Hapoel Eilat forward Adrian Uter.
(photo credit: ODED KARNI/BSL)
Hapoel Jerusalem extended its perfect start to the season to 9-0 on Sunday night, beating Ironi Ness Ziona 88-78 in the Jerusalem Arena.
A 13-0 run early in the second half gave Jerusalem a 14-point margin (64-50) it never looked like losing.
Yotam Halperin led six Jerusalem players in double figures with 15 points, while Craig Smith had 21 points for Ness Ziona (6-3).
Hapoel Eilat looked to be heading towards its seventh defeat in the past eight games on Sunday, finding itself down by eight points to Maccabi Haifa with 40 seconds to play.
However, a 9-0 run to end the game capped by a Khalif Wyatt three-pointer to beat the buzzer gave Eilat a dramatic 79-78 win in Israel’s southernmost city.
After a tight start to the game, Haifa went on an 11-3 surge at a crucial stage in the fourth period to open a double-digit gap (77-67).
Ike Ofoegbu’s free throw looked to have all but secured Haifa an important win with 40 seconds remaining, opening an eight-point margin (78-70). However, an Amit Simhon three-pointer handed the hosts a lifeline and a foolish foul by Tomer Bar-Even allowed Wyatt to cut the deficit to two points with three free throws. Ofoegbu then missed both his attempts from the line and Wyatt gave the hosts the win in memorable fashion.
Wyatt and Afik Nissim had 19 points each for Eilat, which improved to 3-6.
Jeff Allen scored 17 points for Haifa, which fell to 4-5.
Ironi Nahariya picked up just its second win of the season on Sunday, surprising Hapoel Holon 94-89. John Williamson had 18 points and seven rebounds for Nahariya (2-7), with Eyal Shulman contributing 12 points and 13 assists. Dominic McGuire led Holon (5-4) with 23 points and nine boards.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (4-5) beat Maccabi Ashdod (1-8) 85-75. Alex Young had 22 points for Gilboa, which clinched the win by scoring the final 10 points of the night. Ivan Aska led Ashdod with 21 points.
On Monday, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (6-2) goes to Hapoel Tel Aviv (4-4) while Maccabi Tel Aviv (6-2) will be looking to rebound from Thursday’s painful Euroleague defeat to CSKA Moscow when it hosts Bnei Herzliya (3-5) at Nokia Arena.
Maccabi lost all three of its games at Nokia in the month of November and will be desperate to get December off to a winning start at home.