Ohayon plays the hero again as Mac TA holds off Haifa

For a second straight week, Yogev Ohayon ensured Maccabi Tel Aviv avoided a humbling BSL defeat.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Yogev Ohayon 311 (photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv website)
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Yogev Ohayon 311
(photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv website)
For a second straight week, Yogev Ohayon ensured Maccabi Tel Aviv avoided a humbling BSL defeat, scoring six straight points in the final two minutes to lead the yellow-and-blue to an 87-81 win over Maccabi Haifa at Nokia Arena on Sunday night.
Maccabi was always going to suffer some sort of letdown after securing its progress to the Euroleague quarterfinals on Thursday and Haifa very nearly made the most of the opportunity to record its first league win in more than three months.
Avi Ben-Shimol gave the visitors an 81-79 advantage with 2:41 to play, but Ohayon took over after that, hitting a jumper to tie the score before giving the yellow-and-blue the lead with 1:10 remaining and clinching the win from the line.
“We began the game poorly, but we bounced back,” said Ohayon who ended the night with 14 points. “We just want to come through these games and win them.”
Keith Langford had 17 points for Maccabi, which hosts Vrsac in another all but meaningless encounter in the Adriatic League on Monday before visiting Barcelona in yet another insignificant game on Wednesday.
All in all, Tel Aviv has 10 BSL and Adriatic games to play before it gets back to real business on March 20 when the Euroleague quarterfinal playoffs get underway.
“It is not easy to do what we are doing. We achieved something great on Thursday, coming back from 17 points down against Zalgiris Kaunas despite all the pressure,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, who handed 17-year-old 11th-grader Idan Zalmanson his debut. “We also recorded a nice win tonight.
We are facing 16 games until the end of March and under such circumstances every win is welcome.”
Jeremis Smith had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Haifa, which lost its 11th straight league game.
A dramatic Ron Lewis basket gave Hapoel Holon its fifth win in six games on Sunday, a 98-97 road victory over Maccabi Ashdod. A three-pointer by Ashdod forward Josh Carter tied the score at 95-95 with 35 seconds to go, and after Lewis only hit one of two free throws, Robby Bostain scored both his attempts from the line to give the hosts the edge (97-96) with 11 seconds remaining.
However, Lewis hit the winning shot with three seconds left, ending the game with 34 points.
Bryant Duntson added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Holon, while Carter and Josh Duncan had 30 and 28 points, respectively, for Ashdod, which had won its previous four league games.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil remained one game ahead of Holon in the battle for second position, beating Bnei Hasharon 73-61 on Sunday.
Romeo Travis had 20 points and nine boards for the winners, with Tweety Carter scoring 27 points for Bnei Hasharon, Also Sunday, Ironi Ashkelon came back from 20 points down to defeat BC Habika’a 87- 85.
Dwayne Mitchell scored 18 points for Ashkelon, which ended the game on a 12-3 run.
Rashaun Freeman had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Habika’a, which has lost five straight games. Maccabi Rishon Lezion visits Barak Netanya on Monday.