Maccabi Hunter Haifa got just what the doctor ordered — a 90-72 blowout victory over a free-falling Maccabi Ashdod on Wednesday night at RK Arena. The Greens improved to 16-11 on the season, while Ashdod dropped their fifth straight game. Haifa shot a season-high 46.7 percent (14-of-30) from beyond the arc.
The Greens were paced by Gregory Vargas, who totaled 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field along with 6 assists. Will Graves buried 4-of-7 from downtown, tallying 17 points and tied a season-high with 9 rebounds, while Reggie Buckner was a beast in the paint, posting 16 points, 5 boards and 3 blocked shots. Oz Blayzer added 15 points and 8 rebounds, and Leroy Hickerson scored his first points in a Green uniform with 7 points in 14 minutes.
“We played a good first half, we stopped in the second half, but, I’ll take any win,” coach Rami Hadar said. “We didn’t discuss any feelings today, we just came and played. Oz Blazer made a huge jump at the beginning of the season, after there was a decline, and now he’s starting to rise again.”
Haifa put the contest out of reach early with a great first quarter by Blayzer, who tallied 10 points and Buckner who posted 9 points in the first frame to grab a 32-20 lead over Ashdod. Haifa stretched their advantage to 54-27 at the break, essentially sealing the game by halftime.