Jerusalem back within a point of summit

Jerusalem can fully focus on BSL play and finding consistency after an erratic start to the season.

January 16, 2018 06:21
2 minute read.
Jerusalem back within a point of summit

Hapoel Jerusalem guard Jerome Dyson scored a game-high 30 points in a 92-78 win at Maccabi Rishon Lezion.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)

Jerome Dyson scored a season-high 30 points and Hapoel Jerusalem registered a season-best fourth straight BSL victory with a 92-78 triumph at Maccabi Rishon Lezion on Monday night.

With its Eurocup campaign long over, and with the State Cup semifinals still four weeks away, Jerusalem can fully focus on BSL play and finding consistency after an erratic start to the season.

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Hapoel seized control with a 15-2 run in the second quarter, opening a 13-point gap (34-21) Rishon never came close to erasing. The visitors never relinquished the double-digit cushion and improved to a 10-3 record, one game back of leader Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Dyson hit 8-of-11 three-point shots as part of a 15-of-24 night from beyond the arc (62.5%) by Jerusalem.

“It was one of those nights. When you see it go in, the basket gets bigger and bigger,” said Dyson. “We are coming along. We are putting games together now and it is looking like the team it is supposed to be.”

With big-man Ronald Roberts being a late scratch, joining longterm absentees Richard Howell and Tarence Kinsey on the injured list, much-maligned center Alec Omic stepped up, finishing with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

“Right now we are down three important guys, so it is good that everyone came in and did their part,” said Dyson about Omic, who was on the verge of being released by the team on several occasions over the past month. “That is part of being a pro. You have to come prepared for each and every day. He is doing his job and he helped us out today.”

Jerusalem coach Mody Maor was delighted.

“This team has a lot of character and this was a test for us,” said Maor.

“I was pretty sure that we would show the right intensity tonight, but I didn’t think we would score 62 percent from three. The important thing for me is that we stopped Rishon on less than 80 points despite committing 17 turnovers.”

Mark Tollefsen had 15 points for Rishon, which fell to 6-7.

Earlier Monday, Ironi Ness Ziona improved to 4-9 and climbed off the bottom of the standings with a 91-77 win at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.

Daequan Cook had 20 points for Ness Ziona, with D’Angelo Harrison netting 20 points for Gilboa, which fell to 7-6. “This is a big relief. There was a lot of pressure on us,” said Cook.

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