Hap J’lem suffers setback with road loss to Ashdod

Just when it seemed Hapoel Jerusalem had finally found the winning formula, the Reds suffered a humbling 95-78 defeat.

January 29, 2013 01:26
1 minute read.
Sharon Drucker

Sharon Drucker 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Just when it seemed Hapoel Jerusalem had finally found the winning formula, the Reds suffered a humbling 95-78 defeat at Maccabi Ashdod in BSL action on Monday night.

Jerusalem showed promising signs in winning its previous two games, but reverted to its poor form from the start of the season on Monday and was easily beaten by an improving Ashdod team.

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A 16-4 Ashdod run gave the hosts a 43-30 lead, but Jerusalem limited the damage by the break, trailing by just seven points (45-38).

However, it was outscored 27-15 in the third period, giving Ashdod an unassailable 19-point gap (72-53) with 10 minutes to play.

Austin Freeman had 19 points for Ashdod, with Mardy Collins, Jamie Skeen and Moshe Mizrahi scoring 18, 17 and 16 points, respectively.

“We defended well for most of the game and I’m really pleased with our play,” said Ashdod coach Ofer Berkowitz after seeing his team win for the fourth time in five games to improve to 6-9.

“We have gelled in recent weeks and we need to build on our improved play.”

Craig Smith led Jerusalem with 17 points.

“We are in the end of January and we haven’t looked this bad all season,” said Drucker. “Maybe we got a little arrogant after our recent wins and thought that we would win the game just because we are Hapoel Jerusalem.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv’s slump continued on Monday, with Erez Edelstein’s team losing 69-60 to Maccabi Rishon Lezion, its seventh defeat in nine games.

Rishon had a six-point edge (35-29) at halftime and remained in control after extending its margin to doubledigits (43-33) in the third quarter.

Willie Warren scored 25 points for Rishon, with Julian Wright adding 15 points and 11 boards for Roni Bosani’s men, who bounced back from last week’s 23-point drubbing at the hands of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“This is a very important win for us as the table is so tight at the moment,” said Bosani after his team improved to 7-8.

Curtis Kelly had 20 points and 12 boards for Hapoel, which dropped to 6-9 and looks set to battle against relegation until the end of the season.

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