Maccabi Tel Aviv beats Ashkelon

Maceo Baston led Maccabi with 20 points to a 106-75 against their hosts.

maccabi TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
maccabi TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Maccabi Tel Aviv put away a stubborn Elitzur Ashkelon with a 16-1 third-quarter run on the way to a 106-75 win in front of a capacity crowd in the central game of BSL Matchday 2 in Ashkelon on Sunday. The hosts, who went on the road to upset Hapoel Jerusalem last week on opening night, kept it close in the first half, at the end of which they trailed only 47-42, but the Euroleague champs were too powerful in the second half. Maceo Baston led Maccabi with 20 points and Tal Burstein added 18, while Nikola Vujcic had 15, Will Solomon 14 and Anthony Parker 12. Ashkelon center Brandon Kurtz finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds followed by Adrian Pledger's 17 in defeat. Ironi Nahariya 94, Ironi Ramat Gan 72 All five starters scored in double figures as Nahariya won its BSL season-opener. Coach Avi Ashkenazi's side had a bye last week. Ramat Gan was in the picture until Avi Sukar scored five during a 12-0 third quarter run that put the hosts ahead by 17. Cory Carr led the way with 20, Branko Milisavljevic added 17 and Jayson Wells 16. Center Otis Hill and Sukar finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Tunji Awojobi scored 13 of his game-high 25 in the first quarter for Ramat Gan. Itai Lev added 13. Bnei Hasharon 100, Maccabi Givat Shmuel 76 Bnei Hasharon raced out to an early lead and never looked back to improve to 2-0. Cookie Belcher paced coach Ya'acov Geno's side with 24, Ugonna Onyekwe added 22 and Terrence Rencher finished with 16. Oren Aharoni scored 21 for Givat Shmuel. Hapoel Tel Aviv 69, Ramat Hasharon 67 Marcus Hatten made four of six free throws in the final 30 seconds to help the reds to their first win of the season. Hatten paced Hapoel with 23 points, while Jeron Roberts added 17. John Oden and Terrence Shannon had 19 apiece for Ramat Hasharon. Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan has the week off. The final game of Matchday 2 will be Monday night when Maccabi Rishon hosts Hapoel Jerusalem. Big guns avoid each other in State Cup draw At halftime in Ashkelon the Israel Basketball Association conducted the draw for the second round of the State Cup, which supplied few attractive matches. Maccabi Tel Aviv will face second division Hapoel Gilboa Afula, while Hapoel Jerusalem gets Maccabi Givat Shmuel. One of the more intriguing encounters pits Ashkelon against Hapoel Tel Aviv. Galil-Golan and Ironi Nahariya will meet for bragging rights up north, as will neighbors Bnei Hasharon and Hapoel Lev Hasharon. There is certain to be at least one Cinderella in the quarterfinals with second division Hapoel Givatayim and Maccabi Petah Tikva squaring off. In other games, Hapoel Holon meets Ironi Ramat Gan and Ramat Hasharon takes on Maccabi Rishon. The teams will play home-and-home series on November 13 and December 4 with the aggregate winners moving on.