Hapoel Jerusalem guard Jerome Dyson .
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Hapoel Jerusalem continued to pick up momentum while piling the misery on arch-rival Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday night, beating the yellow-and-blue 82-81 at Yad Eliyahu Arena thanks to a Stratos Perperoglou three-pointer with 14.6 seconds to play.
Maccabi was hoping that its longest stretch without a competitive game since the start of the season would help it get back on track. Tel Aviv hadn’t played since losing to Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 81-79 at Yad Eliyahu on Saturday, April 14, but nevertheless squandered a double-digit lead against Jerusalem, dropping to its 12th defeat from the past 16 games over all competitions.
Jerusalem improved to a 16-9 record, winning for the fifth time in its last six games to close to within just a single game of Maccabi.
Hapoel had lost to Tel Aviv in their first two regular season clashes of the campaign, meaning the yellow-andblue will maintain its hold on the tiebreaker despite Sunday’s loss. But Jerusalem’s victory could nevertheless end up proving to be decisive in the battle for playoff seeding, with only half a game currently separating Maccabi Ashdod in first place (17-9) and Jerusalem in fourth.
Jerome Dyson scored a game-high 24 points for Hapoel, with Alex Tyus netting 18 for Maccabi.
“We stuck to the script. We knew that if we keep doing what we need to do it would come our way,” said Dyson, whose basket with 2:17 minutes to play capping a 16-2 run that gave Hapoel a four-point edge (79-75).
“Our defense pulled us through tonight. We never stopped playing and stuck to the process and got the win.
This is just one game and we have a few more ahead of us that we have to take care of.”
Earlier Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv picked up its fourth win from the past five games, defeating Maccabi Haifa 87-77.
Hapoel led by 16 points (46-30) after dominating the first half, but Haifa opened the second half with a 15-0 run. It couldn’t complete the comeback though, with Tel Aviv scoring the next eight points and taking a 15-point cushion (65-50) it had no trouble maintaining in the final 10 minutes.
Tywain Mckee and Tomer Ginat had 15 points each for Hapoel, which improved to a 14-12 record. Trevor Gaskins had 19 points for Haifa, which remained in last place, falling to 7-18.
Following Sunday’s defeat, Ofer Rahimi quit as the head coach of Haifa.
Rahimi led the team to the BSL final last season in his debut campaign as a head coach.
Elsewhere, Ironi Nahariya registered its second straight win after losing its previous seven games, beating Ironi Ness Ziona 71-70.
Nahariya improved to 9-16 and opened a two-game lead over rock-bottom Haifa after Alex Young netted the go-ahead basket in the final seconds.
Jonathan Skjoldebrand had 13 points for Nahariya, with Daequan Cook scoring 19 for Ness Ziona.