Nahariya cruises past G. Shmuel

Ironi Nahariya took another step towards the BSL Final Four on Sunday with an impressive win against Maccabi Givat Shmuel.

Ironi Nahariya took another step towards the BSL Final Four on Sunday with an impressive 102-85 away win against Maccabi Givat Shmuel to solidify itself in fourth place. Nahariya improved to 10-7, just one game behind Maccabi Rishon for third place and 21⁄2 ahead of Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Hasharon, both of whom lost on Sunday. On the other end of the table, Tunji Awojobi and Ironi Ramat Gan visited Galil Elyon, but were unable to deliver in the final seconds and fell behind Ramat Hasharon in the relegation battle. The most anticipated Matchday 19 game, pitting Maccabi Tel Aviv against Hapoel Jerusalem was postponed until next month to accommodate the teams' busy European schedules. Hapoel left Sunday for Russia where it faces Dynamo Moscow on Tuesday in the second leg of the ULEB Cup semifinals, while Maccabi meets Ulker Istanbul in Turkey on Thursday in its Euroleague Top 16 finale. In Or Yehuda, Nahariya was the better team from the start and took a 27-22 lead the end of the first quarter, despite a spirited 7-0 run by the hosts. Givat Shmuel had to face a 7-0 Nahariya run in the second quarter and fell behind 48-34 at halftime. The visitors continued to run away in the second half behind Cory Carr and Jayson Wells. Wells finished with 25 points and Carr added 19, including a crucial three-pointer at the end of the third period which helped Nahariya open up a seven-point lead. Timmy Bowers played a solid all-around game for Givat Shmuel, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds. Hapoel Galil Elyon 84, Ironi Ramat Gan 82 The match-up in between rising star Lior Eliyahu and the veteran Awojobi lived up to expectations as both teams played a spirited game with a close finish. Galil opened the game in convincing manner, with Sasa Bratic (19 points) finishing many of the home side's fast breaks with authority. Awojobi kept the visitors in the game and did virtually everything on both ends of the floor, finishing another impressive game with 23 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals to single-handedly keep Ramat Gan in the game. Galil led 83-80 with eight seconds on the clock, but Jason Gardner could manage only a lay up in the remaining seconds and Ramat Gan finally surrendered 84-82. In other games, David Logan drilled six three-pointers on his way to 30 points as Ramat Hasharon pounded Bnei Hasharon 111-80, and Elitzur Ashkelon upended Hapoel Tel Aviv 79-65.