Hap J’lem just pulls it out; Mac TA breezes

Hapoel Jerusalem claims confidence-boosting 76-72 victory over Bnei Hasharon ahead of crucial Eurocup encounter against Valencia.

Hapoel Jerusalem claimed a confidence-boosting 76-72 victory over Bnei Hasharon on Sunday night ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Eurocup encounter against Valencia.
Jerusalem suffered a shock home defeat to Hapoel Holon last week and was fortunate to come away from this one with a victory.
Some poor officiating calls allowed Yuval Naimi to break a 72-72 tie from the free-throw line with three seconds to play and Hapoel secured a win which will give it plenty of breathing space ahead of Tuesday’s Eurocup decider at Malha.
Leo Lyons had 17 points for Hapoel, with Sam Clancy scoring 23 points and taking 12 rebounds for Bnei Hasharon.
Also Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv thrashed Ironi Ramat Gan 101-79 and Hapoel Gilboa/Galil snapped its three-game losing streak with an 87-83 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion. Ironi Nahariya returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 105-71 whipping of Hapoel Afula, while Barak Netanya defeated Ironi Ashkelon 86-78.
In Herzliya, the visitors were ahead by four points after the first quarter (23-19), but points were at a premium in the second period, with Jerusalem taking a 35-31 margin into the break after both teams scored just 12 points each in 10 minutes.
Bnei Hasharon’s defensive play allowed it to take its first lead since the first minute midway through the third quarter, but it was Hapoel which had a slender advantage with 10 minutes to play, leading 55-54 at the start of the fourth period.
Both teams failed to pull ahead in the final quarter and the game would come down to the wire.
Clancy’s accurate free-throws tied the score at 72-72 with 52 seconds to play, but a questionable officiating call would allow Naimi to win the game and he made no mistake from the line.
In Gan Ner, Hapoel had no intention of falling to a fourth straight defeat and came out of the gates flying. The hosts led 30-16 after the first quarter, but Rishon came back to tie the score in the final minute of the first half.
Dagan Yavzuri’s three-pointer made sure Gilboa held at least a slender lead at the interval (40-37) and Oded Katash’s team was still in front with 10 minutes to play (59-55) before holding off a spirited Rishon side to end its losing streak.
Jeremy Pargo led Gilboa with 19 points, with Larry O’Bannon scoring 28 points for Rishon, which has now lost four consecutive games.
In Ramat Gan, the hosts held a surprise lead after 10 minutes (24-22), but would soon fall behind. Tel Aviv opened the second period with a 13-0 run and the second half was pure garbage time.
Doron Perkins had 18 points and Guy Pnini scored 15 for Tel Aviv, which will be well rested for Thursday’s important Euroleague encounter against Montepaschi Siena.
Gary Forbes and John Sharper scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, for Ramat Gan, which suffered its first defeat under new coach Yaniv Burger after claiming two straight victories.
At Nahariya, the hosts had a superb scoring night, hitting 24 of 32 shots from two-point range and 14 of 25 from beyond the arc.
Lamarr Greer led the winners with 27 points, with Steven Smith adding 20.
Justin Dentmon had 26 points for Afula, which has lost seven of its past eight games and is looking in serious trouble.
Netanya won for the seventh time in nine home games on Sunday, withTony Washem contributing 23 points and 12 rebounds. Omar Sneed had 20points and 13 rebounds for Ashkelon, but the visitors could not keep upwith Netanya in the fourth period and fell to a disappointing defeat.