Maccabi Haifa upset at home; Holon pulls it out in double OT

Haifa suffers surprise 79-72 home defeat to Hapoel Galil/Gilboa.

basketball macedonia 88 (photo credit: AP)
basketball macedonia 88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Haifa lost an excellent opportunity to close in on Hapoel Jerusalem after suffering a surprise 79-72 home defeat to Hapoel Galil/Gilboa on Monday night. Haifa entered the final 10 minutes ahead by seven points, but was outscored 27-13 in the fourth periodto lose. Meanwhile, Galil returned to winning ways after losing its last three BSL games. "We never lost touch even when we trailed and in the fourth quarter our defense won the game," Galil/Gilboa coach Oded Katash said. "This gives us the confidence we can return to our early season form." Dion Dowell led Galil scoring 23 points, with Brian Roberts and Brian Randle scoring 20 and 18, respectively. Moshe Mizrahi scored 14 and Ido Kozikaro added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Haifa, which visits Jerusalem at Malha Arena next week. Also Monday, Hapoel Holon claimed a dramatic 107-106 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion in double overtime. A Demarco Johnson basket at the buzzer denied Holon the victory in regulation, and the game went into a second overtime after Robert Conley scored from an offensive rebound with just over two seconds remaining in the first extra frame. Rishon raced to a six-point lead (101-95) at the start of the second overtime, but Luis Flores hit two free-throws with 8.7 seconds remaining and Holon clinched the victory after Conley missed a three-pointer as time expired. "I have a team of winners with a huge heart," Holon coach Danny Franco said. "My players are winners who don't give-up until the final second." Flores scored 31 points for Holon, with Brian Tolbert netting 26 points and Deron Washington adding 24 points and 10 rebounds. Conley had 34 points and 10 assists for Rishon, with Johnson contributing 26 points and eight rebounds. In Haifa, a Dowell three to end the first period opened a 19-13 Galil lead, but the hosts scored the first six points of the second to tie the score, and led 38-33 at the break. Haifa maintained its advantage in the third quarter, leading 59-52 with 10 minutes to play, but Galil seized control of the encounter with a 9-0 run and clinched the win thanks to excellent play in the clutch by youngster Gal Mekel.