After Friday’s loss to Hapoel Holon (85-74) at home, Maccabi Hunter Haifa (15-14) will travel to face Bnei Herzliya (16-13) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Fifth-place Herzliya stands one game ahead of the sixth-place Greens.
After setting a new franchise mark with only 5 turnovers in the win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Greens committed 19 turnovers against Holon — nearing their season-high of 21 turnovers this season (in the loss to Nahariya in game 16). Rashaun Freeman had 4 turnovers in his first game with the Greens as well as Gregory Vargas who also had only 1 assist — his lowest number of assists in a regular league game in Israel. However, Vargas still leads the league in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.2) and in the last 3 games, he is Maccabi’s leading scorer with 19.6 points per game.
Amit Simhon has slipped over his last six games, averaging 10.8 points per game (compared to his season average of 14.3 points per game). Willy Workman, on the other hand, was a key player for the Greens in the last two games, as he scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 24 minutes against Holon. The last time he scored in double figures, Haifa beat Kiryat Gat at Romema, 99-78, in Round 23.
“We know this game is critical for our season and Herzliya is a tough place to play,” Workman said. “All the players are giving their all in order to travel back home with an important win.”
The last time the Greens faced Herzliya they exploded in a 99-65 rout at Romema. Eight players scored in double-figures in the contest, as Maccabi registered a season-high in points scored (99) and VAL (123).
The keys to the Greens’ victories and losses are reflected in the team’s assists and turnovers. When the Greens win, they dish out 19.3 assists, and when they lose, they record only 14.6 dimes per game in defeats. The team averages 15.1 turnovers per game in losses, compared to 11.8 turnovers in wins.
“We need to come focused and ready for battle until the end of the season, since our playoff spot is in danger,” Coach Offer Rahimi said before the game. “Herzliya is a talented team and we will have to execute our game plan, in order to win.”
Looking to snap the streak
Miki Gorka’s Herzliya team has lost two straight games (to Eilat at home and against Jerusalem on the road) and this week they received bad news — after Karam Mashour injured his shoulder and expected to be out for 3 weeks. Mashour is one of the leading players in Herzeliya with 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Despite his injury, Herzeliya almost won at Jerusalem, falling 84-82 at the end.
The leading scorer against Jerusalem was Jeff Adrian who notched a double-double on 21 points and 12 rebounds. Their new signing, Brandon Triche had his best game out of the three he has played thus far, with 12 points and 5 rebounds. After the game against Haifa, Herzliya will face Kiryat Gat and Rishon on the road and will host Nahariya, until the end of the regular season.