Greens drop fourth straight game, fall to Nahariya on the road with a season-high 21 TOs
Maccabi Hunter Haifa (1-5) were hopeful the debuts of Reggie Buckner and Guni Israeli would help put the Greens in the win column. A promising start by Maccabi didn’t last as Nahariya took control in the second and third quarters to hand Haifa their fourth straight defeat with an 83-73 loss on the road.
Buckner made his presence felt in the first quarter with 9 points and 3 rebounds (finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds on the evening). Martinez recorded a team-high 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting along with 3 rebounds and Oz Blayzer added 12 points in the loss. Willy Workman tallied 8 points and 7 boards and Angel Rodriguez scored 7 points, dished out 7 dimes and recorded 5 steals, but also committed 7 turnovers. Israeli contributed 2 points in 10 minutes and Koperberg notched 3 points in 6 minutes.
Maccabi’s didn’t take care of the basketball as they recorded 21 turnovers (a season-high) on the evening.
“They put good pressure on the ball and they forced us to turnover the ball a lot,” said head coach Offer Rahimi. “I hope that next game we will be focused for all 40 minutes. We need to take responsibility, to wake up and to show leadership inside the team. I think I can do more with this squad.”
Nahariya was paced by Corey Webster who dropped a game-high 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting, followed by Alex Young who tallied 20 points and 4 rebounds. Jonathan Skjoldebrand added 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting from downtown. Tyrone Nash and Ziv Ben-Zvi registered 9 points apiece and former Maccabi player Yiftach Ziv scored 7 points in 17 minutes.
Maccabi started the game with Rodriguez, Martinez, Workman, Blayzer and Buckner. The Greens were running on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 12-2 lead and finished the first frame with a 28-19 advantage as Haifa shot 75 percent (9/12) from 2-PT range.
Nahariya chipped away at Haifa’s lead in the second quarter as they climbed to within one point, 43-42, with just over a minute left in the half. Blayzer answered with a drive to the rim for a layup and Workman finished the first half with a bucket as Haifa maintained a three-point edge, 47-44, at the break.
The home team’s momentum continued into the third quarter as Nahariya claimed their first lead of the contest, 49-47, after a Rodriguez turnover, which led to a fastbreak at the other end of the floor. Nahariya ensued on a 17-4 run to widen their lead to 61-51 after Ben-Zvi’s assist to Nash who knocked a 3-pointer at the 2:17 mark of the third frame. Haifa couldn’t find any offensive rhythm as they were outscored 19-8 in the period to go into the fourth trailing, 63-55.
Martinez scored the first points of the fourth, and a Rodriguez 3-pointer brought Haifa within 5 points, 65-60. Blayzer was fouled on a 3-point attempt — nailing all three from the line to cut the score to 67-63 with 4:50 left in regulation. Nahariya’s Skjoldebrand followed with a trey, but Martinez answered right back with a triple to bring Haifa within, 70-66. Nahariya managed to curb Haifa’s momentum as Webster helped pull the home team back to a double-digit advantage as Haifa dropped their first road game in a three-game road trip.
Maccabi will play their second game of a three-game road trip as they face Hapoel Tel Aviv on Saturday, November 18th.