Local hoops: Holon in 3rd after win over Bnei Hasharon

75-68 victory over Bnei Hasharon on Monday night is Holon's third straight win in the BSL.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Hapoel Holon recorded a hard fought 75-68 victory over Bnei Hasharon on Monday night, its third straight win in the BSL. The result takes Holon up to third in the standings and proves once more that the team is a serious contender for a berth in the season-ending Final Four tournament. Malik Dixon scored 16 points and led four Holon players in double figures, with Guni Izraeli and P.J. Tucker adding 12 and 11 points respectively. A nauseous Jason Williams scored 20 points for Bnei Hasharon, which was playing without the injured Cookie Belcher. Rod Grizzard scored 18 points and took five rebounds in an impressive debut for the visitors, with Meir Tapiro adding 13 points and 10 assists. Holon scored the first four points of the night, but four straight points by Ousmane Cisse opened an 11-7 lead for the visitors. Despite losing its lead briefly after five consecutive Hapoel points (12-11), Bnei Hasharon ended the first quarter up 20-12 thanks to Tapiro's lethal jumper. The visitors continued to increase their lead at the start of the second quarter, with new signing Grizzard scoring from beyond the arc to give his team a 13 point margin (29-16). A 14-1 Holon run in the next three minutes, however, completely erased the hosts' deficit and the score was tied at 30-30 after Chris Watson's three point move. Bnei Hasharon showed its character in the final three minutes of the first half, lifting its defensive play and scoring eight of the last 10 points of the period to take a six point cushion into the break (38-32). For all its efforts Hapoel continued to trail by a slender margin for most of the third period, but an 11-0 run as the quarter drew to a close finally gave the hosts their first lead in more than 20 minutes. Dixon terrorized the visitors' defense and his jumper opened a 51-46 advantage. Bnei Hasharon managed to close within two points by the end of the third period (53-51) and began the fourth quarter with six straight points which gave it a 57-53 lead. The rollercoaster continued as the period progressed and Moran Rot's first field goal of the night saw the lead exchange hands once more (58-57). Holon and Bnei Hasharon continued to trade baskets in the following minutes, but five straight points by Chester Simmons opened a four point gap for Hapoel (67-63) from which the visitors would not return.