Hap Holon, Mac Ashdod get wins

Holon gets first win in over 2 months with surprise victory over hot Maccabi Haifa squad; Ashdod also ends losing streak.

HAPOEL HOLON's Ron Lewis 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
HAPOEL HOLON's Ron Lewis 370
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Holon recorded its first BSL win in over two months on Monday night, surprising in-form Maccabi Haifa 89-84 to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Holon coach Dan Shamir decided to restructure his team’s game-plan following the recent slump, signing guard Dominic Waters in place of forward Tyler Smith.
Shamir’s gamble to change to a small-ball lineup that would allow his team to dictate a faster pace paid off on Monday, with Holon reaching its highest point total since its last victory on November 4.
A 10-0 Holon run gave the hosts their first significant lead of the night in the second quarter (37-27) and there was only going to be one winner after Shamir’s men opened a 16-point gap (69-53) with a 10-2 surge midway through the third frame.
“We really needed this win,” said a relieved Shamir after seeing his side improve to 4-8 on the season. “I hope things will go a little easier for us from now on and that we display some continuity.”
Frank Hassell led Holon with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Lawrence Hill added 16 points, with Waters registering eight points and 13 assists on his debut.
Pat Calathes led five Haifa players in double-figures with 21 points and 13 boards.
“Holon shot the ball really well in the first half,” said Haifa coach Brad Greenberg after the Greens dropped to just their second defeat in eight games, falling to 8-4. “We didn’t guard the way we have to and the way we have been doing. We weren’t in sync offensively.”
Also Monday, Maccabi Ashdod won for the third time in four games, beating Barak Netanya 88-86.
Netanya had a one-point edge (46-45) after a tight first half in Ashdod and the score was tied at 81-81 entering the final minute.
Ashdod held its composure the better of the two teams in the closing stages and continued its recovery to improve to 4-8 after losing seven of its first eight games.
Austin Freeman, making his debut after joining from Hapoel Eilat, led Ashdod with 27 points, with Mardy Collins adding 21 points.
Deron Washington had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Netanya, which fell to 7-5.