Rishon continues resurgence by edging Jerusalem

Mac TA snaps Eilat’s streak.

 MACCABI TEL AVIV’S Nimrod Levi drives to the basket against the Hapoel Eilat defense during Maccabi’s 101-91 home victory over Eilat in Basketball Super League action this week (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
MACCABI TEL AVIV’S Nimrod Levi drives to the basket against the Hapoel Eilat defense during Maccabi’s 101-91 home victory over Eilat in Basketball Super League action this week
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Rishon Lezion continued its fine play under coach Guy Goodes to defeat Hapoel Jerusalem 77-72 over the weekend in Basketball Super League action.
In a back and forth game, Cameron Long scored a pair of buckets in crunch time to help the hosts to the victory. Long led Rishon with 17 points and Alex Hamilton added 16 points in the win, while Bar Timor scored 13 points and Josh Owens chipped in with 11 points for Jerusalem.
Oded Katash’s squad had a rough shooting night going 8-of-38 (21 percent) from three and 27-of-81 (33%) from the field.
Jerusalem opened the game well, taking a 7-2 lead thanks to James Feldeine, but Rishon came back to take a 19-17 lead by the end of the quarter.
Adam Ariel helped the hosts go up 32-26 forcing Katash to take a timeout allowing the Reds to regain the lead as Timor hit a pair of three-pointers, but Rishon went into halftime holding the upper hand 42-41.
The third quarter was again a close and intense period, but Rishon headed into the final frame ahead 61-59 as Hamilton dropped eight points for Goodes’s squad.
J’Covan Brown hit a huge triple to give Jerusalem a 67-65 advantage in the fourth, but Cameron Long scored a pair of buckets to take a 73-72 lead with 48 seconds left as the hosts never looked back en route to the victory.
“This is the first time I believe we lost a game because of our offense,” commented Katash to The Jerusalem Post. “We played well enough defensively to win the game. But there are days when the ball just doesn’t go in.”
“Our defense won the game and a few quality defensive stops made the difference today,” Goodes said about the win.
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv stopped Hapoel Eilat’s nine-game league winning streak and defeated the Red Sea City squad 101-91 at Yad Eliyahu.
Swarming defense, a steal by Yovel Zoosman and key buckets by Scottie Wilbekin, Michael Roll, Alex Tyus and Johnny O’Bryant made the difference as the yellow-and-blue remained perfect at home.
Eilat, which was playing without point guard Avi Ben Chimol, kept pace with the hosts throughout the contest thanks to Elijah Bryant’s 20 points, 10 of which came in the final frame, and J.P. Tokoto’s 21 points.
Although the visitors took a short-lived lead late in the fourth quarter, Wilbekin’s 13 final-frame points, Tyus’s perfect 7-of-7 night from the field for 14 points, Roll’s clutch triples for 18 points and six assists along with O’Bryant’s trio of three-pointers gave coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos the win.
Also, Hapoel Holon held on to record an 88-84 victory over Maccabi Ashdod. Corey Walden again was the main man for Holon as the guard scored 25 points and added eight assists.
Paul Stoll drilled home a pair of late three’s to knot up these score at 84-84, but free throws from Darion Atkins and Walden handed the win to Dan Shamir’s squad.
Ness Ziona defeated slumping Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 83-76 as both teams played without a couple of their stars in Tal Dunne and Bryant Crawford, respectively.
Host Ness Ziona received terrific play from three of its guards as Gary Browne scored 21 points, Golan Gutt added 19 points and Chris Dowe had 18 points.
Hapoel Beersheba exacted a bit of revenge on Hapoel Tel Aviv following their State Cup quarterfinal matchup as Rami Hadar’s southern side defeated Danny Franco’s squad in Tel Aviv 73-68.
The hosts took a 10-point lead (40-30) into the third quarter but Beersheba showed plenty of heart over the final 20 minutes to pull off the come-from-behind win.
Jakim Donaldson recorded a double-double with 14 points and 20 rebounds, while Jordan Swing added 18 points. Tel Aviv captain Raviv Limonad scored 19 points and added eight rebounds as Alade Aminu scored 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in defeat.
Nahariya won on the road at Bnei Herzliya 63-61, as it withstood three chances by the hosts to win the game in the last minute.
After a strong start by Herzliya thanks to Michael Dixon and Bogdan Bliznyuk, Nahariya came back with a 15-0 run to get back into the game. The hosts again jumped out to a big lead but resilient Nahariya, led by Terry Allen Egor Nesterenko, clawed back with a 17-3 run to take the lead and the win as Dixon, Or Leumi and James Robinson all missed chances to win the game.
In other news, the Israel Basketball State Cup semifinals were set, with Hapoel Jerusalem slated to play Hapoel Holon and Maccabi Rishon Lezion to face Hapoel Tel Aviv on February 11 at the Pais Arena in Jerusalem.