Local Hoops: Hapoel Jerusalem continues good league form with win in Rishon

45-21 first half clinches win for Hapoel and takes team back to the top of the league standings.

timmy bowers 224 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
timmy bowers 224
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem recorded its fifth straight BSL victory on Saturday night, defeating Maccabi Rishon Lezion 81-74 on the road. A 45-21 first half clinched the win for Hapoel and took the team back to the top of the league standings. "We won and that's the most important thing, but I'm not pleased with the way we played," Hapoel coach Guy Goodes said. "We played into their hands and should have won by a much bigger margin. We did, however, hold on to the victory and we need to learn from this game." Omar Sneed and Timmy Bowers were once more the catalysts behind Hapoel's win. Sneed scored 22 points and pulled nine rebounds, with Bowers contributing 22 points, six rebounds and five steals. Roger Powell and Yuval Naimi added 11 and 10 points respectively. "It doesn't matter how you win as long as you win," Sneed told Sport5. "We came up on fire and opened a 20 point lead. If we would have lost the game we would have had a problem, but we won." Oded Shaashoa scored 16 points for Rishon, which has lost its last three games by a combined 69 points. After a tight first five minutes Hapoel seized complete control. Goodes's team scored 33 of the next 39 points, dominating the sorry Rishon. Sneed and Bowers combined for more points than the entire Rishon team in the first half, scoring 22 in a half which ended with an unassailable 45-21 Hapoel lead. The hosts saved their honor in the fourth quarter, closing to within nine points (74-65) in the final minutes, but Hapoel was never going to lose the game, despite the late Maccabi run.