Hap J’lem pulls out dramatic road conquest

Katash’s Reds edge Gilboa by one; Mac TA dumps Rishon at home to stay way in front.

Lior Eliyahu 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Lior Eliyahu 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem eked out a confidence- boosting 74-73 win over Hapoel Gilboa/Galil on Thursday night, while Maccabi Tel Aviv continued to cruise in BSL action.
Oded Katash’s men led throughout the second and third periods in Gan Ner, but Rodney Green tied the score at 72-72 with three minutes to play and a dramatic finale unfolded.
Neither team scored again until Green hit one of two free-throws with seven seconds to play, but Will Solomon made both his two shots from the line with two seconds to go and Gal Mekel’s miss at the buzzer meant Jerusalem won after two straight BSL defeats.
Solomon had 16 points for Jerusalem, with Green scoring 22 for the hosts.
Maccabi Tel Aviv toyed with Maccabi Rishon Lezion for three quarters before sailing to an 88-74 victory at Nokia Arena.
Maccabi, which has won 12 of 13 games overall, 11 by double-figures, led 22-12 at the end of the first period, but allowed Rishon back into the game in the second quarter, and with 10 minutes to play Tel Aviv was ahead by just seven points (66-59).
However, the yellow-and-blue quickly extended its gap to double-digits at the start of the final frame and had little trouble claiming another victory.
Richard Hendrix led the winners with 16 points and seven blocks, with Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Lior Eliyahu adding 14 points each.
“We had a flat quarter, but we came back in the fourth period and won the game,” said Hendrix, who despite recent speculation is set to remain at Maccabi until the end of the season, according to coach David Blatt.
Dwayne Mitchell had 20 points while hauling down eight boards for Rishon.
Bnei Hasharon rebounded from its recent troubles on Thursday, thrashing Barak Netanya 89-68 in Herzliya.
The hosts led throughout the encounter and recorded just their second win in six BSL games since handing Maccabi Tel Aviv its only loss of the season.
Lee Nailon led Bnei Hasharon with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Shawn James added 20 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and six steals.
Tony Washam had 13 points for Netanya, which has lost four of five games.
Maccabi Ashdod won for the seventh time in nine games on Thursday, beating Hapoel Holon 86-70 on the road.
A tight first half ended in 44-42 Holon lead, and it was still wide open with 10 minutes left, with the visitors up by three.
However, a 15-2 Ashdod run in the fourth period left the hosts stunned and Ofer Berkowitz’s men continued their impressive campaign.
Josh Carter had 25 points and eight rebounds for Ashdod, with Ramel Bradley scoring 20.
Robert Hite led Holon with 16 points.
Also Thursday, Ironi Ashkelon snapped a three-game losing streak, beating Maccabi Haifa 99-91.
Desmon Farmer had 28 points for Ashkelon, with Rashon Turner adding 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Frank Robinson scored 25 points for Haifa, which has lost seven of its last eight league games.