Big Red churns out 9th consecutive triumph

BSL leader Hapoel Jerusalem handles Rishon while second-place Maccabi Haifa keeps pace by edging Herzliya.

Hapoel Jerusalem’s relentless BSL run continued on Sunday with a ninth-straight win, a comfortable 79-69 result over Maccabi Rishon Lezion at Malha Arena.
Jerusalem improved its leaguebest record to 12-3, recording its third consecutive victory by double digits, despite allowing Rishon within four points (73- 69) late in the fourth quarter.
Derwin Kitchen had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Hapoel, with Art Parakhouski also scoring 15 points for the hosts, who seized control of the encounter by outscoring Rishon 22-12 in the second period.
Shawn Dowson and Tasmin Mitchell netted 16 points each for Rishon, which fell to 4-10.
Maccabi Haifa (9-6) registered its third win in its past four BSL games on Sunday, beating Bnei Herzliya (5-10) 89-84 at Romema Arena.
Haifa controlled the first quarter (30-18), but was dominated in the second period and held just a one point lead (45-44) at the break.
The Greens maintained a comfortable cushion for most of the second half, but five straight points by Dwayne Broyles tied the game (82-82) with 55 seconds to play.
However, Haifa would benefit from a contentious officiating decision when Brian Randle’s block was not ruled as illegal and would score its final seven points of the night from the free-throw line to clinch the win.
Ben Reis scored 25 points for Haifa, with Donte Smith adding 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Ndudi Ebi had 28 points in 24 minutes for Herzliya before being ejected midway through the third quarter for punching Ike Ofoegbu.
After losing three straight games, Ironi Ness Ziona (8-6) burst out of the gates on Sunday, all but securing its 73-68 victory at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (7-8) by halftime.
A 12-0 run to end the first period opened a 26-13 margin and Ness Ziona would also begin the second quarter with an 11-2 surge to increase its gap to 22 points (37-15).
The visitors took a 48-25 lead into the interval and held on for a win despite a late Gilboa push that brought the hosts within three points (71-68) in the closing seconds, but no closer.
Mitchell Watt led Ness Ziona with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with Anthony Goods contributing 15 points. Deshawn Sims had 16 points for Gilboa.
Also Sunday, Hapoel Eilat (8-7) climbed back over .500 with an 84-78 win at Barak Netanya (6-9).
Eilat scored the final six points of the third period to give itself some breathing space (65-59) and maintained a slender margin throughout the final 10 minutes.
Christian Watford led six Eilat players in double figures with 17 points, while Julien Mills and Dawan Robinson scored 21 points each for Netanya.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv (9-4) visits Maccabi Ashdod (2-12) and Hapoel Tel Aviv (9-4) hosts Hapoel Holon (7-7).