Local Hoops: Jerusalem back on track with key win

Defeats Hapoel Galil Elyon 97-89 at Kfar Blum.

Hapoel Jerusalem 248.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Jerusalem 248.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger [file])
Hapoel Jerusalem returned to winning ways in the BSL on Monday night, defeating Hapoel Galil Elyon 97-89 at Kfar Blum. Jerusalem lost to Ironi Nahariya last week and was defeated in three of its four games prior to Monday. The State Cup holder continued to struggle in the first three periods at Kfar Blum, but dominated the final 10 minutes of the encounter to claim a big win in its chase of a Final Four berth. Guy Pnini led Jerusalem scoring 25 points, with Sharon Sasson adding 18 points. The visitors also got 12 points and five assists from impressive new signing Orien Greene. Galil, which is second to last in the standings, was led by Aaron Nixon, who scored 17 points. Gili Mossinzon scored Galil's first six points of the night, giving his team a 6-5 lead. The hosts continued to stretch their margin as the first period progressed and a Mossinzon three-pointer opened a 10-point gap after 10 minutes (28-18). Jai Lewis increased Galil's advantage to 31-18 at the start of the second quarter, but Jerusalem quickly fought back to within six points, with Pnini's two points cutting his side's deficit to 35-29. Galil didn't take long to reopen a double-digit lead, with a Lewis basket opening a 50-38 advantage. The visitors, however, ended the first half with a 10-1 run, which was capped by Sasson's three, and closed to within three points (51-48) at the break. Pnini opened the second half with a basket (51-50), but two points by Mike Campbell four minutes into the third period gave the hosts a comfortable lead once more (61-52, one that they would not relinquish. The margin would, however, quickly shrink and a Jayson Wells three with a minute to play in the quarter made sure Jerusalem entered the final 10 minutes of the game with a slender lead (67-66). Jerusalem seized complete control of the encounter in the fourth period and opened a game winning 82-70 lead with a 15-4 run. The visitors' excellent defense limited Galil and Jerusalem cruised to an important win.