Streaking Netanya beats J’lem

Barak Netanya clinches home-court advantage in the BSL quarterfinal playoffs with its fourth straight win.

Barak Netanya coach Danny Franco 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Barak Netanya coach Danny Franco 370
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Barak Netanya clinched home-court advantage in the BSL quarterfinal playoffs on Monday night with its fourth straight win, a 94- 81 triumph over Hapoel Jerusalem.
Netanya has been the league’s dark horse since beginning its campaign with five consecutive wins and will enter the playoffs next week in scintillating form, claiming six of its past seven contests, including against the BSL’s top three teams: Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Eilat and Maccabi Haifa.
After a tight first half ended in a 51-48 Jerusalem lead, Netanya surged ahead in the third quarter, opening a 15-point margin (74- 59) with a 16-2 run.
Hapoel replied with an 18-2 run to regain the lead (77-76), but was outscored 18-4 in the final five minutes of the encounter by the in-form hosts.
Marco Killingsworth had 22 points for Netanya, with Ramel Bradley and Raymar Morgan scoring 16 points each for Franco’s team, which improved to 15-11 ahead of its final regular season game and looks set to also face Jerusalem in the quarterfinal playoffs.
Ron Steele led Jerusalem with 21 points.
“We mustn’t lose faith but our defense doesn’t look good,” said Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker after seeing his team drop to a sixth defeat in seven games.
“Netanya deserved to win. They are aggressive and play as a team.
We will have to change our mindset in the playoffs because there’s not much else we can do.”
Also Monday, Hapoel Gilboa/Galil booked its place in the playoffs with a 78-75 victory at Hapoel Holon.
Veteran center Yaniv Green had 18 points for Gilboa, which secured the win with a late surge.
Jerome Dyson scored 22 points for Holon.
The game between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Ironi Ashkelon, which was officially relegated on Sunday following Bnei Herzliya’s win over Maccabi Ashdod, will be played on Thursday.
Two more postponed games will also take place on Thursday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv hosting Jerusalem and Gilboa welcoming Herzliya.