Local hoops: Hapoel avenges cup loss to Haifa in style

Team in read dishes out a 100-78 beating which showed just how well Goodes's side has managed to bounce back since that defeat at the Nokia Arena.

Hapoel Jerusalem 248.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Jerusalem 248.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
After losing in the last seconds to the Maccabi Haifa Heat in the semifinals of the State Cup last month, there was little doubt that Hapoel Jerusalem was out for revenge in the corresponding BSL game on Sunday night. And the team in red took no prisoners at Malha, dishing out a 100-78 beating which showed just how well Guy Goodes's side has managed to bounce back since that defeat at the Nokia Arena. The final score didn't do justice to the massive advantage Hapoel had in this one, opening a 23-point lead at the half that ballooned to as much as 37 late in the fourth quarter. Jerusalem had six players in double figures, with Timmy Bowers leading the way with 18 points. Omar Sneed, who played a day before leaving for his father's funeral in the US, scored a further 16 points and left the court to a standing ovation. "We did the work we needed to," Goodes said. "We played with a lot of fight and aggression. But it is a long season and one game doesn't make all the difference. Hopefully we will get to the Final Four, that's our aim." Roger Powell, who scored 14 points, was delighted with the victory. "This is a big win for us. I think the team together really wanted to win the game for Omar Sneed. We played great defense. I'm excited for this. I think it shows a lot of character. I hope this sparks us." Also Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv stayed top of the league standings with a hard fought 77-73 victory at Givat Shmuel, Maccabi Rishon Lezion won 77-69 at home against Ironi Ashkelon and Ironi Kiryat Ata shocked visiting Bnei Hasharon 79-74. On Monday Hapoel Galil/Gilboa hosts Hapoel Holon and Ironi Ramat Gan visits Ironi Nahariya in the final two games of the 16th round of games. In Jerusalem, the hosts stormed into a 16-5 advantage in the first five minutes and a super Powell dunk put Jerusalem up 27-12 just before the end of the opening frame. By the middle of the second, Jerusalem had hit its stride and taken a 36-19 lead while the error-strewn Haifa offense was giving the hosts even more opportunities to advance the score. The team in red seemed to be on a mission of vengeance and a Sharon Sasson three-pointer brought up a 22-point lead that was extended to 53-30 at the interval. The gap continued to widen in the third and it soon became clear that the rest of the game would simply be garbage time as Haifa couldn't make any real inroads into the Jerusalem score. Goodes gave his young players a chance to play in the final minutes and a late surge by Haifa made the score closer towards the end. In Givat Shmuel, Maccabi Tel Aviv's Omri Casspi led all scorers with 20 points while Lior Eliyahu got 17 points. Stefan Bradford scored 19 points for the hosts in what turned out to be a close game. Coming off a meaningless Euroleague win in Berlin, Tel Aviv rushed out of the blocks, leading 25-16 after the first quarter. However, Givat Shmuel outscored its far more illustrious opponent 23-11 in the second period, pulling to within three at the break (39-36). The third quarter saw Tel Aviv pull away again and open up a six-point lead (65-59). But the hosts would not be put off. Givat Shmuel stayed with Maccabi till the end, but just could not get close enough to take the lead.