Rishon, Hasharon all knotted at one

Playoff series heads to Herzliya after teams split first two.

Bnei Hasharon basketball 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters)
Bnei Hasharon basketball 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters)
Maccabi Rishon Lezion edged Bnei Hasharon 81-79 on Wednesday night to tie its BSL quarterfinal series at 1-1.
The lead exchanged hands time and again in a tight encounter in Rishon and the hosts only eked out a victory after Bnei Hasharon’s Ron Steele and Shawn James missed chances in the dying seconds.
“This is a big win for us,” said Rishon center Aaron McGhee, who led his team with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
“I think we played a lot tougher than in Game 1 and that got us the victory. Now we need to go there and get a win on the road.”
Game 3 is next Thursday in Herzliya.
There was little to separate the teams throughout Wednesday’s game, with Rishon leading 36-35 at the break and 58-56 with 10 minutes remaining.
A Dan Grunfeld three-pointer with 1:12 to go gave Bnei Hasharon a 77-76 lead, but Rishon hit four straight free-throws after a Lee Nailon technical foul and held on for an important win.
Raymar Morgan scored 17 points for Rishon, with Nitzan Hanochi and Yehu Orland adding 13 points each.
Nailon had 18 points for Bnei Hasharon.
On Thursday, Hapoel Jerusalem visits Maccabi Ashdod in Game 2 of its series, looking to put aside the recent Will Solomon Twitter scandal.
After being thrown out of Sunday’s training session for a lack of seriousness, Solomon tweeted: “What direction are we going in.
I’ve been wondering since October 2010.
Now it’s May 2011 and I’m still wondering.”
With the team entering the crucial weeks of the season, Jerusalem decided to overlook the incident and focus on overcoming Ashdod on its way to the Final Four.
“The team is ready and composed and this incident was never an issue,” Jerusalem coach Oded Katash said.
Also Thursday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil will look to continue its hot streak when its visits Hapoel Holon after taking Game 1 in the series with its fifth straight league win.
In the relegation playoffs, Ironi Ashkelon hosts Maccabi Haifa, looking to even up the series at 1-1.
Haifa won Game 1 74-67 and will be hoping to hand Ashkelon its 14th loss in 16 games on Thursday before securing itself another season of BSL basketball with a home win in Game 3 next week.