Monday, November 10, 2008
Maccabi Haifa cemented its place at the top of the BSL standings on Sunday, defeating Hapoel Holon 90-71 at Romema to extend its unbeaten start to the season to three games.
Haifa, which is the only team in the BSL yet to lose this season, besides Maccabi Tel Aviv which is 1-0, is not only winning its games, but is doing so in impressive fashion, thrashing opponents by an average 21 points so far this season.
"We didn't play well tonight, but we still won and that's encouraging," forward Ido Kozikaro said. "Hopefully, we can build on this and improve our play as well."
Doron Perkins led six Haifa players in double-figures, scoring 17 points and passing six assists. Brookes Sales added 16 points and 13 rebounds, with Moshe Mizrahi scoring 11 and Amit Ben-David, BJ McKie and Gor Porat contributing 10 points.
Luis Flores led Holon, scoring 25 points, with Chris Watson adding 14 points.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Galil Elyon/Gilboa defeated Ironi Ramat Gan 81-72 on the road behind Brian Roberts's 22 points.
Oded Katash's team, which also got 18 points and eight rebounds from Elishay Kadir, has now won two straight games, with Ramat Gan falling to 0-3.
Maccabi Givat Shmuel handed Maccabi Rishon Lezion its third consecutive defeat on Sunday, winning 87-76 at Or Yehuda.
Veteran Cory Carr led the winners with 24 points and seven rebounds, with the still-winless Rishon getting 18 points from Ken Tutt.
Steve Burtt led Ironi Ashkelon to yet another victory on Sunday, scoring 29 points in the 96-74 home victory over Elitzur Kiryat Ata.
Or Eitan added 20 points for the winners, with Draelon Barnes leading Kiryat Ata with 26 points.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Nahariya.
In Haifa, Maccabi was the sharper team at the start of the game and Sales's nice spin move gave the hosts an early five point margin (7-2).
Holon soon found its footing, though, and following an 11-3 run, led 20-19 after 10 minutes.
The lead continued to exchange hands in the second period, with Porat's three-pointer giving Maccabi a 31-24 advantage.
Hapoel remained within striking distance for most of the period, but its players tired as the first half progressed and Haifa's strong finish extended the team's gap to 12 points (46-34) at the break.
Just when it seemed Holon might be running out of ideas, the side pressured the hosts and forced turnovers, racing to a 15-0 run to start of the second half.
Watson's lay-up capped the superb run and gave the visitors a 49-46 lead, but it wouldn't take Maccabi long to answer back.
A 12-2 run capped by Mizrahi's three shifted the momentum in Haifa's favor once more, and the hosts took a five-point margin (60-55) into the fourth period.
Maccabi's gap continued to grow at the beginning of the final quarter and after three minutes reached double-figures (70-60).
Holon had no answer to Haifa's depth and McKie's two straight threes midway through the period opened an unassailable 12-point margin (78-66), and the hosts ended up cruising to the victory.