Hap J’lem notches big road win in Holon

Strawberry’s 37 lead Reds; Mac TA needs strong fourth quarter to down Mac Rishon.

BRYANT DUNSTON 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem claimed a crucial win in the battle for home-court advantage in the BSL playoffs on Wednesday night, beating Hapoel Holon 80-70 on the road to climb to fourth place in the standings.
The win moved Jerusalem tied on a 13-10 record with Holon with two games remaining in the regular season and gave the Reds the tiebreaker over their bitter rival.
Holon seemed to be in control after Bryant Dunston’s basket gave it a 58-50 lead late in the third period. However, it would score just a single point in the next 10 minutes, allowing Jerusalem to erase the deficit and open a double-digit margin it wouldn’t squander.
D.J. Strawberry led Jerusalem to the win with 37 points, while Ron Lewis scored 17 for Holon.
Maccabi Tel Aviv improved to 20-2 on Wednesday, edging Maccabi Rishon Lezion 77-74 on the road.
There was nothing to separate the teams (53-53) with 10 minutes to play, but a 7-0 yellowand- blue run capped by a Lior Eliyahu basket gave the visitors the edge at the start of the fourth period (60-55). Rishon never lost touch, but it couldn’t complete a comeback and Tel Aviv won its eighth straight.
Keith Langford scored 20 points for Maccabi, with David Blu adding 15.
Brandon Bowman’s 19 points and 10 rebounds couldn’t save Rishon from its first defeat after four straight wins.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil can clinch second place with a win over Rishon on Sunday after defeating Ironi Ashkelon 83-66 in Gan Ner.
Romeo Travis had 24 points and 11 boards for Gilboa, while Marco Killingsworth scored 17 for Ashkelon, which has lost five consecutive games.
The battle for the eighth and final playoff berth looks set to come down to the final day of the regular season next Thursday when Barak Netanya hosts BC Habika’a.
Netanya improved to 9-14 on Wednesday with an 87-77 win over Maccabi Ashdod, while Habika’a snapped a four-match losing streak with an 87-70 victory over Maccabi Haifa.
Warren Carter had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Netanya, with Yehu Orland scoring 19 points, including a three-pointer which capped a 15-1 run which gave the visitors an unassailable 14-point gap (72- 58) early in the fourth quarter.
Josh Carter netted 20 points for Ashdod, which will end the regular season in seventh position.
In Nesher, a 34-point first quarter gave Habika’a an eight-point gap it quickly extended on the way to a critical win.
Frank Robinson had 15 points for the winners, with Sylven Landesberg scoring 16 for Haifa, which dropped to yet another defeat after snapping a 15-game losing streak earlier this week.