Sports Shorts

Israel lost the ball, and the game, to France last night, going down 73-70 in its final game of the women's European Championship basketball qualifiers. The team actually had a three-point lead at halftime, but eventually found itself tied 68-all with 42 seconds left on the clock. Israel could not control a defensive rebound, and Laine Selwyn committed a technical foul against Celine Dumerc, who made both her free throws. Liron Cohen missed on Israel's second-to-last possession, and Dumerc iced the game from the line. Cohen led Israel with 30 points, including 6-for-6 from behind the arc. (Arie Livnat)

Harel Levy directly benefited from Roger Federer's decision to withdraw from the Halle grass tournament in Germany after being wiped out from winning the French Open earlier this week. The last-minute cancellation saved Levy from a sure first-round exit from the tennis tournament. Instead, he faces Slovak Lukas Lacko, whom he defeated in the qualifying round two days ago. (Rami Hipsh)

Omri Casspi is just one of 36 players invited to tryouts this weekend with the New Jersey Nets, a senior executive said yesterday. Gary Sussman, the team's vice president of public relations, would not comment on the Israeli's chances to be chosen by New Jersey, which has the 11th overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft's first round. But he did say Casspi made an impression on Rod Thorn, the Nets' president, who watched him in camp in Chicago. He added that New Jersey would probably invite him to a personal tryout next Tuesday. (Yaniv Orgad)

Hapoel Jerusalem hopes to end its coaching saga in the coming days, and Guy Goodes could end up replacing himself. Danny Klein, Hapoel's chairman, told Haaretz that Katash was ready to join Hapoel after meeting with him, but came back three hours later to say the northern club was putting pressure on him and asked to be released of his commitment to Jerusalem. Klein did not rule out Goodes taking back the reins of the club. (Eli Shvidler)