Local Hoops: Maccabi Tel Aviv gets by Ramat Gan

There were no surprises in Matchday 6 of the BSL on Sunday night.

maccabi TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
maccabi TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
There were no surprises in Matchday 6 of the BSL on Sunday night. Maccabi Tel Aviv had to work hard against Ironi Ramat Gan, but prevailed thanks to Derrick Sharp's big night. Hapoel Jerusalem also registered an impressive away win against Ramat Hasharon. Ironi Nahariya got back to its winning ways against Mickey Berkovic's Bnei Hasharon and Maccabi Rishon Lezion beat Givat Shmuel 72-69. Maccabi Tel Aviv 90, Ironi Ramat Gan 82 Ramat Gan was off to a quick start and made an 8-0 run with some brilliant moves in the post by Tunji Awojobi. Maccabi managed to score only 16 points in the first quarter, with only Tal Burstein leading the attack and keeping the visitors in the game. The second quarter was played in a similar fashion, with Maccabi turning the ball over in attack and Ramat Gan punishing the reigning European and BSL champions with efficient finishing by Jason Gardner and Yonathan Nir. The hosts led 48-36 at halftime. But Maccabi Tel Aviv finally got its act together in the third quarter, caught up with Ramat Gan with its traditional pick and roll tactics and then took a 61-60 lead. Sharp was unstoppable in the second half and shot no less than six three-pointers on way to a game-high 22 points and five assists. Parker finished with 17 points and eight assists. Will Solomon was injured in the pre-game warm up and didn't dress up for the game. Hapoel Jerusalem 98, Ramat Hasharon 86 The visitors from Jerusalem turned up the heat from the tip-off with solid play by Mario Austin, who scored eight points in the opening minutes. Roger Mason had a hot hand for Jerusalem when he connected twice from downtown in the first five minutes of the game. Mason finished with 15 points. Terrence Shannon was inaccurate for Ramat Hasharon and failed to operate under Horace Jenkins's pressure. Jenkins was also effective on the offensive end and contributed 18 points and nine assists. Elad Inbar shot eight consecutive points for his team in the last quarter and Ramat Hasharon narrowed the deficit to three points (81-78). But Hapoel's Tamar Slay stepped up and produced quality all-round basketball, including a crucial threepointer to solidify Jerusalem's lead. Slay finished with 23 points. Galil-Golan 84, Hapoel Tel Aviv 74 The reds from Tel Aviv made a great 18-9 run in the first quarter, with excellent defensive play and fast breaks led by Rodger Farrington. Galil swingman Jay Straight collected his third personal foul in just the ninth minute and sat out the rest of the first half, but young playmaker Yogev Ohayon cut into Tel Aviv's lead with two quick three-pointers at the start of the second quarter and some brilliant passes to Sasa Bratic. Ohayon had 24 points in the game. Hapoel Tel Aviv shot poorly from the field after the opening minutes and went into the halftime break trailing 32-36. The third quarter was a close affair thanks to Hapoel Tel Aviv's Gili Mossinson, who came off the bench and collected important offensive rebounds. But the visitors pulled away thanks to a 10-0 run in the last quarter, leaving Hapoel Tel Aviv helpless. Ohayon sealed the fate of the encounter with a three-pointer in the last minute. Maccabi Rishon 72, Givat Shmuel 69 After a close 8-8 start, Rishon made a 13-0 run at the end of the first quarter that gave them a big cushion for the rest of the game that the visitors failed to close. John Slay kept Givat Shmuel in the game with a great third quarter. The talented swingman finished the game with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Tim Bowers added 20 points for the visitors. Four players finished with double figures for the hosts, with Ryan Sydney leading the show with 15 points. Ironi Nahariya 79, Bnei Hasharon 57 Avi Ashkenazi's team got back to its winning ways with an easy victory over last place Bnei Hasharon, which has yet to win a game this season. Corey Carr scored 20 points and veteran guard Barak Peleg added 15 points.