HAPOEL HOLON guard Corey Walden (2) goes to the hoop past Hapoel Jerusalem defender TaShaun Thomas during Holon’s 101-82 home victory over Jerusalem in BSL action.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Holon dominated a shorthanded visiting Hapoel Jerusalem 101-82 as it completed a full Basketball Super League round of 11 games undefeated to move its record to 18-4 and into first place along with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Dan Shamir’s squad used high energy and a huge 27-11 second quarter advantage to cruise to the 19-point victory. Darion Atkins led the hosts with a 25 point-12 rebound double-double off of the bench while Corey Walden scored 16 points and dished out seven assists.
Jerusalem, which was playing without Josh Owens, who flew to the United States, and Amar’e Stoudemire, who was nursing a knee injury, relied on TaShawn Thomas, who topped the Jerusalem scorers with 24 points and 11 boards. Tamir Blatt added 14 points, but had only two assists in the loss.
Holon jumped out to a 14-9 lead midway through the first quarter as Walden managed the hosts’ attack, but a quick 10-0 run punctuated by a pair of Thomas buckets gave Jerusalem a 19-14 advantage. However, Dan Shamir’s squad pulled to within two points (25-23) after 10 minutes of action.
Atkins began decimating the Jerusalem defense as he came off of the bench to help Holon take a 39-30 lead midway through the second quarter. Guy Pnini and T.J. Cline hit uncontested shots to extend Holon’s advantage to 50-36 at halftime.
Dequan Jones and Shawn Jones supplied the Holon offense at the start of the third quarter while Jerusalem’s Blatt drilled home a pair of triples to try and keep Oded Katash’s team in the game.
But it was to no avail as the hosts took a 74-59 lead into the final frame and coasted from there. Atkins continued his scoring spree over the final 10 minutes as Holon blew away Jerusalem for its first win (in three tries) over the Reds this season.
“This was an important win after dropping two important games to [Jerusalem] earlier this season, once in the regular season and once in the Cup,” said Atkins. “This was definitely a morale boost for us to show that we are one of the top teams in the league.”
Meanwhile, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Nahariya 78-61 to lock down first place at the end of two rounds of league play with a 18-4 record.
Nahariya battled Maccabi for the first 30 minutes of the contest, but the yellow-and-blue pulled away in the fourth quarter thanks to an outstanding performance by Alex Tyus, who had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Eric Griffin was the leading scorer for visiting Nahariya with 20 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.
Tyus was upbeat after the victory.
“I wanted to come out with a lot of energy and help the team win. Tarik Black was out so I knew I would have to play more today and I helped us get the victory,” he said
Hapoel Beersheba defeated Hapoel Eilat 88-83 in the southern capital. Jordan Swing scored 22 points, Taylor Braun dropped 18 points and Kerron Johnson added 17 points in the win, while J.P. Takoto led Eilat with 19 points.
Maccabi Ashdod slipped by Hapoel Tel Aviv 95-89 at the Drive In Arena. Mark Tollefsen (29 points) and Josh Carter (26 points) dominated the scoresheet for Ashdod while Jamal Shuler dropped 17 points for Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Ness Ziona got back on the winning track with a 81-62 road win at cellar dweller Bnei Herzliya. Five players featured in double digits for Nadav Zilberstein’s squad as Talib Zanna led the way with 13 points while Gary Browne Ramirez and Tal Dunne each dropped 12 points in the win, canceling out Karam Mashur’s 23 points for the hosts.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil recorded an important 92-77 win over Maccabi Rishon Lezion. Durand Scott was Gilboa’s high scorer with 18 points, Netanel Artzi added 17 points and Greg Whittington clocked in with a double-double of 16 points and 18 rebounds. Egor Koulechov and Deshawn Stephens led Rishon with 16 points apiece in the loss.
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