By ALLON SINAIPublished: APRIL 30, 2007 04:46Advertisement
Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan won its fourth straight BSL game Sunday night and leapfrogged over Ironi Nahariya into fourth place in the standings.
Galil, which thrashed Ironi Ramat Gan 111-89 in their Matchday 21 game, made the most of Nahariya's surprising 80-73 home loss to Maccabi Rishon Lezion and, with seven regular season games remaining, took the lead in the race for the fourth spot in the Final Four.
Galil, which has averaged 109 points on its recent winning streak, got off to a less-than-ideal start on Sunday and trailed 21-11 in the first period. However, Oded Katash's men quickly regained their composure and came back to within one point (28-27) after 10 minutes.
Galil began to dominate in the second quarter and went ahead 42-28 after completing a 21-0 run.
Hapoel continued to extend its lead as the period progressed and was up 59-41 at halftime.
After Galil entered the fourth quarter with a 78-63 lead, Ramat Gan's seventh consecutive defeat was inevitable and the hosts strolled to another important victory.
Kenny Adeleke led Hapoel with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Omri Caspi scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Daryl Wilson led all scorers with 34 points in 36 minutes on court, but even his sparkling effort wasn't enough for Ramat Gan to give Galil a run for its money.
Ironi Nahariya 73, Maccabi Rishon Lezion 80
Rishon, which lost its previous nine league games, recorded an important win in its battle against relegation on Sunday.
A late Rishon run stunned Nahariya, which was going for its fourth consecutive BSL win, and dented the hosts' hopes of a second straight Final Four appearance.
Nahariya seemed to be in total control of the game when it opened a 29-15 lead after 10 minutes and took a 16-point (46-30) cushion into the break.
However, two superb periods by Rishon helped the visitors complete an unlikely comeback.
A 15-2 run by Rishon in the first five minutes of the third quarter cut the deficit to three points.
After the period ended with Nahariya ahead 60-55, Rishon had everything to play for in the final 10 minutes.
Nine straight points by Itai Lev, after Rishon was trailing 70-65, gave Maccabi a lead it didn't relinquish on its way to its sixth victory of the season.
Jerel Blassingame led Rishon with 19 points, with Brian Tolbert and Lev adding 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Also Sunday, Maccabi Givat Shmuel recorded its first win in four games, defeating Hapoel Afula/Gilboa 95-88 behind Jay Straight's 39 points.
Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Ironi Ashkelon and Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Bnei Hasharon in the two remaining games of Matchday 21 Monday night.
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