Preseason: Maccabi Bazan Haifa earns 81-74 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv

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Maccabi Haifa earned their second win in the preseason with an impressive 81-74 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv at Hadar Yosef.  Jeff Allen led Haifa with a double-double on 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Greens opened against Hapoel Tel Aviv with Brody Angley, Dagan Yivzori, Rene Rougeau, Jeff Allen and Alex Chubrevich. Haifa’s defense pressured the Reds right from the get-go as the Greens ran out to a 14-5 lead midway through the quarter with good starts from Haifa big men Allen and Chubrevich. Rene Rougeau played tough around the basket finishing a three-point play and Liraz Ariely was fouled sending him to the line for two foul shots, giving Haifa a 18-9 advantage at the 2:21 mark. Haifa finished the first period leading 23-13. Rene Rougeau notched 7 first quarter points to lead the Greens.

Rougeau found a cutting Jeff Allen under the basket for two and Demontez Stitt knocked a three-pointer at the top of the key to give Haifa a 30-19 advantage. The Reds’ Jonathan Skjoldebrand netted a three with a hand in his face as Hapoel Tel Aviv went on a 6-0 run to tighten the score at 30-26 in favor of Haifa midway through the second quarter. Anton Shoutvin dished out an excellent assist to Rougeau, who converted on a three-point play to push the Haifa lead to 36-30. Hapoel Tel Aviv answered with a 12-3 run to take a four-point advantage 42-38 as Tel Aviv’s Rion Brown netted a three at the buzzer.

Rougeau and Allen continued their fast start in the second half as they both scored in the paint to tie the game at 44-44 in the first minute and a half. The Reds went on a 7-0 run before Jeff Allen grabbed an offensive rebound and a putback and Demontez Stitt scored a layup to bring Haifa within 51-48 with just under five minutes remaining in the period. Skjoldebrand again burned the Greens from beyond the arc with his second three-pointer as Hapoel Tel Aviv widened their lead to 54-48. Haifa respnded with a 8-2 run capped by a Hector Hernandez jumper to tie the score at 56-56.

Tel Aviv’s Raviv Limonad scored the Reds’ first two baskets, but Haifa responded with a 11-0 run thanks to five points from Dagan Yivzori, a three-pointer by Brody Angley, and one point at the line from Hernandez to give Haifa a 67-60 lead over Tel Aviv.  Yivzori hit a big threee-pointer from the top of the key, a steal by Jeff Allen and fastbreak dunk, and a beautiful give and go from Allen to Stitt pushed the Greens’ lead to 74-64 with just over two minutes left in regulation.  Hernandez sealed the game one line as Haifa earned an 81-74 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Haifa scorers: Jeff Allen 21 points (10 rebounds), Rene Rougeau and Dagan Yivzori (14 points and 4 rebounds), Demontez Stitt 12 points, Hector Hernandez 7 points (3 rebounds), Alex Chubrevich, Brody Angley, and Liraz Ariely with 4 points each.