Maccabi Haifa downed by Nes Ziona 64-61 in Winner Cup

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Haifa lost a tough Winner Cup quarterfinals game  to a pesky Nes Ziona team that climbed back in the fourth quarter to outscore Haifa 19-6 in the final period as the Greens were downed 64-61 in Rishon Lezion.  Haifa’s Jeff Allen shined tonight with a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds on 9-of-19 from the field.  The Greens Demontez Stitt also recorded 18 points and 3 rebounds, while the Haifa defense forced 26 turnovers on the evening.   Nes Ziona’s guard Preston Knowles burned Haifa with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field.

The Greens started the Winner Cup quarterfinals against Nes Ziona with Demontez Stitt, Dagan Yivzori, Rene Rougeau, Jeff Allen and Alex Chubrevich. Stitt scored Haifa’s first seven points to put Haifa up 7-2 after two and a half minutes. Jeff Allen was active on both sides of the court attacking the paint for a bucket to give Haifa a 15-9 lead over Nes Ziona. The Greens finished the first quarter with a 19-15 advantage.

The Greens extneded their lead to 23-18 after an offensive rebound and putback from Anton Shoutvin with 6 minutes remaining in the quarter. However, Nes Ziona answered with a 7-0 run to take a 24-23 lead at the 4:42 mark of the period. The Greens Stitt and Rougeau scored back-to-back layups to regain the Haifa lead at 29-28 with just over 2:30 in the half. Rougeau finished a fast break with an alley-oop from Tomer Bar Even as Haifa went into the half up 34-29 over Nes Ziona. The Greens’ Stitt and Allen led Haifa with 14 points and 10 points respectively in the first half.

Alex Chubrevich knocked down two jumpers, a Stitt three-pointer and another forced turnover by the Haifa defense led to a Jeff Allen layup as the Greens went up 45-37 over Nes Ziona midway through the quarter. Haifa pushed their lead to double-digits with a Jeff Allen dunk on a Dagan Yivzori assist. Allen was a beast on the boards grabbing an offensive rebound and putback for a layup as the Greens finished the third period up 55-45.

Nes Ziona came out strong in the final period with a 12-1 run to grab a one point advantage 57-56 over Haifa at the 6:06 mark of the final period.  Tomer Bar Even tied the game at the free throw line at 59-59 with just under three minutes.  A three-pointer by Nes Ziona’s Preston Knowles gave the Orange and White a 62-61 lead over the Greens with just over a minute left.  The Greens had a chance down 63-61 but a costly turnover doomed the Greens as they lost 64-61.