Maccabi Tel Aviv cruises as Pnini is all-time games leader, Hapoel Tel Aviv wins in OT, Galil Elyon + Kiryat Ata both victorious

Feb 19, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv took out all of their State Cup loss frustration on Bnei Herzliya as the yellow-and-blue cruised to a 99-76 win on the road. Oded Katash’s team took an early lead and never looked back as Jake Cohen, Bonzie Colson and John Dibartolomeo scored at will to notch the victory.

Cohen led the way with 19 points, Colson added 16 points and Dibartolomeo chipped in with 13 points in a game that saw Guy Pnini become the all time Israeli league games played leader with 512 appearances. Julian Gamble scored 19 points and Maurice Kemp added 12 points to pace Herzliya in the loss.

“After Thursday the challenge was double,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash said about the turnaround of winning at Herzliya after falling just a few days ago to Jerusalem in the State Cup final. “Playing against a good team on the road is never easy. This was also a neatly challenge following a huge disappointment. The players and staff reacted well.”

“We played very poorly both offensively and defensively,” Herzliya coach Oren Aharoni explained. “Maccabi Tel Aviv is a team who can punish you when you are playing poorly and when your shooting percentage is poor and that is what they did. At no stage of this game did we do anything positive.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv just got by Hapoel Beer Sheva 80-79 in overtime as Jordan McRae and Bar Timor played key roles in the tough win. Shorthanded Beer Sheva saw Khalil Ahmad, Egor Koulechov and Tidjan Keita help them to a slim lead after the first quarter but Jordan McRae, Xavier Munford and Bar Timor fought back to head into half-time all knotted up at 38-38.

Ben Moore and Roi Paretzky got going for Lior Lubin’s team in the second half while Tomer Ginat countered for Danny Franco’s squad to take the lead but Moore dunked late in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime tied at 70-70. However, a McRae 3-point play and a triple from Timor was the difference to take the 1-point overtime win.

McRae led the way with 19 points, Timor added 16 points and Ginat checked in with 14 points for Tel Aviv while, Ahmad paced Beer Sheva with 19 points, Moore chipped in with 16 points and Keita scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the loss.

Bar Timor spoke about the tight win, “This wasn’t a big offensive game for us but I’m happy that at the end of the day we knew how to find a way to pick up the win at a tough arena on the road and keep out spot near the top of the standings. We showed a lot of character and toughness even during some of the minutes we struggled.”

Kiryat Ata sunk Hapoel Eilat 90-78 in a game that five of Sharon Avrahami’s team finished in double dights as they controlled the pace of play from the get go. Amin Stevens and Chavaughn Lewis helped the hosts take a 48-32 lead at halftime while Michael Brisker, Yotam Hanochi and Diante Garrett helped finish off the victory. Stevens led the way 19 points and 9 rebounds, Lewis added 18 points while Garrett chipped in with 16 points in the win. Terran Petteway scored 18 points, Antonius Cleveland added 14 points and Jared Terrell scored 12 points in the loss.

“We had really been thinking about how we were struggling to hold onto a lead,” Avrahami said. “So it was important that we begin the second half on the right foot and that’s what we were able to do. Things seemed to go the other way the last few games but this time it was a different story and we won the game.”

Hapoel Galil Elyon got right back on the winning track as they downed Hapoel Haifa 78-70 thanks to a stellar showing from Nimrod Levi. Lotan Amsalem and Levi had the hot hands for Hapoel Galil Elyon early on but Kadeem Allen and Justin Tillman helped Hapoel Haifa get back into the game but were down 36-31 at halftime. Bryce Washington started to score at will for Barak Peleg’s team but Anthony Hickey and Will Rayman kept Sharon Drucker’s squad in the game, but Levi was unstoppable as the Israeli international paced the Galilee side to the victory.

Levi finished the game with 24 points, Washington added 14 points and 8 boards while Amsalem and Itay Moskovitz each had 9 points a piece in the win. Hickey led Haifa with 16 points and 7 assists as Allen and Tillman had 12 points a piece in the defeat.

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