Photo: Lilach Weiss, BSL

FINAL: Maccabi Hunter Haifa 74, Maccabi Ashdod 87

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Maccabi topped by Ashdod, lose fifth straight 

Box Score

It’s tough to win games, when you’re playing catch up.  Coming into Sunday’s contest, Maccabi Hunter Haifa had lost four straight games (including the State Cup), but were hoping their return home to Romema would help turn the tide against Maccabi Ashdod.  That’s not how it played out.  Ashdod raced out to a 15-2 lead to take the Haifa crowd out of the game from the get-go.   The game was essentially out of reach by the half as the Greens trailed 55-36.

“It’s very frustrating to see your team well-prepared for the game;  we knew what we needed to do, but from the jump-ball, we didn’t execute well enough,” Dagan Yivzori reflected after returning to the lineup from a knee injury, finishing with 15 points off the bench on 5-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes.

Ashdod maintained a comfortable lead through three quarters.  Despite a valiant attempt by Haifa in the fourth, the deficit was too much to overcome as the Greens fell to Ashdod, 87-74, to drop to 4-9 on the season.

“Our defense was outrageous tonight.  In the first half, they scored more than 50 points,” a frustrated Offer Rahimi said after the game. “We were also not accurate with our shooting; our percentages were bad and it’s my responsibility.  I will continue to work as hard as I can, and I hope that I will be able to take us out of this situation.”

The Greens were dominated on the boards as Ashdod grabbed a 43-31 advantage.  The Haifa shooting was just as troublesome, as they connected on just 41 percent (22-of-53) of their attempts.

Brandon Bowman was one of the bright spots for Haifa as he recorded a team-high 18 points, and Angel Rodriguez tallied 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.  Zach Graham chipped in 11 points but had trouble finding his range from the field (4-of-15).

Ashdod was paced by Cameron Long who dropped a game-high 20 points to go along with 7 rebounds.  Sek Henry notched 17 points and 6 assists for the visitors as Brad Greenberg’s team improved to 6-7 on the season.

“Each and every one of us, needs to take a look within, give himself a slap in the face and realize that only us, can reverse this situation,” Yivzori added.

Maccabi has a critical game next Monday when they travel to Ness Ziona (3-9).