Local hoops: Tapiro lifts Hasharon over Nahariya

Beat 67-65 Ironi Nahariya on Monday night, second straight win under new coach Ariel Beit-Halahmi.

Meir Tapiro 88 (photo credit: )
Meir Tapiro 88
(photo credit: )
A Meir Tapiro basket with 1.7 seconds to play gave Bnei Hasharon a precious 67-65 road victory over Ironi Nahariya on Monday night. Tapiro struggled desperately throughout the encounter, but hit a superb fall away jumper when it counted most, giving Bnei Hasharon (2-2) its second straight win under new coach Ariel Beit-Halahmi. "I was killing my team throughout the game and I'm happy I could make up for that in the end," Tapiro said. "We started the season poorly, but this victory gives us the confidence that we are a good team. This was a sweet win." Tapiro scored just four points and turned the ball over six times at Ein Sara, but did contribute eight rebounds and five assists. Cookie Belcher led the victors with 17 points, with Ugonna Onyekwe adding 14 points and eight rebounds. Nahariya (1-3), which has now lost three straight games, got 18 points from Ron Lewis and 15 points and 13 rebounds from Aaron McGhee. The hosts got off to a flying start, opening the game with a 9-2 run, and led 16-9 after 10 minutes. Bnei Hasharon finally found its scoring touch at the start of the second period and a 10-2 run, capped by a Ousmane Cisse free throw, gave the visitors the lead (19-18). Ariel Beit-Halahmi's men would go on to dominate the period, winning it 28-12 to open a 37-28 halftime advantage thanks to Richard Roby's basket. The visitors continued to extend the margin in the third quarter and Onyekwe's basket with four minutes remaining in the frame opened a game high 16-point gap (50-34). Nahariya looked to be down and out, but an 11-0 run gave the hosts renewed hope, with Lewis's basket bringing his team within five (50-45). Bnei Hasharon entered the final 10 minutes of the encounter with a 53-46 lead, but Nahariya showed its resilience in the fourth quarter and a Raviv Limonad (11 points) basket midway through the period brought the hosts within one possession (59-57). Despite allowing Bnei Hasharon to increase its lead once more in the subsequent three minutes, Nahariya remained in contention until the very end of the game. Five straight tallies by Limonad cut the deficit to a single point (64-63) with a minute to play and Tony Washam tied the score at 65-65 with 24 seconds remaining. The final moments, however, would belong to one of Israeli basketball's greatest winners, with Tapiro clinching the win in typical dramatic fashion.