Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Holon square off.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
With Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem already looking like they have wrapped up the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, the battle for third place in the BSL standings took center stage on Monday, with Hapoel Holon beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 82-70.
Holon improved to 13-9 and leapfrogged into third position, bouncing back from its 30-point drubbing at the hands of Hapoel Jerusalem last week. Tel Aviv dropped to its third loss in the past four games, falling to 12-10 and giving coach Oded Katash plenty to mull over.
After three tight quarters, Holon took a four-point gap (59- 55) into the final 10 minutes, before slowly but surely increasing the margin.
Dominic McGuire led Holon with 23 points and six rebounds, with Jordan Taylor adding 19 points and nine assists.
“I tried to come out and do everything for my team,” said McGuire. “We have a great team. We are real close and it shows on the court. We were coming off two losses and were tied with Hapoel so it was very big for us to come out and get the win and gain some momentum.”
Also on Monday, Ironi Ness Ziona (11-11) won its first game in almost two months, snapping a six-game losing streak with an 86-84 win over the sorry Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (5-17), which fell to its ninth consecutive defeat.
Ness Ziona led throughout the first half, but Gilboa moved ahead (60-59) late in the third quarter. Gilboa still held a slender lead entering the final three minutes, but the hosts held their nerve the better of the two teams in the closing stages to break out of their funk.
Craig Smith and Lamayn Wilson had 17 points each for Ness Ziona, which hit 29-of-46 fieldgoal attempts (63%).
Stanley Burrell scored 26 points for Gilboa, with Alex Young adding 24 points and 10 rebound.
After four consecutive defeats, Maccabi Haifa moved to 9-13 with an emphatic 101-81 victory over Ironi Nahariya (9-13), which entered the game on the back of four straight wins.
Haifa seized control with an 18-2 run to end the first period, opening a 33-18 gap. Nahariya never came close to mounting a comeback and the Greens finally broke out of their slump.
Rene Rougeau finished with 26 points and seven rebounds for Haifa, with Ike Ofoegbu contributing 19 points and 10 boards.
John Williamson had 20 points and eight rebounds for Nahariya in defeat.