(photo credit: Hapoel Jerusalem website)
Five days after its bitterly disappointing exit from the Eurocup, Hapoel Jerusalem dropped to a new low on Sunday night.
Oded Katash’s team was humbled 98-75 at newly promoted Maccabi Ashdod, falling to a 7-4 record in the BSL.
Hapoel was without key players Brian Randle, Yuval Naimi and Yogev Ohayon on Sunday, but even that was no excuse for its performance, with Ashdod completely outplaying Jerusalem on its way to a sixth win in its past seven games.
Josh Carter had 25 points and seven rebounds for Ashdod, which also got 22 points from Josh Duncan.
However, perhaps the most impressive player of all was 35- year-old Meir Tapiro who shined with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds against his former team.
“We’re a good team and we are showing it with every week,” said Tapiro, whose team improved to 7-4.
Moshe Mizrahi had 18 points for Jerusalem, which will try and lift itself after a difficult period when it hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv next week. Jerusalem began the game well, but there was never any doubt which team wanted the win more and Ashdod led 29-24 after 10 minutes.
The margin continued to mushroom in the second period, with a Ramel Bradley steal and basket opening a double-digit margin (45-35).
The hosts were still in complete control at the break (53- 41) and matters would only become more humiliating for Hapoel in the second half, with a Sean Daniel three-point play opening a 63-48 gap.
A Will Solomon three as the third period ended kept Jerusalem in the game (62-50), but the visitors would fail to show up in the fourth frame and fell to an embarrassing defeat.
Also Sunday, Bnei Hasharon snapped its three-game losing streak with an 89-75 home victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion, while Hapoel Gilboa/Galil handed Maccabi Haifa its sixth straight defeat, thrashing Elad Hasin’s team 85-65.
Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Ashkelon on Monday.
In Herzliya, the visitors led throughout the first period, but despite holding Bnei Hasharon to just 12 points in the first 10 minutes, led by only a single point (13-12).
Rishon would rue not opening a bigger margin, with the hosts outscoring Effi Birenboim’s men 27-17 in the second quarter to take a 39-30 advantage into the break.
Bnei Hasharon extended its lead further in the third frame, but Rishon ate away at the lead in the final period and with five minutes to play trailed by a mere five points (72-67).
However, Rishon would come no closer, and after almost a month, Bnei Hasharon finally returned to winning ways.
Lee Nailon had 21 points and six rebounds for the winners, with Erez Katz and Shawn James adding 15 points each.
Isiaih Swann scored 22 points for Rishon, which has lost four of its last five games.
At Gan Ner, Haifa had the edge after 10 minutes (19-18), only for Gilboa to take a slender lead (38-35) into the interval.
The third quarter would finally see one team pull ahead, with the hosts
leading 64-56 with 10 minutes to play before pouring salt on Haifa’s
wounds by outscoring the Greens 21-9 in the final 10 minutes.
Gal Mekel and Warren Carter had 18 points each for Gilboa, with Derrick Low scoring 13 points for the sorry Haifa.