Hapoel J’lem suffers surprise setback at Gilboa

Hapoel Jerusalem drops back to .500 in the BSL with a frustrating 87-78 loss at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.

HAPOEL JERUSALEM forward Josh Duncan 370 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
HAPOEL JERUSALEM forward Josh Duncan 370
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem dropped back to .500 in the BSL on Monday night with a frustrating 87-78 loss at Hapoel Gilboa/Galil.
Jerusalem had won five of its previous six BSL games to bounce back from its 0-3 start to the campaign. However, it was on the back foot throughout the game in Gan Ner, with Gilboa going on an 11-1 run to end the first quarter to open a double-digit margin (26-13) it easily maintained until the final buzzer.
Jamar Smith had 21 points for Gilboa, with Brandon Hunter scoring 16 and Yaniv Green having a rare productive night with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Lior Lubin’s side, which improved to 3-7 with its third win in four games.
Courtney Fells scored 21 points for Jerusalem, which fell to 5-5.
Hapoel Holon’s crisis deepened on Monday night with a sixth consecutive defeat, falling 75-68 in overtime to Maccabi Rishon Lezion.
Rishon led throughout the first half, taking an eightpoint gap (38-30) into the break.
However, the hosts opened the second half with an 11-0 run in five minutes, taking a 41-38 lead thanks to Zack Rosen’s three-pointer.
The momentum shifted once more in Rishon’s favor after the visitors replied with an 8-0 surge and took a 48- 46 edge into the final frame.
There was very little to separate the teams during the final 10 minutes of regulation, with Holon’s Jerome Dyson tying the score (62- 62) with two free-throws with 30 seconds to play.
Rishon had two chances to claim the win, but squandered both and the game went into overtime.
However, Effi Birenboim’s team would control the extra period, with Lazeric Jones’s second triple in overtime (70-64) securing the victory.
Julian Wright led Rishon with 16 points and 16 boards, while Willie Warren also scored 16 and Adrian Uter contributed a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“We recorded a very important win in a tough court,” said Rishon coach Birenboim, whose team had won just four of its previous five games. “When you don’t win you lose your confidence and I hope that we regained some of it tonight.”
Lawrence Hill had 23 points for Holon, which fell to 3-7.
“We need to find a way to end this slump,” said Holon coach Dan Shamir. “I don’t have too many complaints to my players because they gave their all, but we have plenty to mull over on our way home.”