Local Hoops: Nahariya overcomes Bnei Hasharon in State Cup quarters

Guard Raviv Limonad, "This is an important achievement for the club and for me personally," after scoring 22 points.

bnei hasharon 88 (photo credit: )
bnei hasharon 88
(photo credit: )
Ironi Nahariya continued its magical cup run on Wednesday, defeating Bnei Hasharon 91-81 in Ra'anana to book its place in the semifinals of the State Cup. Nahariya stunned Maccabi Tel Aviv 99-85 in the last 16, and thoroughly deserved its impressive road victory on Wednesday. Ya'acov Jino's team led throughout most of Wednesday's encounter and, despite trailing by three points entering the fourth quarter, ran riot in the final 10 minutes on the way to the last four. "This is an important achievement for the club and for me personally," said Nahariya guard Raviv Limonad, who scored 22 points. "After the Katyusha rockets landed in Nahariya the club almost collapsed, but we recovered and now we're in the semifinals of the Cup." Ron Lewis led the winners scoring 25 points, with Phillip Ricci, Aaron McGhee and new signing Jason Williams adding 12, 11 and 10 points respectively. Cookie Belcher led the hosts with 19 points, with Meir Tapiro adding 15 points. "We didn't play well enough and Nahariya deservers all the credit. They were the better team," Bnei Hasharon coach Ariel Beit-Halachmi said. Also Wednesday, Maccabi Haifa advanced to the semifinals with an 85-71 win at second-division club Hapoel Afula. Despite being a massive underdog, Afula led 55-47 in the third period and gave the visitors a real run for their money. Haifa, however, improved on the defensive end in the fourth quarter and will be in the hat in Sunday's semifinal draw. The two remaining quarterfinals will be played on Thursday. Cup holder Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Givat Shmuel and Ironi Ashkelon plays at home for the first time since fighting broke out in Gaza when it hosts Hapoel Holon. In Ra'anana, an early 9-0 run, capped by four straight Ricci points, gave the visitors a 9-3 lead, and Nahariya took a two-point margin (20-18) into the second quarter. The lead changed hands several times during the early stages of the second period, but Nahariya ended the half with five consecutive points, with Lewis's three-pointer at the buzzer opening a 52-44 gap at the break. Six straight Tapiro points to start the second half brought the hosts within two points and a Belcher basket with two minutes to play in the third quarter gave Bnei Hasharon the lead again (66-65). The hosts took a three-point cushion (68-65) into the final 10 minutes, but completely lost their head in the fourth period, struggling against Nahariya's improved defense and failing to stop Ironi's offense. Bnei Hasharon was outscored 21-4 in the first seven-and-a-half minutes of the quarter and the visitors cruised into the last four of the cup. Shay Doron moves to Ramat Hen Israeli star Shay Doron has left Turkish team Besiktas and signed with Maccabi Ramat Hen for the rest of the season. Doron became the first Israeli to play professional basketball in the US when she played for a season at the New York Liberty in 2007. Last season she played at Elitzur Ramle where she won the championship and this season tried her luck abroad. But financial difficulties at the Turkish club forced the 23-year-old to reconsider her decision.