Maccabi Netanya emerged as the only undefeated team in basketball's Super League after knocking off winless Ashkelon 81-65 on Monday. In the other league game on Monday, Rishon Letzion lost its first contest of the season at home, falling to Hapoel Tel Aviv 80-63.
Veteran Marco Killingsworth had a hot night, shooting 73 percent from the field en route to a 21-point night while grabbing seven rebounds. Ramel Bradley scored 15 points, while Jonathan Mitchell added 13.
Netanya had the upper hand in virtually every aspect of the ballgame although it only looked dominant in the third quarter when it turned a five-point halftime lead into a commanding 14-point advantage.
Ashkelon had a balanced attack, with four players reaching double figures despite the low tally. However, Netanya took advantage of Ashkelon's fouls to convert 20 out of 24 free throw attempts.
Over in Rishon Letzion, the hosts were suffering from a bout of post-Maccabi syndrome. Having disposed of the perennial champion almost too easily last week, Rishon's players looked like they came into a game with a massive hangover.
Hapoel Tel Aviv wiped the floor with them during the first 20 minutes, racing off to a 22-6 lead by the end of the first quarter and making the tally 41-15 going into the halftime break.
The final tally, as big as the gap was, didn't tell the whole story. It wasn't even that close, as Rishon outscored Hapoel Tel Aviv 26-16 in the final period in what amounted to garbage time.
Several players for Hapoel Tel Aviv, which was promoted to the Super League this season, looked like seasoned stars in the top tier on Monday. Demontez Stitt led all scorers with 19 points, while Jonathan Skjoldebrand was not far behind with 15 of his own. Jeff Allen and Gal Eitan added 12 each.
The victory for Hapoel placed the team in a five-way tie for second place with Rishon, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Holon. The next task for Hapoel Tel Aviv is not to suffer from the same hangover after beating Rishon as Rishon did after knocking off Maccabi Tel Aviv.
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