Mac TA way too powerful for Gilboa

Blatt’s boys dismiss notion of other local title contenders with 41-point thrashing.

Guy Pnini of Maccabi Tel Aviv 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Guy Pnini of Maccabi Tel Aviv 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Any suggestion that Hapoel Gilboa/Galil can seriously challenge Maccabi Tel Aviv this season was made to look like a mockery on Sunday night after the yellow-and-blue crushed the northerners 102-61 in a repeat of last season’s BSL final at Nokia Arena.
After toying with Gilboa in the first few minutes, Maccabi pulled ahead by the end of the first period (25-16) and poured salt on Hapoel’s wounds in the second half after taking a 23- point gap (58-35) into the break.
Richard Hendrix led Maccabi with 21 points and eight rebounds, with four more Tel Aviv players scoring in doublefigures, including Jon Scheyer, who was given 25 minutes on court and netted 11 points.
Romeo Travis and Chaisson Allen had 13 points each for Gilboa, which had won seven of its previous nine games but was given plenty of food for thought on Sunday.
On Monday, Sharon Drucker will begin his second tenure as Hapoel Jerusalem coach when the Reds visit Bnei Hasharon in Herzliya.
Drucker signed a contract until the end of the 2012/13 season on Sunday, replacing Oded Katash, who resigned last week following Jerusalem’s embarrassing 81-59 thrashing at the hands of BC Habika’a.
The 44-year-old Drucker led Hapoel to its greatest achievement in the 2003/04 season when Jerusalem lifted the ULEB Cup. He spent much of the past six years coaching in Europe, guiding Ural Great (Russia), Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania), Oostende (Belgium), Aris Thessaloniki (Greece) and Montegranaro (Italy), from which he was sacked in November.
Drucker was also Pini Gershon’s assistant at Maccabi Tel Aviv for two seasons (2008- 2010) and he now returns to Jerusalem for a second stint he hopes will be at least as successful as the first.
On Sunday, Habika’a built on the momentum from its thrashing of Jerusalem last week with a dramatic 78-76 victory at Maccabi Haifa.
Haifa held a lead for the first nine-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter, but Frank Robinson clinched Habika’a’s first road win of the season with a basket in the dying seconds.
Rashaun Freeman scored 19 points for Habika’a, with Tyler Wilkerson contributing 19 points and 14 rebounds for Haifa, which has lost five straight games.
Ironi Ashkelon snapped its four-game losing streak with an 87-85 win over Maccabi Ashdod on Sunday.
Dwayne Mitchell had 25 points for Ashkelon, with Niv Berkowitz scoring 20.
Alex Tyus had 23 points and eight rebounds for Ashdod, which fell to 3-8 on the season.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion beat Hapoel Holon 88-77 on Sunday to leapfrog its opponent into third place in the standings, tied with Holon on a 6-5 record.
Rishon’s Derwin Kitchen ended the night with 35 points, nine rebounds and five assists, hitting 13 of 17 field goals.
Tasmin Mitchell had 21 points and eight rebounds for Holon.