Haifa continues to build momentum with win over Eilat

December 28, 2015 05:57
2 minute read.
maccabi haifa

Maccabi Haifa forward Will Graves had 24 points and eight rebounds in last night’s 79-61 win over Hapoel Eilat at Romema Arena. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)

Maccabi Haifa’s stifling defensive play secured it another win on Sunday night, with the Greens beating Hapoel Eilat 79-61 at Romema Arena for their fourth straight victory over all competitions.

Haifa, which entered the game allowing a league-low 73.3 points per contest, improved to 8-5 in the BSL after holding Eilat to 31 percent from two-point range (15-of-48).

After stunning Hapoel Jerusalem in the State Cup round of 16 last week, limiting the defending BSL champion to 72 points, Haifa effectively clinched Sunday’s win over Eilat with a 16-0 run to start the second quarter, with the visitors taking almost five minutes to score their first points of the period.

Will Graves led Haifa with 24 points and eight rebounds, with Rene Rougeau adding 14 points and seven boards.

Khalif Wyatt had 15 points for Eilat, which fell to 6-7.

Ironi Nahariya outscored Maccabi Ashdod 35-21 in the first quarter on Sunday and survived a late comeback to register a 91-82 win. Richard Howell finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Cameron Clark added 21 points and 11 boards for Nahariya, which improved to 7-6.

Charles Thomas had 31 points and 10 rebounds for Ashdod, which fell to 6-7.

Also Sunday, Ironi Ness Ziona beat Maccabi Kiryat Gat 88-73.

Yuval Naimi led Ness Ziona (5-8) with 19 points and 10 assists, with Marco Killingsworth finishing with 22 points and 12 boards for Kiryat Gat (3-10).

Earlier Sunday, Haifa discovered that its reward for knocking Jerusalem out of the cup is a home tie against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the quarterfinals. Sunday’s draw for the last eight also paired Bnei Herzliya with Maccabi Rishon Lezion, Maccabi Ashdod with Maccabi Kiryat Gat and Hapoel Ramat Gan/Givataim with Ironi Ness Ziona.

On Monday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (8-3) looks to make it five wins over six games in all competitions when it hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv (4-8), which has lost five of six games. Rishon won four straight contests in the BSL before last week’s loss at Hapoel Eilat, but bounced back with a victory over the same Eilat three days later in the State Cup round of 16.

Tel Aviv was sent packing from the cup following a defeat at the buzzer to Kiryat Gat and coach Sharon Avrahmi’s job could be in danger should the team’s results not improve soon.

Hapoel Jerusalem (9-3) aims to avoid its third straight loss over all competitions when it visits Hapoel Holon (3-8) on Monday. Jerusalem suffered a shock cup exit at the hands of Haifa last Thursday after also losing to Ashdod in BSL action earlier in the week.

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