Local Hoops: Holon proves its worth

Hapoel beats Bnei Hasharon 90-75 in Ra'anana.

hapoel holon 298.88 (photo credit: Sport5)
hapoel holon 298.88
(photo credit: Sport5)
Hapoel Holon proved its pedigree once more on Monday night, defeating Bnei Hasharon 90-75 in Ra'anana in the BSL. Holon has now won five straight league games and nine of its last 10 BSL encounters. The team from the center of the country hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv next Monday in the ultimate test of its quality ahead of the upcoming Final Four and will be looking to make a statement by beating the perennial champion for the second time this season. Bnei Hasharon needed to win on Monday to reestablish its place at the top of the standings, but will have to settle for second position in the meantime after seeing its six-game win streak come to an end. P.J. Tucker led Holon with 20 points and nine rebounds, with Malik Dixon scoring 20 points in a mere 11 minutes on court. Jason Williams scored 23 points for the hosts, with Meir Tapiro adding 19 points. Earlier on Monday, the Jerusalem District Court convicted Yossi Malach of throwing the fire-cracker during Holon's game against Hapoel Jerusalem at Malha Arena on November 11. Malach admitted as part of a plea bargain that he was the Holon fan who hurled the fire-cracker which exploded on the court while security guard Yoav Glitzshtein tried to pick it up. Glitzshtein lost two of his fingers from the explosion. On Monday, Holon got off to a quick start against the best defensive team in the league, which lets in just 74.1 points per game, and led 19-10 after a Chester Simmons three-pointer. An 8-0 Bnei Hasharon run brought the hosts back within one point, but Amit Tamir's basket from beyond the arc to beat the first period buzzer increased Hapoel's margin to 23-18. The visitors would dominate the third quarter and opened the first substantial lead of the encounter. Moran Rot terrorized Bnei Hasharon with his speed and Holon led by double-digits with 10 minutes to play (64-54). The hosts lost Cookie Belcher to injury during the third period and it didn't take Hapoel long to secure the win. Simmons had it all his own way against Bnei Hasharon's defense and Dixon's three with 2.40 to play extended the margin to 80-68 and broke the hosts' spirit.