Greens win third straight, Bowman and Blayzer shine bright in Hanukkah victory
On a night where fans at Romema were showered with great giveaways for Hanukkah, the Greens gave everyone in attendance the best Hanukkah gift of all — a win. Maccabi’s victory over Herzliya was their third straight, improving to 4-5 on the season.
The combination of the Greens’ Brandon Bowman and Oz Blayzer proved too much for the struggling Herzliya. Bowman came off the bench to record a double-double on a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds along with season-highs in steals (4) and blocks (3). Blayzer registered his second stellar game in the past three contests, posting 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Angel Rodriguez added 16 points and 5 rebounds, and Luke Martinez chipped in 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Willy Workman added 8 points and 4 rebounds and Guni Israeli dished out a game-high 8 assists and also notched 5 points. Dagan Yivzori went down with a knee injury during the third quarter and did not return.
Herzliya was paced by Shawn Dawson and Taurean Green who scored 16 points apiece. Jeff Adrien (11 points and 9 rebounds) was ejected after receiving two technical fouls as Herzliya suffered their third straight loss.
“We kept our defensive intensity today and it helped us make some steals and run well,” said head coach, Offer Rahimi. “The guys played with a lot of commitment. We had to put aside the beginning of the season and think only about the next game — that’s what I told the players. ”
Both teams had trouble distancing themselves in the first half as Maccabi took a slight two-point edge, 40-38, going into the break. Herzliya opened up a 5-point lead to begin the third stanza, but Bowman caught fire registering the Greens’ next 9 points to reclaim a one-point lead, 51-50. Willy Workman scored a layup inside after corraling the offensive board, and Martinez finished a beautiful fastbreak play with a layup to go up by four points. Workman threw up a floater at the buzzer as Haifa led 57-52 at the end of the third frame.
The Greens’ defense led to offense at the start of the fourth — with two steals resulting in Martinez scoring two easy layups. Herzliya answered with a 7-0 run to trim the Haifa lead to four points, 61-57. But, that’s as close as they would come as Blayzer and Rodriguez drained 3-pointers to extend Haifa’s lead to double-digits, 71-59, for the first time in the contest. Rodriguez stretched the lead to 15 points, netting three from the line after Herzliya was hit with a technical foul. Blayzer made a statement with an emphatic dunk to bring the Haifa fans to their feet as the Greens went on to win, 86-72.