Despite defeating Gilboa/Galil, the Greens’ fate was sealed with Nahariya’s last-second win over Ashdod
It’s been that kind of season. Maccabi Hunter Haifa’s best offensive performance of the season turned out to be the most painful one in over a decade. For the first time in 10 years, Maccabi Hunter Haifa was relegated to Israel’s second division. The Greens did their part by defeating Gilboa/Galil 105-84 on the road on Thursday evening, but Haifa needed Ironi Nahariya to lose to Ashdod.
Immediately following the end of the game, the Green players, coaches, and fans crowded around a small TV monitor praying for Ashdod to hold on for a win against Nahariya — Haifa’s only chance to stay up. But there’s no joy in Haifa these days. Nahariya’s Alex Young nailed a desperation game-winning 3-pointer to defeat Ashdod — dashing Maccabi’s hopes.
Oz Blayzer (8 rebounds) and Trevor Gaskins paced Maccabi with 19 points apiece, while Brandon Bowman (9 rebounds) and Angel Rodriguez (7 assists) recorded 17 points each. Willy Workman chipped in 11 points and 4 rebounds along with 5 assists, and Daniel Koperberg posted 8 points and 6 boards in 13 minutes. Roman Sorkin scored his first points in a Haifa uniform.
The game was competitive through the three and a half quarters. Dagan Yivzori buried a 3-pointer to put Haifa up 78-71 early in the fourth frame, however, Gilboa/Galil rallied to tie the game at 78-78. Trevor Gaskins completed a 3-point play and Blayzer knocked down a huge triple to put Haifa up 84-80. Angel Rodriguez helped spur a 27-4 Haifa run down the stretch as the Greens downed Gilboa 105-84.