Israel Winner League Round 9 – Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem was able to pull off a key, tightly contested victory versus Maccabi Tel Aviv, 87:85. The win secured their position in a three-way tie for first place in the standings now that they hold a 6-3 record. They share the top position with Ironi Nes-Ziona and Maccabi Bazan Haifa. Ironi Nes-Ziona won its match versus Maccabi Ashdod, 103:101, on December 1. On the other hand, Maccabi Haifa would have had a solo seat at the pole position had they succeeded in overcoming Galil Gilboa, but fell via a three-point margin, 76:79.
Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 87:85
The home team took to the free-throw line to do its damage, sinking 24 of its 26 attempts, compared to the 9 of 12 from Maccabi Haifa. In the end it was a key last-quarter rally by Hapoel J-M that allowed them to surge passed there opponents and eventually come away with the “W”.
Coach Brad Greenberg called the shots from the sidelines as his team executed the offense well down the stretch, all the way through the dying seconds of the game. The team had a total of 18 assists for the contest and the ball was distributed well to find the open man.
Hapoel J-M was led by the 19 points of local player Yotam Halperin (196 cm). He knocked down four from deep, but out of a total of 11 attempts. He did manage to add four assists and two steals to round out his line. Their big man from Belarus, Artsiom Parakhouski (211 cm, Radford’10) came through with 14 points and six boards, while Derwin Kitchen (193 cm, Florida State’11) did a stand up job of distributing the rock with six assists to go with his 13 points. Ronald Dupree and Josh Duncan were the two other players from Hapoel J-M who managed to hit double figures in scoring with 13 and 11 respectively.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will go back to the drawing board and figure what went wrong in this match. If it wasn’t for the explosion off the bench by David Blu who finished with a team-high 17 markers, the deficit would have been far greater. Local forward Guy Pnini (201 cm) led all the starters with 15 points.