Jerusalem uses 18-0 run to topple Rishon

Avdija, Mac TA rout Holon • Beersheba edges Nahariya • Mac Haifa beats Hap TA on game-winning 3

JEREMY PARGO (left) and James Feldeine (right) helped Hapoel Jerusalem earn an 88-73 road triumph over teenager Noam Dovrat (center) and Maccabi Rishon Lezion this week in Israel Winner League action (photo credit: DOV HALICKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY)
JEREMY PARGO (left) and James Feldeine (right) helped Hapoel Jerusalem earn an 88-73 road triumph over teenager Noam Dovrat (center) and Maccabi Rishon Lezion this week in Israel Winner League action
Hapoel Jerusalem squashed Maccabi Rishon Lezion 88-73 this week in Israel Winner League action in a game that didn’t live up to its billing.
Rishon Lezion began the contest strong, but an 18-0 run by Jerusalem to end the first quarter sent the Reds on their way to the blowout win. John Holland led the way with 18 points, Nimrod Levi added 13 points and eight rebounds, Bar Timor chipped in with 12 points, while Jeremy Pargo scored 11 points and dished out eight assists.
Zach Hankins led Rishon with 17 points and youngster Noam Dovrat added 14 points in the loss.
Jerusalem coach Oded Katash reflected on the game.
“When you see that Rishon strengthened its team over the break you don’t expect such an easy game, but it’s still hard to judge games at this point. We can take the 15 minutes that we only gave up 20 points and that is what won us the game. Offensively we passed the ball well, we played at a good pace and I felt that we played together compared to the Holon game.”
Meanwhile, on Monday night, Maccabi Tel Aviv thumped Hapoel Holon 100-69 as the yellow-and-blue pulled away after a close first half to cruise to the 31-point victory.
Deni Avdija led all scorers with 24 points, Sandy Cohen and Angelo Caloiaro each dropped 18 points apiece while Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points in the win. Jimmy Hall, with 18 points, was Holon’s high scorer in the loss.
“This was maybe the best game that we have played since coming back from the break,” said Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos. “We played with our mind, together and shared the ball. We had very few turnovers and whatever we did was part of the team spirit which is what I like.”
Elsewhere, Hapoel Beersheba sneaked by Ironi Nahariya 69-67 in the northern capital as Rami Hadar’s squad continued its move up the standings.
Nahariya big man Itay Segev had a chance to send the game into overtime with two late free throws, but he missed the front end forcing him to have to intentionally miss the second and hope for a put-back on a rebound. However, the Southern Reds recovered the ball to take the tight win.
Caleb Agada busted out of a first-half shooting slump to finish the game with 21 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Paul Delaney, who made his season debut for Beersheba, scored all of his 17 points in the first half to keep the visitors in the picture, while Spencer Weisz scored 10 points and added nine rebounds. Segev and Travis Warech each scored 12 points for Nahariya in the tough defeat.
Agada was upset, but motivated, about the results of the closely fought contest.
“We showed what we are capable of tonight,” said the Nahariya guard. “We played well together but still got work to do and we’ll be back in the gym tomorrow to fix some issues.”
The 25-year-old Canadian-Nigerian also spoke about Delaney’s debut with the team.
“Paul is a great player, I respect him a lot and am always looking to him to teach me new things about the game that I may not have picked up yet. His resume speaks for itself and he has a lot of experience.”
Ness Ziona recorded a much-needed 88-80 win over Hapoel Eilat to pick up its first victory since returning from the coronavirus-induced break.
Nadav Zilberstein’s squad controlled the pace of play throughout the contest, save for a third quarter hiccup that saw the Red Sea squad close to within two points and threaten the hosts.
But that would be as close as Eilat would get in the eight-point Ness Ziona conquest.
Cameron Oliver starred for Nes Ziona with 31 points and eight rebounds, Golan Gutt added 16 points while Tal Dunne checked in with 12 points. Rafi Menco led Eilat with 17 points and Devon Scott chipped in with 15 points in the loss.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil continued its hot play with a 92-81 win at Maccabi Ashdod that saw the Port City side tumble to the Leumit League and relegation after 10 years in Israel’s top tier.
Joe Thomasson was the Galilee squad’s high scorer with 25 points as the guard continues to shine since joining Lior Lubin’s team, while Michael Young added 18 points and Yotam Hanochi scored 12 points in the win.
Paul Stoll led Ashdod with 18 points and 10 assists while Jairus Holder scored 17 points in the loss.
“Today was a great opportunity for myself and my teammates,” said Thomasson. “It was a fun game to be a part of and I’m glad I could step up big for my team when they needed me most.”
Maccabi Haifa used a game-winning three-pointer by Speedy Smith to snatch a 82-79 victory at Hapoel Tel Aviv in a hotly contested battle.
In a game that went back and forth for the full 40 minutes, with time running down, Smith stepped up from way, way downtown and drained the winner to keep the Greens in line to take fifth place.
The devastating loss sent Hapoel Tel Aviv tumbling out of a playoff spot with three games remaining in the regular season.
Smith ended with a game high 24 points and seven assists, while Roman Sorkin and Michael Brisker each scored 14 points in the win. Jordan Davis and Tomer Ginat each scored 17 points for the Reds in a losing cause.
The star of the show, Smith, told The Jerusalem Post following the game: “I believe coach had a great game plan for tonight’s game. We executed very well on defense. Our team rallied together the whole night. It was amazing to get this win and we will build from here.”