Mac TA is mortal after all

Bnei Hasharon shocks yellow-and-blue 91-88.

November 29, 2010 05:36
2 minute read.
SOFOKLIS SCHORTSANITIS and Maccabi Tel Aviv were h

Schortsanitis 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

After beginning the BSL season with a 6-0 record, thrashing its local opponents by an average 28.7 points, Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered its first defeat of the campaign on Sunday night, falling to a stunning 91-88 loss to Bnei Hasharon at Nokia Arena.

Maccabi claimed its 10th straight victory in all competitions on Thursday with an impressive win over Caja Laboral Vitoria.

However, after scoring 33 points in the first quarter on Sunday, the yellow-and-blue struggled against Bnei Hasharon’s defense, netting only 26 points in the second and third quarters combined.

Shawn James had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Bnei Hasharon, which lost to Maccabi Ashdod last week, but improved to 5-2 on Sunday.

Dan Grunfeld and Lee Nailon added 19 points each, with Ron Steele scoring 16.

Jeremy Pargo and Lior Eliyahu had 21 and 20 points, respectively, for Maccabi.

Also Sunday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil cruised to an 83-66 victory over Barak Netanya at Gan Ner.

Warren Carter had 16 points for the reigning champions, while Tony Younger scored 16 for Netanya.

Newly promoted Maccabi Ashdod continued its impressive start to the season on Sunday, beating Maccabi Haifa 75-72 behind Josh Carter’s 18 points.

At Nokia, Maccabi began the game with a 10- 2 run, but despite scoring at will in the first period, it got complacent on defense and led 33-24 after 10 minutes.

Bnei Hasharon at last tightened its defense in the second quarter and went on a 14-3 run in the first five minutes of the period.

The hosts would score the next seven points, but at halftime Bnei Hasharon still had everything to play for, trailing by just four points (45- 41).

Tel Aviv’s offense continued to misfire after the break and a Ron Steele basket midway through the third period capped a 12-2 run that gave the visitors a double-digit lead (61-51).

Bnei Hasharon still led 66-59 with a quarter to play and with less than five minutes to go held a double-figure cushion (78-68).

However, Maccabi was far from beaten, and three triples within 90 seconds by Pargo, David Blu and Eliyahu brought the hosts within three points (80-77).

An Eliyahu lay-up cut the deficit to a single point, but a clutch three by Grunfeld gave the visitors a crucial cushion (83-79) and Bnei Hasharon would hold on for a famous win.

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