Maccabi stung by former Haifa guard/forward Amit Simhon’s 22 points in loss at home
Maccabi Hunter Haifa was unable to match a season-high three-game winning streak, falling 90-80 to Hapoel Eilat in the 19th Round of the Winner League on Friday afternoon at Romema.
The Greens were dominated on the glass — being outrebounded 43-22 by Eilat. The visitors shot the lights out of the ball, connecting on 57 percent (8-of-14) from three-point range. Without an injured Angel Rodriguez, Haifa no answer in containing former Haifa guard-forward Amit Simhon, who torched his former team with 22 points on 5-of-5 shooting from downtown to go along with 6 rebounds, 3 assist and 3 steals. Guard Jordan Loyd also burned the Greens with 21 points and 8 rebounds, while Demetrius Treadwell recorded a double-double on 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Maccabi was paced by Trevor Gaskins who led the team in points scored for the second straight week, notching 16 points. Reggie Buckner tallied 14 points, while Oz Blayzer and Dagan Yivzori chipped in 11 points apiece. Zach Graham added 10 points in the defeat.
The first half of the contest was filled with an exciting fast-paced tempo with both teams scoring from the field on high percentages. Eilat held a slight edge 44-42 going into the break. After a quiet second quarter, Simhon continued to snipe threes, capping a 7-0 Eilat run to go up 55-50. Loyd and Treadwell helped stretch the visitor’s advantage to 71-63 at the end of the third frame.
Workman scored the first basket of the fourth quarter, but Simhon immediately answered him, and Loyd added another 3-pointer to widen the Eilat advantage to 78-65. Gaskins managed to trim the deficit to single digits, but Kitchen brought the gap back to 80-70. The Southern rival never looked back as they downed Maccabi, 90-80.
The Greens will have a critical game against Bnei Herzliya on the road on Monday, March 19.