Local Hoops: Bnei Hasharon leapfrogs Maccabi TA

After defeating Hapoel Galil Elyon 82-74, Effi Birenboim's team can now guarantee itself at least 2nd place by winning its final 2 games.

Bnei Hasharon 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bnei Hasharon 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Bnei Hasharon leapfrogged Maccabi Tel Aviv into second position in the BSL on Monday night, defeating Hapoel Galil Elyon 82-74 at Kfar Blum. Effi Birenboim's team is now tied on 41 points with Maccabi, but thanks to its three league victories over the yellow-and-blue is placed above Tel Aviv. It can guarantee itself at least a second place finish by winning its final two games of the regular season, at home against Ashkelon and at Afula/Gilboa. Monday's win would be a significant moral boost for Bnei Hasharon, which came into the encounter on a four-game losing streak and was playing without key stars Meir Tapiro and Cookie Belcher. Jason Williams led the visitors, scoring 26 points, with Ndudi Ebi adding 18 points and 12 rebounds. Yogev Ohayon and Aaron Nixon each scored 15 points for Galil, which has still not guaranteed its BSL survival. Or Eitan couldn't miss at the start of the game and his third three-pointer of the encounter opened a 13-5 Galil lead. Five straight Ebi points brought the visitors within three points (18-15), but Hapoel still took a 25-19 advantage into the second quarter. Galil couldn't buy a basket in the closing stages of the first half and its offensive struggles were costing it dearly. Grizzard's free throws increased the visitors' margin to six points (40-34) and Bnei Hasharon led 42-38 at the interval. Hapoel wouldn't need long to close the deficit in the third quarter, with Ohayon's jumper tying the score at 45-45. Three-pointers by Avi Ben-Shimol and Nixon to start the fourth quarter saw the lead switch hands once more (59-56) and Bnei Hasharon looked to be in trouble. Birenboim's men would, however, receive points from the unlikeliest of sources when they needed them most, with Erez Katz hitting two straight threes to give the side a 64-59 advantage. Galil managed to cut the gap slightly in the subsequent minutes, but the visitors never dropped their lead and held on for the important win.