Local Hoops: Bnei Hasharon thrashes Maccabi TA

After a tight first three quarters, visitors blown out in final period losing 87-68 in Ra'anana.

Mac TA 224.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Mac TA 224.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv crashed to its first defeat of the BSL season on Sunday night, losing 87-68 to Bnei Hasharon in Ra'anana. After a tight first three quarters, Bnei Hasharon blew out the visitors in the final period and humbled its illustrious opponent. Tel Aviv, which had averaged 98 points in its first four league games, couldn't buy a basket in the second half, scoring an embarrassing 24 points in the last 20 minutes of the game. "We fell apart in the fourth quarter," Maccabi coach Oded Katash said after the game. "We had momentum on our side in the first half, but we didn't manage to open a big lead because of our insecurity." Meir Tapiro led the winners with 23 points and five assists, with Cookie Belcher adding 20 points. "It always feels good to beat Maccabi," Belcher said after the game. "We always believed that we could beat them. I played aggressively and it worked for me." Ousmane Cisse and Ndudi Ebi dominated under the baskets for the hosts, combining for 29 points and 19 rebounds. Yotam Halperin scored 15 points for Maccabi, with Terence Morris adding 12 points and 10 rebounds. Hapoel Jerusalem got the better of Ironi Nahariya on Sunday, winning 97-82 at the Malha Arena. Jerusalem led throughout the second half of the game and is unbeaten at home this season. Also Sunday, Hapoel Galil Elyon claimed its second straight league win, defeating Ironi Ramat Gan 107-102 after overtime. Gili Mosinzon had a monster game for the winners, scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Maccabi Rishon Lezion won its first home game of the season on Sunday, defeating Hapoel Afula/Gilboa 80-68. Cedric Banks scored 24 points for Rishon. On Monday, Hapoel Holon will look to end its two game losing streak when it visits Ironi Ashkelon. Bnei Hasharon 87, Maccabi Tel Aviv 68 Both teams were nervous at the start of the game, but Haperin's superb scoring helped Maccabi pull ahead nevertheless and open a 14-6 lead. A 12-0 Bnei Hasharon run, which was capped by Jason Williams's three-point move, ended any fear Maccabi might run away with the game and gave the hosts the lead. Marcus Fizer's basket at the end of the first period made sure the visitors were ahead after 10 minutes (19-18) and Halperin's three-pointer to start the second quarter extended his side's lead to four points. Tapiro's jumper midway through the period regained the hosts' advantage (29-28), but three straight triples, two of them by Derrick Sharp, gave Tel Aviv its biggest lead of the half (41-33). Despite leading by five points (44-39) at the interval, Maccabi never looked to be in control and Bnei Hasharon took its first lead of the second half after Belcher stole the ball and scored (50-48). Tapiro's jumper capped the hosts 14-2 run (57-50), but the team was only ahead by three points (61-58) after three quarters. Esteban Batista's basket at the start of the fourth period brought Maccabi within one point (63-62), but a stunning 14-0 run, which was capped by Erez Katz's three, gave Bnei Hasharon an unassailable 77-62 lead. Hapoel Jerusalem 97, Ironi Nahariya 82 Timmy Bowers's basket gave Hapoel an early lead (9-4), but Matan Naor's three-pointer put Nahariya ahead midway through the period (14-13). The hosts took a five point lead into the second quarter (30-25) and Anthony Roberson's basket from beyond the arc opened a seven-point margin (43-36). Hapoel scored the first seven points of the fourth period and its 17-6 run to start the quarter ended the visitors' resistance, securing the win. Dror Hagag led the hosts, scoring 17 points, with Jamie Arnold and Bowers each adding 16 points. Adrian Pledger scored 22 points for the losers, with Otis Hill and Ido Kozikaro contributing 16 points each.