A 20-0 run in the third quarter put Haifa on top, but they couldn’t hold on
Despite trailing for most of the first half on Tuesday night at Menora Mivtachim Arena, Maccabi Hunter Haifa used a 20-0 burst (25-4 overall) to flip a 9 point halftime deficit into a 12 point lead (59-47) over Maccabi Tel Aviv at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter. The spirited run was sparked by Trevor Gaskins who buried three triples in the third frame. Unfortunately, the Greens couldn’t keep pace as Maccabi Tel Aviv countered with a 12-0 run of their own to knot the score at 59-59 at the end of the third quarter. In the final frame, Maccabi Tel Aviv (17-6) pulled away as Maccabi Hunter Haifa (6-17) fell 80-71 in Round 23 of the Winner League.
Angel Rodriguez led all scorers with 19 points on 9-of-12 from the free throw line, along with 4 assists (6 turnovers). Reggie Buckner dropped 15 points for the Greens on 5-of-8 from the field and Willy Workman added 10 points and corralled 7 boards. Captain Oz Blayzer chipped in 7 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals, and Brandon Bowman recorded 7 points in 17 minutes. Newly acquired forward Trahson Burrell received limited minutes in his Maccabi Hunter Haifa debut, posting 2 points and 3 rebounds in 6 minutes. The Greens suffered from allowing too many second-chance opportunities as they were outrebounded 44-32.
Maccabi Tel Aviv had five players score in double figures, led by Deshaun Thomas who dropped 13 points and 6 rebounds. Itay Segev (8 rebounds) and DeAndre Kane (8 assists) recorded 12 points apiece, while Michael Roll and Jake Cohen each posted 11 points.
Offer Rahimi: “We made bad decisions, we lost balls, and there were some situations that we went wild with no wisdom…I’m trying to send them simple messages of concentration and not focus on the referees, and I didn’t succeed. I can’t translate it exactly but pressure is a factor. The way to relieve the pressure is through one-on-one conversations and achieving victories and that will bring us to a better position in the standings.”
Maccabi Hunter Haifa started Angel Rodriguez, Trevor Gaskins, Willy Workman, Oz Blayzer and Reggie Buckner. Workman gave Haifa an early lead, but both teams struggled to get into any offensive rhythm as Haifa trailed 6-4 at the 5:31 mark of the first quarter. Bowman splashed in a 3-pointer as Haifa finished the first half trailing 18-14 to the Yellows.
Roll nailed two 3-pointers as Maccabi Tel Aviv extended their lead to double figures midway through the second quarter. Rodriguez, Buckner and Workman helped chip away at the lead as the Greens went into the halftime break, down 41-32.
The Greens came out of the half reinvigorated as Gaskins rained down a trey to start the third quarter. Blayzer scored, which was countered by Kane on the end of the floor. The Captain wasn’t finished as he buried a 3-pointer. This was followed by a fantastic sequence by Reggie Buckner. The big man recorded a beautiful block and Rodriguez dished out a nifty dime to Buckner who finished with an And-One to bring Haifa within 45-43. Gaskins hit back-t0-back 3-pointers as Haifa reclaimed a 49-45 lead. Maccabi from the Carmel weren’t finished as Rodriguez and Bowman continued to do damage as the Greens ripped off a 20-0 run to take a 57-45 advantage.
Kane broke up the Tel Aviv scoring drought, which seemed to take the air out of the Greens’ momentum, as the Yellows managed to negate the Haifa rally with their own 12-0 run to tie the game at 59-59 at the end of third quarter.
Thomas opened the fourth quarter with a bucket to extend the Tel Aviv run to 14-0. Haifa managed to regain a 63-62 lead after Reggie Buckner made two from the line. Tel Aviv answered with a 6-0 run, but the Greens fought back to get back within one point, 68-67, after an assist by Workman to Buckner. That’s as close as Haifa would come for the remainder of the contest. Norris Cole was able to get to the line as Tel Aviv pulled away for good.