Israel Basketball: Top-tier Matchups Down to Wire

B-Woods edges Yeshiva League Pass, which misses a shot in the final seconds ■ In lacrosse, Sha’ar Hanegev takes first with two wins

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Israel Lacrosse players at the new dedicated lacrosse field in Ashkelon, January 2020.
Israel Lacrosse players at the new dedicated lacrosse field in Ashkelon, January 2020.Credit: Israel Lacrosse Association

The Israel Basketball League’s slate of Week 6 games included two top-tier matchups that thrilled late in the game, as B-Woods beat Yeshiva League Pass 52-50 in a battle of the unbeaten and Project Tzitzis rallied past All American Poly 46-45.

In the IBL’s Game of the Week, B-Woods got off to a phenomenal start, making each of its first five shots, all from three-point range. It built a 12-point halftime lead, which extended to as much as 17 in the second half. But Yeshiva League Pass can never be counted out with its offensive firepower. Led this time by Aharon Heller (17 points), YLP cut the deficit to just one basket, with a chance at tying in the final seconds, but couldn’t convert.

In another close game, All American Poly got out to a four-point halftime lead in an evenly-matched, physical matchup, but Project Tzitzis emerged with the victory. Led by Shragi Peretz (23 points), who accounted for half of his team’s total output, Project Tzitzis moved to 4-0 and is one of two remaining undefeated teams. Down by one point with less than 10 seconds remaining, Peretz knocked down a pair of free throws, and All American Poly couldn’t convert a beautifully executed play at the other end. All American Poly has played arguably the toughest schedule in the league, and it falls to 1-4.

Tommy’s Midrash Ballers 49, The Chaburah 34

Another team vying for the top is Tommy’s Midrash Ballers, which moved to 4-1 after topping The Chaburah 49-34. After Tommy’s got out to a big lead, Chaim Katz (17 points) brought The Chaburah to within a single possession, but Tommy’s boys put their foot back on the pedal and cruised to a 15-point victory. Nat Assayag (18 points) and Adam Motovich (16) of Tommy’s Midrash Ballers matched The Chaburah on their own, and the Ballers’ other pieces made the difference.

In other action, Zalman’s Hot Dawgz got cooked by Papa’s Fried Potatoes 57-40, KHK/SZG Investments defeated Gold Seals 57-52, Symphony Care Network romped past Loketch Group 63-37, Kol Hanearim pummeled Team Piaseczna 62-24 and Shtark Sharks held off a last-minute rally by Lobos to prevail 59-55.

Lacrosse Israel League: Netanya Bolts to take on Herzliya Stars

The Sha’ar Hanegev Seals tied the Ashkelon A-Squad at the end of regulation and won 9-8 in overtime last Sunday, then crushed the Be’er Sheva Camels 8-4 on Wednesday to move into sole position of first place with a 3-0 record.

Host Ashkelon was leading in the fourth quarter 8-7 before the Seals tied the game with a buzzer-beater goal. In the extra period, Sam Trojano tallied the winning score for the Seals. Trojano was named game MVP. 

The Seals also played the winless Be’er Sheva Camels in Ashkelon on Wednesday and won  8-4, securing the top spot in the league. The MVP of that game was Itay Gefen with his first goal in league play. 

This Sunday the visiting Netanya Bolts (1-1) will take on the Herzliya Stars (2-0). The two North teams already played each other in a barn burner in which the Stars came out on top 9-6. 

Players to keep an eye on include Herzliya’s Matt Flapan, who’s leading the Stars in points with five goals and five assists, and Netanya captain Ori Bar David, who leads the Bolt in points with five goals and one assist.