Bnei Hasharon No Match For Nahariya

06.03.2006

Israel's EuroCup teams enjoyed solid results after another eventful weekend of domestic fixtures.

Fourth-placed Ironi Nahariya hit the road for a tough game against Bnei Hasharon hoping to consolidate their place in the standings.

For their part, Bnei Hasharon, with four wins from their last five games, were keen to avenge the 22-point loss at Nahariya in the first round.

Ahead of the match, Nahariya enjoyed a one-win cushion over their hosts, and that doubled at the final buzzer, with coach Avi Ashkenazi's men celebrating a 95-78 win.

"The mission is not complete yet. We still have many tough games ahead of us," said Ashkenazi.

"I take quite a lot of good things from this game, and I'm also happy that for long periods we played beautiful basketball.

Former Bnei star Alvin Young showed no mercy against his former employers, scoring 31 points and leading Nahariya to the victory.

The two sides were closely matched in the first half, Nahariya nosing ahead 41-45 at the break.

But when the players returned from the locker rooms, there was only one team on court.

Jayson Wells hit double figures in the third quarter, and Bnei soon found themselves down by 16, 71-55.

Guy Pnini and Ugonna Onyekwe did their best to reduce the deficit for the hosts, but when Cory Carr, another former Bnei star, dunked a pass from Avi Soucar, the game was decided in Nahariya's favour.

"It was easier than we expected," said Nahariya's Avi Soucar.

"It's very hard to play here and Bnei is a good team that controls the rebound, but we knew when to sacrifice fouls and played an aggressive defense from the second quarter."

Otis Hill matched the scoring performance of Young with 31 points, Wells shone with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Pnini and Onyekwe scored 20 points apiece for Bnei.

Elsewhere, Galil Elyon hosted Hapoel Tel Aviv hoping to break a six game
losing streak.

Galil welcomed back their "Coach of the Year" from last season, Oded Kattash, to the bench, recalled to save the struggling club's season.

Kattash quickly proved his worth, leading the hosts to a 94-80 triumph over a Hapoel team that had won four of their last five games before travelling north.

"The whole staff deserves the credit, not just me," said Kattash. 

"At half-time the players spoke between themselves and said 'we can not afford to lose this margin and fall apart', and that's what they did."

Galil held a 23-19 lead after 10 minutes, but in the second quarter they
began to pull away from the visitors.

Lior Eliyahu and Uche Nsonwu racked up easy points for Galil, and with a solid defensive performance went on a 27-5 run, enough to finish the first half with a commanding 53-28 advantage.

Galil continued to dominate after the break, storming to a 76-47 lead in the last quarter.

With the hosts relaxing, Hapoel put together a 0-16 run in the closing minutes to give the scoreline an air of respectability.

Bryant Smith was the best of five Galil players to finish with double figure scores, bagging 17 points.

Sasa Bratic had 16 points, Nsonwu added 15 and Eliyahu enjoyed 12 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

Marcus Hatten was the stand-out player for lacklustre Hapoel, turning in a 35-point performance.

In other action, league leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv demolished Ironi Ramat Gan 108-58, while second-placed Hapoel Jerusalem beat Ramat Hasharon 97-78.


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