Israeli League, Regular Season, Game 11: January 23-25, 2010
by: Yarone Arbel, Tel Aviv
January 25, 2010
Uri Kokia - Hapoel Jerusalem (Photo: Israeli League enjoyed a thrilling week as it reached the midway point in the season with two games decided by a single basket, another in overtime and the highlight: A double-overtime loss for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Maccabi suffered its first league loss of the season, 114-103, on the road to newcomer Maccabi Netanya. Tony Washam recorded a season high 34 points to lead the and Marco Killingsworth posted 26 points and 11 rebounds. Despite the loss, Maccabi leads the lead with a 10-1 record and Gilboa/Galil is second at 9-2. Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem edged Maccabi Haifa 82-81 behind a winning shot by Uri Kukia and a rare combination of plays in the last seconds. The win saw Jerusalem improve to 8-3 and tie Haifa for third place. Gilboa/Galil scored an 83-107 road victory over newcomer Hapoel Afula. Galil cruised thanks to 23 points and 8 assists by Jeremy Pargo. Ironi Nahariya added a key win with an 82-75 overtime triumph over Bnei Hasharon as LaMarr Greer had 23 points, enough to silence the 26 points and 7 rebounds performance by Ugonna Onyekwe at the other end. Rishon Lezion won its fourth straight, beating Ironi Ashkelon 82-84 score behind 24 points and 8 rebounds by Dalron Johnson.

Defending champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv suffered its first league loss of the season, 114-103, on the road to newcomer Maccabi Netanya. Netanya lost point guard Shmulik Brener to 5 fouls in the closing minutes of regulation, but managed to survive and more in two overtimes despite the short bench and tiredness as three of its leading players played more than 39 minutes. The teams were neck-to-neck for the vast majority of the first 48 minutes before Netanya made a 12-2 run in the last three minutes of the second overtime to decide the match. Tony Washam recorded a season high 34 points to lead the winners. JR Pinnock and Marco Killingsworth netted 26 each with the later adding 11 rebounds as well. Eran Asenti came off the bench and scored 12 points including the decisive bucket in the second overtime. Andrew Wisniewski led Maccabi with 26 points on a big scoring night and great leadership in the overtimes before he fouled out and left Maccabi without a scoring option. Doron Perkins had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists while Chuck Eidson scored 18 as well with 6 points and 4 assists. David Bluthenthal added 15. Tel Aviv was without Alan Anderson due to injury. A big play by Wisniewski finished by a big dish to Bluthenthal tied the score at 86-86 with 2 seconds left in regulation and forced overtime. The Maccabi point guard continued his great momentum and scored all of his team's 10 points in the first overtime, including a big three pointer to tie the score at 96-96. Netanya played without a point guard and had very little energy but Washam, Killingsworth and Pinnock stepped up. After Wisniewski fouled out, Pinnock scored 4 in a row and Asenti finished a fast break with a tough lay up to make it an 8-point game in the last minute, allowing the hosts to celebrate.

Right before the flight to Spain for the Eurocup Last 16 tip off, Hapoel survived a tough home battle against Maccabi Haifa behind a spectacular finish for an 82-81 win. With 10 seconds on the clock Haifa took a 78-81 lead, and soon sent Pooh Jeter to the foul line with 5.8 seconds to play in the game. He scored the first, but missed the second only to see Tre Simmons grab the offensive board and march to the line as well. Just like Jeter, he made the first and missed the second, but Uro Kokia shocked the visitors with a big tip in, which was also his first shot of the game. Yogev Ohayon scored a season high 22 points, Dijon Thompson added 19, Yuval Naimy scored 13 and Jeter added 10 for Jerusalem. Former Hapoel star Ido Kozikaro led Haifa with 23 points, Jason Rich scored 18 and Davon Jefferson finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Ohayon and Naimy led the first Hapoel run, as the locals took off from an 18-16 score with a 12-1 blitz. Ohayon continued to set pace and his three-pointer made it 40-25 midway through the fourth quarter. Haifa cut the lead by the halftime buzzer and returned to the court with the same momentum to seal a 5-16 run and make it just a 4 point game. Kozikaro and Jesse Pellot-Rosa stepped up and with power plays put Haifa on top before the third buzzer, but Hapoel didn't allow the visitors to open a gap and the teams entered the closing minute still neck-to-neck, before Dror Hagag gave Haifa a 3-point lead with 10 seconds on the clock, only to witness Hapoel's huge comeback.

January 23-25, 2010
Day Match Result
Jan. 24 H. Afula vs. Gilboa Galil 83-107
Jan. 24 Netanya vs. Maccabi T-A 114-103
Jan. 25 Ramat Gan vs. H. Holon 85-78
Jan. 24 Ashkelon vs. M. Rishon 82-84
Jan. 24 Nahariya vs. B. Hashron 82-75
Jan. 23 Hapoel Jer. vs. M. Haifa 82-81
Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 2010
Day Match
Feb. 1 H. Afula vs. H. Holon
Jan. 31 Ramat Gan vs. B. Hashron
Jan. 31 Ashkelon vs. Gilboa Galil
Jan. 31 Nahariya vs. Netanya
Jan. 31 Hapoel Jer vs. M. Rishon
Jan. 31 Maccabi T. vs. M. Haifa

1 Maccabi Electra T-A 11 10 1 1013 837
2 Gilboa Galil 11 9 2 996 853
3 Hapoel Jerusalem 11 8 3 945 915
4 M. Haifa 11 8 3 862 805
5 Netanya 11 7 4 928 904
6 B. Hashron 11 5 6 829 841
7 M. Rishon 11 5 6 857 881
8 H. Afula 11 4 7 901 1002
9 Ashkelon 11 4 7 868 913
10 Nahariya 11 3 8 816 888
11 H. Holon 11 2 9 836 905
12 Ramat Gan 11 1 10 825 932

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