Local Hoops: Erratic Jerusalem falls to Nahariya

Goodes’s side fails to build on Euro success; Haifa wins again to go second.

Adam Ballinger 311 (photo credit: BSL)
Adam Ballinger 311
(photo credit: BSL)
Hapoel Jerusalem’s hopes of finishing second in the BSL regular season standings suffered a significant blow on Sunday night in Nahariya.
Jerusalem showed nothing of the form which saw it advance to the Eurocup quarterfinals last week and fell to a 102-99 overtime loss to Ironi Nahariya, Hapoel’s third defeat in its last four league games.
Maccabi Haifa took sole possession of second position on Sunday with an 89-75 home win over Barak Netanya, Maccabi’s fourth win in its past five games.
Also Sunday, Bnei Hasharon snapped a four-game losing streak with a 97-74 victory over Maccabi Rishon Lezion, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil beat Hapoel Holon 72-67 on the road and Ironi Ramat Gan claimed an 88-80 win at Ironi Ashkelon.
Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Afula on Monday.
Ironi Nahariya 102, Hapoel Jerusalem 99
Nahariya showed from the start that it had no intention of going down without a fight and the score was tied at 22-22 after the first frame. Jerusalem opened a 47-37 gap with less than two minutes to play in the first half, but the hosts scored 10 of the final 12 points of the period and were down by just two points (49-47) at the interval.
The game was still too close to call with 10 minutes to play, with Yuval Naimi’s basket to end the third quarter bringing Hapoel within one point (66-65).
Nahariya pulled ahead at the beginning of the fourth period with a 7-0 run, only for Naimi to save the visitors in the final minute, scoring a three-pointer to force overtime.
Hapoel’s superior roster meant it was a clear favorite to outlast Nahariya in the extra five minutes, but the hosts were more desperate for the victory and claimed an important win which keeps them in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Steven Smith had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Nahariya, with Lamarr Greer adding 21 points.
Pooh Jeter led Jerusalem with 20 points, with Tre Simmons scoring 18.
Maccabi Haifa 89, Barak Netanya 75
In Haifa, the visitors established the first significant lead of the night (25-17) three minutes into the second period, but Haifa came back with a vengeance and Jesse Pellot-Rosa’s three gave the hosts a 40-33 margin at halftime.
Haifa’s superb defense meant it was comfortably ahead with a quarter to play (64-50) and despite its best efforts Netanya could come no closer than five points and dropped to its first defeat in four games.
Pellot-Rosa led Haifa with 22 points, hitting six of eight shots from beyond the arc. Davon Jefferson had 19 points and eight rebounds, with Jason Rich scoring 18 points.
Marco Killingsworth had 21 points and nine rebounds for Netanya.
Ironi Ramat Gan 88, Ironi Ashkelon 80
At Ashkelon, Ramat Gan got off to a quick start and was ahead by double-digits after 10 minutes (22-12).
The visitors cruised for most of the remaining three periods until a 12-2 Ashkelon run brought it within one possession (83-80) with one minute to play.
However, the hosts could not complete the comeback and Ramat Gan boosted its survival hopes with a third win in five games.
Itzik Ohanon and Brandon Ewing scored 20 points each for Ramat Gan, with Gary Forbes adding 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Brian Tolbert scored 26 points for Ashkelon, which will have to fight for its place in the top eight.
Hapoel Gilboa/Galil 72, Hapoel Holon 67
At Holon, the hosts had a 32-29 lead after a tight and low-scoring first half, and the win was up for grabs until the closing stages, with Holon’s John Thomas tying the score at 60-60 from the free-throw line midway through the fourth quarter.
Nerves were taking their toll on both teams in the closing stages, but crucially Gilboa made the final run and held on for just its second win in its past six games.
Elishay Kadir had 22 points and seven rebounds for Gilboa, with Sasa Bratic scoring 19 points for Holon.
Bnei Hasharon 97, Maccabi Rishon Lezion 74
At Herzliya, Bnei Hasharon scored the final five points of the firstperiod to close to within one point (20-19). The hosts seized the leadin the second quarter and had a 10-point gap at the break (47-37) afterCookie Belcher’s three-point move.
The second half was dominatedby Bnei Hasharon and Dan Shamir’s team sailed to an easy victory whichstrengthens its playoff position.
P.J. Tucker led six BneiHasharon players in double-figures with 19 points and 10 rebounds.Darrel Tucker scored 20 points for Rishon.