Hapoel Tel Aviv guard Raviv Limonad (center) led his team with 23 points last night, but couldn’t help it avoid an 84-70 defeat at Hapoel Eilat in BSL action. (.
(photo credit: YANIV COHEN/BSL)
Isaac Rosefelt helped Hapoel Holon to a winning start to the BSL season on Monday night, setting a new league record of 26 rebounds to go with 13 points in his team’s 89-72 victory over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
The 27-year-old American-Jew, who received Israeli citizenship five years ago after joining Bnei Herzliya, already had 15 rebounds at the halftime break, with Holon leading 48-29 after two quarters.
Gilboa closed to within six points (63- 57) at the start of the fourth period, but Holon replied with a 13-2 run to open a 17-point margin (76-59) from which there was no return for Gilboa.
“At the end of the day it is a record and doesn’t really matter,” said Rosefelt, who broke the previous record of 24 rebounds set by Stanley Brandy in the 2000/01 season. “What matters is that we won the game.
The big thing was coming out and winning our first game of the year at home. Gilboa beat us by 20 points last year and we wanted to make a statement tonight. We have a great team and we are looking forward to a great season.”
Jordan Taylor led Holon with 20 points and six assists, with Shlomi Harush finishing with 19 points and Tony Crocker contributing 16 points and eight rebounds.
Wayne Chism and Jeremiah Wilson scored 15 points each for Gilboa.
Also Monday, Hapoel Eilat began its campaign in impressive fashion, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 84-70, while Maccabi Rishon Lezion edged Bnei Herzliya 80-78.
There was very little to separate the teams throughout the first half in Eilat, with the hosts leading 33-32 at the interval. Eilat improved its offensive execution after the break and built a double-digit gap (51-40) by the midway point of the third frame. The southerners still led by 11 points (60-49) entering the final 10 minutes and cruised to an encouraging win to start the season.
“We have a team with potential,” said Eilat coach Dan Shamir. “We didn’t look great in the pre-season for several reasons and I’m happy we looked good tonight.”
Khalif Wyatt led Eilat with 24 points, with Afik Nissim finishing with 18 points. Raviv Limonad had 23 points for Tel Aviv.
“We played unselfishly and my teammates gave me the ball and I’m just happy the ball went in,” said Wyatt.
Tel Aviv coach Oded Katash didn’t seem too concerned after losing his first game at the helm of the Reds.
“We played a good team,” said Katash.
“I think we lost the game at the beginning of the second half. We didn’t play with the right energy.”
In the only tight game of the night, Rishon eked out a win thanks to a superb showing by young Israeli guard Shawn Dowson. The 20-year-old had just three points in the first half, but finished the game with 26, hitting three three-pointers while also taking six rebounds.
Herzliya took a promising 40-32 advantage into the second half, but Rishon closed to within a single point (59-58) ahead of the final frame and held its composure the better of the two teams in the closing stages, with Dowson scoring nine of his side’s final 11 points.
“It took us some time to wake up,” admitted Dowson. “We didn’t defend well in the first half and that is why Herzliya was in the lead. We spoke at the break about having to lift our energy levels and I’m glad we managed to do that.”
Jackie Carmichael added 17 points and eight boards for Rishon, with Josh Selby scoring 30 points for Herzliya.