Basketball: Mac TA crushes Holon to improve to 7-0

Basketball Mac TA crush

Maccabi Haifa basketball 248.88 (photo credit: BSL)
Maccabi Haifa basketball 248.88
(photo credit: BSL)
Maccabi Tel Aviv cruised to another ridiculously easy BSL victory on Sunday night, while Maccabi Haifa showed its character yet again to claim a fourth straight win, 83-75 over Nahariya in overtime. Tel Aviv, which hosts Caja Laboral Vitoria in a crucial Euroleague game on Thursday, was in full control against Hapoel Holon on Sunday, leading 50-29 at the break and sailing to an 88-63 victory. "The most important thing I take from this game is the fact that all the players are fit for Thursday's encounter against Vitoria," Tel Aviv coach Pini Gershon said after his team improved its perfect start to the season to 7-0. Andrew Wisniewski led Maccabi with 20 points in 18 minutes, hitting five of five from beyond the arc, two of two from two-point range and also hitting his only free-throw of the night. "We had a good rhythm and hit some shots early and opened a big lead," Wisniewski said, summing up the game. Guy Pnini scored 16 points for Tel Aviv, with Doron Perkins adding 11 points and seven assists. Avi Eliyahu was Holon's only player in double-figures, scoring 18 points for Amir Uzi's team, which fell to 0-7. Haifa committed 22 turnovers against Nahariya, but still came out the winner thanks to Davon Jefferson. The American forward scored 25 points and hauled in 11 rebounds in the 83-75 overtime victory over Nahariya, which has lost three consecutive games. "We started off slow, but we stuck it out and got the win," said Jefferson. "We wanted it more and we kept fighting back. We had a bad game but still pulled out a victory so I think that is a very positive thing." Richard Roby added 15 points for Haifa, with Paul Delaney leading Nahariya with 20 points. Also Sunday, Hapoel Afula claimed a 106-92 home win over Ironi Ashkelon. Justin Dentmon scored 30 points for the winners, with Jermaine Hall adding 17 points and seven rebounds. Jimmy Baxter had 21 points for Ashkelon, which lost despite scoring 29 of 40 from two-point range. On Monday, Barak Netanya hosts Maccabi Rishon Lezion. At Ein Sara, Barak Peleg's three-pointer gave the hosts a 14-13 lead at the end of a low-scoring first period and Nahariya was in front 36-30 at the half. A Delaney triple opened a double-digit gap for the hosts (44-34), but Nahariya was only five points ahead with 10 minutes to play (50-45). Nahariya maintained a slender margin at the start of the fourth quarter, but Haifa slowly ate away at the lead and Jefferson's basket midway through the period gave the team its first advantage of the second half (56-55). Five straight points by Roby opened a five-point gap (61-55), but Nahariya never lost hope and was down by just two points (68-66) with 30 seconds to play following Demarco Johnson's free-throws. After Amit Ben-David missed an open three at one end, Delaney scored with four seconds to play at the other and sent the encounter to overtime. Three minutes into the extra period the score was tied at 75-75, but two straight turnovers by Nahariya gifted Haifa four points and the visitors ended the game with an 8-0 run. At Holon, Wisniewski was lethal from beyond the arc from the start of the game, with his second straight three-pointer giving Maccabi an early 12-3 lead. Holon took four minutes to score its first field-goal of the night, but came within three points of Maccabi midway through the first period after Titus Ivory's triple (13-10). However, it was not long before Tel Aviv took a stranglehold on the game, with another Wisniewski three opening a 20-10 advantage. Maccabi took a 28-20 margin into the second quarter and before too long all but clinched the win. Wisniewski's fifth three in five attempts capped a 12-0 run, giving Tel Aviv an 18-point advantage (42-24), and the visitors cruised untroubled in the second half. In Afula, the hosts led 27-20 after 10 minutes and opened what proved to be an unassailable lead by the interval. A 24-2 run in the second period did the trick for Afula, giving the team a 61-42 margin at halftime and rendering the second half almost meaningless.