Shir Tirosh spurs Hapoel Lev Jerusalem to game one comeback win over Maccabi Ashdod

Mar 25, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

It was all Shir Tirosh as the Hapoel Lev Jerusalem guard rallied the Reds from a 12-point halftime deficit all the way back to take a 87-79 win over Maccabi Ashdod and hand the hosts a 1-0 lead in their best-of-5 semifinal series.

The visitors came out swinging from the get go as Daniel Karsh, Tal Yaakov and Victoria Vivians helped the port city squad to a commanding 44-32 halftime lead. However, Tirosh who finished the game with 33 points started hitting her shots from deep while slicing to the hoop as veteran Alyssa Baron also made sure to score and grab critical rebounds to come all the back to take the 8-point victory.

Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Game two is slated for Thursday night in Ashdod with tip-off scheduled for 17:40 while game three will be back in Jerusalem on Monday evening at 19:00.

Along with Tirosh’s 33 points, Baron added 21 points and 9 boards while Stasha Carey chipped in with 15 points in the win. Vivians scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Yaakov checked in with 17 points as Karsh added 13 points in the loss.

In the other semifinal series, Elitzur Ramle downed Maccabi Ironi Ramat Gan 85-74 as Daniel Raber scored 23 points and Jennie Simms added 22 points in the win and Gili Eisner scored 23 points in the loss.

Daniel Karsh – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Daniel Karsh and Tal Yaakov scored in bunches for Ashdod to open up a double digit lead over Hapoel Lev Jerusalem while Breanna Richardson and Shir Tirosh responded but Yaakov drilled home a triple at the end of the period to keep the visitors in front 24-15 after ten minutes of play. Victoria Vivians and Tal Lev found the basket for Shira Haelion’s port city squad while Tirosh and Stasha Carey responded for Limor Peleg’s team to get back into the game but Courtney Hart scored to bump up the advantage to 44-32 at halftime.

Shir Tirosh – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Karsh, Yaakov and Hart all scored for Ashdod to get the third quarter underway but fine shooting by Alyssa Baron along with smart play from Tirosh cut the lead all the way down to 61-59 after thirty minutes of action. Tirosh nailed a trio of triples while Baron drained a pair from deep to begin the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run, Vivians, Yaakov and Karsh kept the visitors close, but Tirosh proved to be absolutely unstoppable as she drilled home the final nail from beyond the arc to help Jerusalem to the comeback win.

Limor Peleg – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We have proved before that we know how to come back,” Jerusalem head coach Limor Peleg said. “The second half is the team that I know so it doesn’t surprise me. I knew they would try and get us out of our game an even though we are second and we won the cup, our players are still young and they need to know how to come up in games like this.”

Alyssa Baron – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Alyssa Baron also spoke about the victory, “We just didn’t play our best basketball in the first half on either side of the court. We know they wrote going to come in strong and fighting and they were on a winning streak as well. The second half we changed our mindset and came out more aggressive and defense is what did it for us as we changed tactically a little bit and we are able to get some shots to fall that didn’t in the first half. It’s the playoffs, it’s the semifinals and both of us want to win, we knew it was going to be an aggressive game and of course they are going to fight for their lives as well.”

Shir Tirosh – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

The game MVP Shir Tirosh gave her impressions about the game, “We played together and we battled. We came into the second half like a totally different team and I am happy that we were able to get out of the situation that we had put ourselves in. It was all of us, out heart, our soul, the fans, the atmosphere, it was everything rolled up into one. I didn’t come in with any plans. I live the game. It is everybody here that worked so hard and it’s just great to play and battle with everyone. It all comes from the inside.”

Shir Tirosh – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

As for Tirosh’s performance, Baron may have seen how the guard can rise to the occasion but nonetheless there’s no question that she impressed once again, “She is [superb]. She always steps up in big games and we know that we can count on her even when she lets it fly and you want to be like ‘no, no, no’ and it goes in. She has that range and when she is in that flow there is no stopping her. She’s incredible.”

“She was in kind of a zone that I couldn’t tell her anything. She kind of took control of the game,” Peleg commented on the MVP.

Alyssa Baron – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

As for what Jerusalem needs to do in game two coming up on Thursday night in Ashdod to send the series back to the capital city, Baron feels that the team needs to work on some things in order to come in tip top shape, “I think we made a lot of mistakes in this game that we can correct ourselves on. We will look at the film, watch and mentally and physically prepare as they are going to come out even more aggressive next game.”

“I don’t know the stats,” Tirosh said when asked about the upcoming contest. “But we have to pay more attention to the players that we had marked and we have to come in ready. This game is over, the next game is what is important now.”

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