Hap J’lem ekes out win at Gilboa

Gilboa takes a 39-36 gap into the break after holding a slender margin throughout the first half.

Yuval Naimi 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Yuval Naimi 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem remained in the hunt for a second-place BSL finish on Sunday night with a significant 69-67 victory over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil in Gan Ner.
Gilboa took a 39-36 gap into the break after holding a slender margin throughout the first half, but a 10-0 Jerusalem run capped by a Yuval Naimi lay-up gave the visitors a 62-52 lead with 5:25 to play.
Dagan Yavzuri’s basket with 1:05 remaining tied the score (65-65), only for Brian Randle to put Jerusalem back in front with a crucial three-point play with 41 seconds left.
Yavzuri had a chance to win the game at the buzzer with his team down by two, but his three-pointer bounced off the rim and Gilboa (14-7) has still got plenty of work to do before it clinches the second seed.
D.J. Strawberry had 28 points and seven boards for Jerusalem (12-9), while Romeo Travis contributed a double-double for Gilboa with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The battle for the eighth and last playoff spot got a whole lot tighter on Sunday after Bnei Hasharon beat Barak Netanya 84-80 in Herzliya.
Netanya entered the game on the back of a three-game winning streak, but found itself down by double-digits (15-4) midway through the first quarter and remained on the back foot until the final buzzer.
Isaac Rosefelt had 28 points and 15 rebounds for Bnei Hasharon, with Tweety Carter adding 14 points and 14 assists for the hosts, which improved to 6-15, two games behind Netanya.
Brian Asbury and Adrian Banks scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, for Netanya.
Maccabi Haifa added another sad chapter to a depressing season on Sunday, once more leading throughout a game only to fall behind late in the encounter, losing 100-99 to Maccabi Ashdod for its 15th straight league defeat.
Haifa, which hasn’t won a league game since November, led 52-42 at the break and remained in front until Meir Tapiro’s jumper with 35 seconds to play gave the visitors a 94-93 advantage.
The hosts still had a chance when Carlos Powell went to the line with his side trailing by three (98-95) with 3.7 seconds on the clock.
Powell was planning to score his first attempt and miss the second in the hope that a teammate would score from the rebound, but he instead missed his first and unintentionally scored the second, encapsulating Haifa’s entire season in a few seconds.
Josh Carter scored 25 points for Ashdod, with Dror Hagag adding 21 for Ofer Berkowitz’s team, which clinched seventh position.
Powell had 23 points for Haifa, which can’t wait for April 16 when its season will finally come to an end.
Maccabi Rishon Lezion hosts Hapoel Holon on Monday.