Sharon Drucker 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem rode its luck to claim a 96-93 overtime victory at Maccabi
Haifa on Sunday night, strengthening its position in the BSL’s top six with
three games remaining in the regular season.
A 10-1 run to end the first
half gave Hapoel a double-digit (46-36) cushion, but Haifa didn’t need long to
tie the score and the lead would exchange hands numerous times in the remainder
Jeremis Smith’s free throws with 23 seconds to play put
Haifa in pole position (83-80) to snap its 11-game losing streak, but a lapse of
concentration by the hosts allowed Yuval Naimi to send the game to overtime with
a clutch three-pointer with 13 seconds left.
That was more than enough to
break Haifa’s fragile spirit and Jerusalem finally won an overtime game after
losing its previous two encounters in an extra period.
Jerusalem was led
by its Israelis on Sunday, with Naimi scoring 23 points, Elishay Kadir
contributing 19 points and 10 rebounds and Uri Kukia adding 18 points and eight
Tyler Wilkerson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Haifa, which is
still without a league win since November.
“This was a very important
game for us,” said Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker, whose team maintained a one
game lead over Maccabi Ashdod in the battle for sixth place. “We
understood that we are in a state of emergency and had to win this
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At the end of the regular season, the league will be split into
two sections, one with the top six teams and the other with the bottom five,
with each team to play once more against the other sides in its section. The top
eight teams overall advance to the best-of-five quarterfinal
Ashdod won for the fifth time in six games on Sunday, defeating
Maccabi Rishon Lezion 80-69 on the road.
Alex Tyus had 24 points and 10
rebounds for Ashdod, which pulled ahead at the start of the fourth
Nitzan Hanochi scored 17 for Rishon, which lost for just the
second time in eight games.
Bnei Hasharon continued its revival under
Ariel Beit- Halachmi, beating Ironi Ashkelon 85-84 away from home thanks to
Kenny Lawson’s tip-in in the dying seconds.
Dwayne Mitchell gave Ashkelon
the lead (84-83) from the free-throw line with 9.2 seconds to play, but Lawson
was at the right place at the right time after a LaceDarius Dunn
Dunn ended the game with 30 points and nine rebounds, while Lawson
contributed 14 points and seven boards. Mitchell had 18 points for
BC Habika’a snapped its five-game losing streak on Sunday,
thrashing Barak Netanya 79-56 at home.
A Paul Delaney basket midway
through the second quarter gave Habika’a a 20- point gap (35-15) and the game
was as good as over.
Dion Dowell led Habika’a with 24 points and 11
rebounds, while Adrian Banks scored 26 for Netanya, which lost for the sixth
time in seven outings.
Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Holon on Monday.
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