H. Jerusalem tops Holon for second straight victory

Team wins consecutive games for the first time in three months.

D.J. Strawberry_311 (photo credit: Haim Tzah/Hapoel Jerusalem website)
D.J. Strawberry_311
(photo credit: Haim Tzah/Hapoel Jerusalem website)
Hapoel Jerusalem won consecutive games for the first time in three months on Sunday, beating Hapoel Holon 80-69 at Malha Arena to improve to a 10-8 record in the BSL this season.
Jerusalem was fortunate to edge Maccabi Haifa in overtime last week and was disappointing once more in the first half on Sunday, trailing 36-34 at the break.
However, the Reds came out fighting in the second half and clinched the win early in the fourth frame to move half a game behind second-placed Holon.
“It has been a while since I have shouted the way I did at halftime,” Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker said.
“We fought and defended and were all in all superb in the second half.
“We played like a team tonight.”
D.J. Strawberry bounced back from a rough period with 21 points, while Ramel Bradley scored 17.
Ron Lewis had 20 points for Holon.
The game between Maccabi Ashdod and BC Habika’a scheduled for Sunday was postponed due to the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, with Ironi Ashkelon’s encounter against Hapoel Gilboa/Galil planned for Monday also postponed following the security situation in the south of Israel.
Elsewhere, Maccabi Tel Aviv made it two wins in as many days on Sunday, beating Maccabi Rishon Lezion 90-73 at Nokia Arena to improve to 16-2 on the season.
Despite playing again less than 24 hours after beating KK Zagreb 88-68 in the Adriatic League, Maccabi was in complete control throughout the game, putting the encounter to rest with a third quarter run.
“You can’t take our performance against a tough Rishon team for granted after we also played the previous night,” said Maccabi coach David Blatt, who next takes his team to Slovenia for Tuesday’s Adriatic game against Domzale before returning home for Thursday’s encounter against Red Star Belgrade and Saturday’s showdown with KK Radnicki.
All three of those games are effectively meaningless with Maccabi already clinching first place in the Adriatic League regular season ahead of next month’s Final Four tournament in Tel Aviv.
The yellow-and-blue’s only focus at the moment is on its best-of-five Euroleague quarterfinal playoff series against Panathinaikos which gets underway next Tuesday.
Keith Langford had 19 points on Sunday after being rested on Saturday, with Richard Hendrix scoring 18 after playing just seven minutes against KK Zagreb.
Joe Crawford scored 27 points for Rishon, which was disappointingly flat, falling to its second straight defeat.
Barak Netanya won for just the second time in eight games on Sunday, thrashing Bnei Hasharon 97-77.
Netanya outscored the visitors 30-18 in the second quarter to open a 15-point (51-36) halftime lead Bnei Hasharon never came close to closing.
Yehu Orland had a perfect scoring night for Netanya, netting 22 points on two-oftwo from two-point range, four-of-four from beyond the arc and six-of-six from the free-throw line.
Brian Asbury contributed 21 points, with Tweety Carter scoring 24 for Bnei Hasharon.