Local Hoops: Mac Haifa loses second straight

Maccabi signs point guard Dee Brown, 24, until the end of the season.

Tapiro 224.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Tapiro 224.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Bnei Hasharon handed Maccabi Haifa its second straight BSL loss on Saturday, winning 75-70 on the road in Romema. The teams combined for an unbelievable 43 turnovers in a physical and disorganized game, which was only decided in the fourth period. Bnei Hasharon scored 30 points in the final 10 minutes, two more that it managed in the entire first half. Ariel Beit-Halachmi's team is now tied on points with Haifa and is well placed to make a serious run for a top-four finish and home court advantage in the playoffs. Richard Roby led Bnei Hasharon with 21 points, with Ugonna Onyekwe adding 19 points. Doron Perkins and Ronald Ross each scored 15 points for Haifa. Both teams combined for just 21 points in the first period, with Bnei Hasharon leading 11-10. At the break, Haifa was ahead by a single point (29-28), but the visitors began the second half with a 9-0 run, capped by an Erez Katz three-pointer. The hosts would answer back with an 11-0 run of their own, and the teams would be tied at 45-45 entering the fourth quarter. The final 10 minutes belonged to Bnei Hasharon, which was unstoppable from beyond the arc in the period, and the side returned south with an important victory. On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Holon in the first meeting between the teams since last year's BSL championship game. Only one Holon player from last year, Chris Watson, is still on the team's roster and Maccabi has also gone through wholesale changes since last season. On Saturday, Maccabi signed point guard Dee Brown, 24, until the end of the season. Brown, played for the University of Illinois, where in his final season he averaged 14.2 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. In his junior year at Illinois (2005), he was named National Player of the Year by the American magazine Sporting News. Brown was picked 46th in the 2006 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz and during the 2006/07 season, played in 49 games for the Jazz, averaging 1.9 points and 1.7 assists in 9.2 minutes per game. Brown started this season with the Washington Wizards, where he averaged 13.7 minutes in 17 games and contributed 2.4 points, and 1.9 assists. Holon will be playing its third straight home league game since the winter break and is still searching for a first win. Two weeks ago the side was surprised by Maccabi Givat Shmuel and last week its game against Ironi Ashkelon was called-off with 4.26 minutes remaining in the first period after Ashkelon's Rashon Turner broke one of the rims with a thunderous dunk. Maccabi has won both its games since the break, beating Ironi Ramat Gan and Maccabi Haifa. Also Sunday, Hapoel Galil Elyon/Gilboa hosts Ironi Ashkelon, Maccabi Rishon Lezion visits Ironi Ramat Gan and Ironi Nahariya hosts Ironi Kiryat Ata. On Monday, Hapoel Jerusalem goes in search of its eighth straight league win when it plays Maccabi Givat Shmuel at Malha Arena.