Local Hoops: Gilboa/Galil handles Ashkelon in playoff opener

Kadir and Randle lead with 18 points and five rebounds each in 69-66 victory.

Hapoel Gilboa Galil mekel 311 (photo credit: BSL)
Hapoel Gilboa Galil mekel 311
(photo credit: BSL)
 Hapoel Gilboa/Galil began the BSL playoffs on the right foot on Monday night, easily beating Ironi Ashkelon 92-81 to take a 1-0 lead in the quarterfinal series.
Oded Katash’s team got off to a fast start and cruised to the victory after opening an 18-point halftime lead (48-30).
Also Monday, Ironi Nahariya trailed throughout most of Game 1 of its relegation playoff against Hapoel Holon, only to grab the lead in the final minutes and claim a crucial 73-68 victory.
At Gan Ner, Gilboa scored the first points of the night and never looked back. Elishay Kadir’s basket midway through the first period opened a double-digit margin (15-5) and the hosts led 27-15 after 10 minutes.
Ashkelon beat Gilboa by 16 points the last time the teams met in January, but it failed to make any inroads into Hapoel’s gap in the second period and was all but beaten by the break.
Kadir and Brian Randle led Gilboa with 18 points and five rebounds each. Dion Dowell added 14 points for Katash’s men, who will be confident of also winning on the road in Game 2 on Thursday.
In Nahariya, the hosts got off to a poor start, trailing 18-10 afterthe first period. Holon, which had lost six of its last seven games toend the regular season in last place, was still ahead at the break(36-31) and entered the final 10 minutes with a promising 58-47 margin.
However,Nahariya began the fourth quarter with a strong run and slowly ate awayat the deficit. Barak Peleg’s three-pointer with less than threeminutes to play completed Nahariya’s comeback (69-66) and the hostsheld on for a crucial win.
Paul Delaney had 18 points for Nahariya, with John Thomas scoring 17 points for Holon.