Nothing can stop the visiting team from Karmiel-Misgav, but the Jewish Community Center came pretty close last Wednesday night.
In the second of a two-game series, the JCC put up a solid effort against its Israeli opponent, but came up short once again, losing 66-58.
Yarden Silberman led the way for Karmiel-Misgav with 16 points, followed closely by teammate Lior Levinger with 15. Silberman dominated the third quarter, scoring 13 points to help his team take the lead.
For the JCC, senior Andre Rosser and freshman Sam Greenberg were the high scorers with 16 points apiece.
Having lost in their previous meeting 54-37, the JCC came into the game looking for redemption. The teams traded bucket for bucket at the start of the contest and were tied 12-12 by the end of the first quarter. This gave the JCC a much-needed shot of confidence, having been down 21-7 at the end of the first quarter in their previous meeting.
The second quarter went the same way for the most part, with the JCC leading 19-13 with four minutes remaining in the first half. Karmiel-Misgav narrowed the gap, but the blue and white managed to take a 23-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“I was thrilled with our team’s first half performance, especially on the defensive side,” said JCC head coach Hal Shapera. “Our one-three-one really slowed down and created a lot of turnovers.”
But the tables turned as soon as the second half began. Led by Silberman, Karmiel-Misgav immediately took control of the game, going on a 9-0 scoring run in a three-minute span. By the end of the quarter, the Israelis staked themselves to a 47-36 lead.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming into the second half, so we had to make some changes in our approach” said Karmiel-Misgav coach Guy Cohen. “Luckily it worked in our favor.”
In the final eight minutes of the contest, the JCC gave Karmiel-Misgav a run for its shekels. As the fourth quarter began to wind down, sophomore Charlie Bernsten completed a three-point play to cut the lead to 12. But Karmiel-Misgav came right back with a Lior Levinger three-pointer to seal the win.
In a last second comeback attempt, JCC junior Adam Hoffman hit two shots from beyond the arc in the last 20 seconds, but it wouldn’t be enough.
“It was a good experience playing here in the [United] States,” remarked Karmiel-Misgav standout Silberman. “We didn’t know what to expect coming into the series, so we had to make some changes in our approach. Luckily it worked in our favor.”
The JCC had had a week off before facing Urban Impact at home Tuesday, Dec. 18. The team will then hit the road against Auberle Thursday, Dec. 20. Both games tip off at 8:30 p.m.
(Jesse Irwin can be reached at Jirwin18@gmail.com.)