Greens drop heartbreaker 85-83 to Holon at the buzzer

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In a back-and-forth battle at Romema, Moran Roth in his first game back in nearly a month, looked like he may have given Haifa the lift they needed to put away Holon, burying a three-pointer to put Haifa up 83-82 with 19.9 seconds left in regulation. However, Holon had the final say as Shlomi Harrush sank a running layup as the game clock expired to defeat Maccabi Haifa, 85-83.

Box Score

Both teams had positive momentum leading up to the match as neither team could take a commanding lead throughout the game. It was only fitting that the game would come down to the final seconds. The Greens had a chance their win it, tied at 83-83. However, Chanan Colman’s pass to Ike Ofoegbu was knocked away by the Holon defense, leading to a mad sprint on the other of the floor as two Haifa defenders contested Harrush’s shot, which somehow found its way in the basket.

Rene Rougeau posted his second straight 40+ VAL performance, tallying 27 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists in the loss. The Greens controlled the glass throughout most of the game (42-37), but Holon seemed to pull down crucial rebounds in the final minutes. Alex Chubrevich started the game excellently for Haifa, matching Rougeau with 12 boards and chipped 9 points, while Ofoegbu added 17 points and 8 rebounds.

Although, Will Graves netted a crucial triple to tie the game at 76-76 with 2:06 left in regulation, he struggled from the field, shooting 0-of-7 from the two, totaling five points on the evening. Yivzori led Haifa with 8 assists and recorded 11 points on 4-of-13 from field (1-of-8 from 3-point range).

The Greens had only three players register double-figures on the evening, while Holon had five players reach double-digits in scoring, led by Tony Crocker’s 17 points and 5 rebounds. Guni Israeli came to play with 15 points and 4 assists, knocking down the game-tying free throw at 83-83 after a hard foul by Yiftach Ziv. Isaac Rosefelt and Jordan Taylor each dropped in 14 points, while Dominic McGuire posted 10 points and 9 boards.

To start the game, Alex Chubrevich’s presence was immediately felt in the paint with 6 early points and 5 rebounds as the game remained close with Holon’s Rosefelt putting in 9 points to give the visitors a one-point edge, 22-21, to finish the first quarter.

An 11-0 run early in the second quarter by Haifa looked to change the momentum for the Greens as they reclaimed a 35-31 advantage over Holon. The Greens would keep their advantage going into the break, leading 42-37 over Holon.

The third quarter Holon rallied to take a 55-49 advantage, but a series of plays starting with a Rene Rougeau three-point conversion, Ike Ofoegbu’s two points from the line, and a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Yiftach Ziv, tied the game at 59-59 at the end of the third quarter.

Another Holon early run in the final period put Haifa in a hole, but yet again the Greens fought back thanks Will Graves’ four straight points to tie the game at 77-77 with 2:06 left in regulation. The final minutes saw each team exchange leads with Haifa, unfortunately, coming up on the short end of the stick at the buzzer.