Israeli League Round 18 March 2nd-6th
The last game from Round 16 was made up on Thursday and Amy Okonkwo and Adut Bulgak teamed up to lead Maccabi Haifa past Kelsey Bone and Hapoel Petah Tikva 76-57. The final round had simultaneous tipoffs on Monday. Hapoel Petah Tikva forced overtime looking to avoid being at the bottom of the standings for the lower group and got good games from Kelsey Bone and Kenisha Bell, but Elitzur Holon was able to prevail 91-82 behind Courtney Hurt, Daniel Raber, and Jennie Simms to avoid getting pulled into the relegation scrap. Maccabi Ashdod wanted to make a move to stop their slide and hold the top seed and it worked with Liz Cambage leading them in a 73-63 win over Jillian Alleyne and Maccabi Ramat Gan. Adut Bulgak was excellent for Maccabi Haifa in an 88-63 win over ASA Jerusalem. Elitzur Ramla is probably stuck at their seed, but it was still a surprise to see them lose to Jazmine Jones and Ramat Hasharon 66-54. Herzliya made another roster change and Breanna Richardson led them to a 68-57 win, pulling them a game above last place at the start of the lower group and leaving Kaila Charles and Hapoel Rishon Lezion in a four-way tie at the start of the upper group for what figures to be two playoffs spots.
Hapoel Petah Tikva : Bone 23/8r Bell 13 Muldrow 8/11r Purvis 5
Maccabi Haifa : Okonkwo 27 Bulgak 22/14r Hopkins 7/8a
Hapoel Petah Tikva : Bone 27/13r Bell 27/8r/7a Purvis 10 Muldrow 8/7r/6a
Elitzur Holon : Hurt 32/12r Raber 26/11r/6s Simms 20/8r/10a Harden 9/7r/9a Presley 4/6a
Maccabi Ramat Gan : Alleyne 23/21r Nared 18/7r Brown 13/8r/7a Abboud 3
Maccabi Ashdod : Cambage 24 Cohen 14/6r Walker-Kimbrough 13/9r/6a Edelman 9/7r Sahar 8/7r Dayan 3 Hiedeman 2/9r
ASA Jerusalem : Adams 26/19r Wurtz 14 Turudic 11
Maccabi Haifa : Bulgak 31/12r Okonkwo 16/7r Eisner 14/9a Lev 11/6r/6a Hopkins 4/15r/11a
Ramat Hasharon : Jones 22/6r/8a Saar 17 Jenkins 11/15r Collier 8/8r Deluty 0
Elitzur Ramla : Austin 15/14r Baron 10 Cannon 7/11r Clark 7/6r Babkina 7 Fleischer 0 Danan 0
Bnot Herzliya : Richardson 26/12r Amukamara 19/6r Nyingifa 10/10r Shea 5/7r Zambrotta 0
Hapoel Rishon Lezion : Charles 20/9r Zipel 12 Simon 11/12r Hooper 10/9r
1. Maccabi Ashdod 16-2
2. Elitzur Ramla 13-5
3. Hapoel Rishon Lezion 11-7
4. Ramat Hasharon 11-7
5. Maccabi Haifa 11-7
6. Maccabi Ramat Gan 11-7
7. Elitzur Holon 6-12
8. ASA Jerusalem 4-14
9. Bnot Herzliya 4-14
10. Hapoel Petah Tikva 3-15
Scoring: 1. Charles 23.2, 2. Hurt 23.2, 3. Brown 22.0, 4. Wurtz 21.8, 5. Simms 21.7, 6. Alleyne 21.4, 7. Okonkwo 21.4, 8. Adams 21.2, 9. Jenkins 20.5, 10. Jones 19.8
Rebounding: 1. Alleyne 16.7, 2. Jenkins 13.7, 3. Day 13.2, 4. Adams 12.1, 5. Bulgak 11.3, 6. Austin 11.1, 7. Simon 10.6, 8. Walker-Kimbrough 9.8, 9. Hurt 9.8, 10. Cannon 9.5
Assists: 1. Brown 9.5, 2. Hopkins 7.6, 3. Simms 6.9, 4. Harden 5.6, 5. Charles 5.5, 6. Hiedeman 5.5, 7. Walker-Kimbrough 5.4, 8. Amukamara 4.9, 9. Babkina 4.9, 10. Zipel 4.8
Turkish League Round 20 March 6th
Another round was played on Monday as the schedule compressed to get back on track and for now Hatay’s games will be treated as forfeits in the standings. Fenerbahce nearly stumbled against Nesibe Aydin in the first game, but Satou Sabally and Alperi Onar helped them hold on to an 82-81 win. Marie Benson and Rize fell to Besiktas 75-61 as Monique Billings and Dana Evans combined for the visitors. Bursa bounced back in style even not filling all their foreign player spots as the trio of Channon Fluker, Gizem Uca, and Chennedy Carter led them to an 82-73 win. Cankaya University was also not utilizing all three slots and a good game from Shavonte Zellous was not enough as Jelena Dubljevic and Reshanda Gray dominated the paint for Orman in a 94-82 win. Kayseri was also down a player and still near the bottom after a 98-47 loss to Victoria Macaulay, Kathleen Doyle, and Botas. The day ended with a game at the top of the standings as Cukurova maintained their advantage with a 75-58 win over Galatasaray.
Fenerbahce : Sabally 27 Onar 22 Stewart 14/9r Iagupova 10/6a Cakir 6 Stokes 0/7r
Nesibe Aydin : Guner 18 Thomas 17/6a Yaya 12 Akalan 11 Hempe 10 Nelson 7/6r
Rize : Benson 24/8r Ozcan 10 Brown 9/16r Morgan 5
Besiktas : Billings 31/11r Evans 25 Bayram 10/10r
Emlak Konut : Lavender 19/11r Fields 19/7r Walker 12/6r
Bursa : Fluker 23/20r Uca 22 Carter 21/8a
Orman : Dubljevic 28/7r Gray 27/9r Thomas 13/6r/8a Simsek 13/6r
Cankaya Universitesi : Zellous 21/8r/6a Tuzun 18/8r Ugur 16 Cora 14 White 10/6a Yalcinkaya 0
Botas : Macaulay 21/8r Doyle 20 McCall 7
Kayseri : Landrum 18
Cukurova : Gray 17 Hayes 15/6a Hollingsworth 8/6r
Galatasaray : McCowan 19/14r Stevens 17/6r Nacickaite 12 Canitez 0
1. Cukurova 18-2
2. Fenerbahce 17-3
3. Galatasaray 16-4
4. Botas 13-7
5. Emlak Konut 11-9
6. Nesibe Aydin 11-9
7. Besiktas 10-10
8. Cankaya Universitesi 9-11
9. Orman 7-13
10. Antalya 6-14
11. Hatay 8-12
12. Bursa 5-15
13. Kayseri 5-15
14. Rize 4-16
World of Basketball
The last three games of the regular season were played in South Korea as the best-of-three semifinals start this weekend. Woori Bank prepared for being the top seed with a 78-59 win over the S-Birds on Wednesday. That result locked BNK into the second seed even after a 76-73 loss to the Stars on Thursday. The Blue Minx were stuck in third by the time their game rolled around on Friday so they rested key players and lost to Hana Bank 92-65. The lead could have changed hands in Japan this weekend, but the Antelopes swept the Koalas to maintain their edge with two weekends to play. Ramu Tokashiki had the biggest scoring game with a 33 point effort. As expected, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia will play in the finals in China. Singapore Lions joined the latest tournament in Southeast Asia and hosted the same teams who played in the fall. Sniper of Thailand defeated Indonesia Elite 77-57 in the first game on Friday, then Harimau Malaysia handed the hosts a 57-46 loss. Thailand’s team had an easy 80-26 win over the hosts on Saturday while the Malaysian representatives won again 58-52 over their counterparts from Indonesia. The two undefeated teams played on Sunday and Sniper prevailed 63-52 over Harimau while the hosts could not get a debut win after losing to Elite 63-51.
The playoffs continued in Argentina with teams looking to extend their seasons or advance to the conference finals. Union Florida edged Berazategui 61-59 in the Friday game to force a deciding contest at home, but fell 59-51 in the lone Sunday game. All of the other series finished in sweeps on Saturday. Obras won 57-50 against Rocamora and Quimsa defeated Olimpico 58-52 to put the conference winners through. Instituto had won at home so they needed to steal one on the road to progress and they escaped Montmartre for a seeding upset. Racers were the last team to start play in Mexico and they opened with a sweep of Lobas. The other two series resulted in sweeps for teams that also won both their games last weekend as Teporacas had an easy time with Lenadoras and Mieleras got the better of Mexcaltecas.
There were some noteworthy performances in North West Tasmania this week with two rounds of games again. 38 points for Ice Young was enough for a Smithton win, although Ionna McKenzie had 24 rebounds for Wynyard. Young added 31 points in her second game, another win, even with Olivia West scoring 31 points for Somerset. Sarah O’Neill had 31 points in Latrobe’s win over Ulverstone.
The European league crowned a champion over the weekend. Polonia Warszawa hosted, but lost their semifinal to Neptunas 79-73 and then Chomutov prevailed 86-76 against Frankivsk. The home fans did see their team win the bronze medal 100-53 and then the championship game was excellent and Chomutov edged Neptunas 77-73. Also resuming play this week was the unified competition between Albania and Kosovo and being out of championship contention did not prevent either team from doing everything that they could to win as Tirana defeated Penza in double overtime in one game. Bernada Rreshpja was 2 steals short of a quadruple-double in domestic league play in Albania. Kibirkstis took over the lead in the Baltic League in the loss column with a resounding win over Riga Stradins University as the leading individual performance came in Lithuania’s league after Tyra Buss scored 32 points to lead her team to a win. Annija Zvirgzdina had a 22 rebound game in Latvia.
The second phase concluded in Slovakia and Piestanske Cajky is still undefeated. Young Angels Kosice proved to be a step above the competition in the lower half of the split. The scheduled regular season is over in Greece so the matchups are set in the battle to avoid relegation. The league uses an unusual format that takes into account regular season matchups to set the start of each series, a format also used in the second division for teams playing for a spot in this league next season. PAS Giannina swept Dafni Agiou Dimitriou in the regular season so the latter must win three times while the former must win once. The other series between Evnikos and Panathlitikos starts tied at 1. It will be the expected matchup in the finals in Cyprus after Styliana Velinova grabbed 20 rebounds and Anagennisi Germasogeias eliminated Anorthosis and AEL Limassol advanced past ENAD. Cup games were played too this weekend, but the Bosnian league delivered the bigger individual performance with Jovana Milakovic delivering 31 points and 24 rebounds. Playoffs started in Austria with no early upsets.
Chase for Promotion
Like the top division, play in Turkey’s second division resumed this weekend and Tarsus extended their lead by another game after Izmit lost courtesy of a 36 point game from Aliyah Maczyk from Kirklareli. Monique Reid had a 31 point game. There was not much change in the standings in Spain’s lower divisions, but Beatriz Royo did lead her team to a win with a 32 point game. Topolcanka lost to their nearest rival, but still has a hold on Serbia’s second division. Stats were compiled in a pair of overtime games as 35 points from Masa Buzic and 15 assists for Tamara Kerezovic helped Ras win despite 36 points from Natasa Bucevac while Valentina Vasiljevic helped Ljubovija win with a 24 point, 13 rebound, 14 assist triple-double. In Germany’s second division, Eden Nibbelink had a 30 point game while Shannon Ryan had 32 points in the other division. Charnay lost in France’s second division and Chatres nearly failed to take advantage before edging relegation-fighting Calais to take the top spot for now.
There is still plenty of excitement in Portugal’s second division. Hannah Armour had a 42 point game to keep to keep any team from getting too far ahead of the pack. Becca Wann-Taylor had a 41 point, 27 rebound game as her team is next in the chase. Lanay Rodney had 38 points in her game, but the team still lost. In the games to stay at this level, Rakia Lane had 30 points to get her team a key win. A two round week in Iceland’s second division meant plenty of opportunities for big games and Jayla Johnson had a 44 point game even though it came in a loss that saw Jenna Mastellone score 33 points. Cheah Rael-Whitsitt had 31 points and 21 rebounds in a game, a rebound total that Schekinah Bimpa matched while Maddison Sutton grabbed 23 boards. Italy’s second division had its own cup competition this weekend with the quarterfinals all involving cross-division matchups that the northern teams swept. Scrivia won a trophy on Sunday and sent a message to Milano, the team that they will be chasing when league play continues.
Notable Individual Performances
Anastasia Ribas grabbed another 21 rebounds in Ukraine. There were two rounds of games scheduled in Switzerland this week and Maria Mongomo had 33 points in a game while Juliunn Redmond had a 34 point game. Hannah Whitish had a 19 point, 18 rebound, 11 assist triple-double in Sweden. It was a two round week in Serbia and Shareka McNeill had 30 points in a game before Dragana Nikolic closed proceedings with a 32 point game. In Luxembourg, Lauren Van Kleunen had 34 points and Samantha Logic had 31 points to help their team win while Lianna Tillman had a 36 point game. Brittany Dinkins had a 34 point game in Iceland. There were plenty of big games in the British league including Holly Winterburn’s triple-double. Kayla Shaw and Harriet Ottewil-Soulsby each had 36 point games while Cassidy Gould hit the 33 point mark. In Finland, Ilmar’I Thomas had a 33 point game and Nikki McDonald reached 30 points while the excitement came in one game that had Caterrion Thompson score 37 points to offset a 30 point game from Sierra Moore. USK Praha opted to showcase Temi Fagbenle in a Czech league game and she had 34 points. Iva Todoric was one steal short of a quadruple-double in Croatia.