic scored a baby hook, Dibartolomeo nailed a 3-pointer, Adams responded with a floater and a basket off of the glass but Maccabi took a slim 46-45 lead into halftime.
Obasohan scored a layup to open up the third quarter but Keenan Evans and Williams each scored 3-pointer as Maccabi bumped up their advantage to 52-47 midway through the frame. Adams scored inside and outside, Braimoh added points, Zizic answered inside, Dibartolomeo and Wilbekin went from deep as the yellow-and-blue stayed up 63-59 after thirty minutes of play.
Adams went off to get the fourth quarter rolling with a corner 3-pointer and a layup in the paint, Obasohan dialled up long distance as did Ariel but Williams answered from downtown but Jerusalem took the lead 72-68 with 5:04 remaining in regulation time. DiBartolomeo scored a 3-pointer and added a layup, Kaiser Gates put in his first points of the game, Adams scored from deep yet again but Evans scored a layup and one to tie the game up at 78-78 with 1:55 to go. Williams drained a fadeaway jumper and Cohen scored from the charity stripe to wrapup the 5-point win.
Hapoel Eilat sunk Hapoel Holon 80-65 at the Red Sea City as six players featured in double digits in the victory that further moves Ariel Beit Halachmi’s squad away from the relegation zone. The hosts jumped out to a 46–24 lead at halftime and never looked back to record the blow out win. Israeli guard Roi Huber led the way with 15 points and 8 assists, Joaquin Szuchman added 15 points and 8 rebounds while Bryon Allen checked in with 12 points and 9 boards and Kristian Doolittle recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Rafi Menco paced the visitors with 15 points, Steve Zack added 13 points and 12 rebounds as Joe Ragland scored 10 points in the defeat.
“It was a great game and we were making our shots tonight,” Doolittle commented. “We played hard on defense limiting Holon to only one shot on most possessions.”