Winless Hapoel Jerusalem falls to Barak Netanya

Hapoel Jerusalem still searching for 1st win of season after dropping to 0-3 in the BSL with 77-74 loss.

Sharon Druker, Hapoel Jerusalem coach (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Sharon Druker, Hapoel Jerusalem coach
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Jerusalem is still searching for its first win of the season after dropping to 0-3 in the BSL on Monday night with a 77-74 loss at Barak Netanya.
As ever, Jerusalem had extremely high hopes entering the season, but they have already been shattered by careless and cowardly play from the rebuilt roster.
Hapoel never really showed up for the first half in Netanya, allowing the hosts to build a considerable gap by the break (42-30).
Netanya’s lead reached 16 points in the third quarter, but Jerusalem closed to within four points (58-54) by the start of the final frame and the score was tied at 72-72 with 1:20 remaining after a Meir Tapiro three-pointer.
However, Avery Bradley put the hosts back in command almost immediately with a three-point play at the other end and Netanya clinched the win from the freethrow line, improving to 3-0 and piling the pressure on already under-fire Jerusalem coach Sharon Drucker.
“I can’t remember ever getting a season off to a start like this,” Drucker said.
“We can draw some encouragement from our comeback in the second half, but the question is how we found ourselves in such a situation to start with.”
Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Ashdod, which is also winless, next week and Drucker warned his players that he will overhaul the lineup if they don’t show greater desire.
“We now need to fight for our lives in every game and whoever doesn’t fight will not play,” he said, before adding that his team requires calm, patience and heart to get back on track.
Marco Killingsworth led Netanya with 20 points, while Deron Washington, Bradley and Yehu Orland scored 17, 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Courtney Fells had 16 points for Jerusalem.
“We suffered from a bit of a dip in the second half, but I’m delighted because the guys stayed together even when the going got tough,” said Netanya coach Danny Franco.
Also Monday, Bnei Herzliya improved to 2-1 on the season, beating Ashdod 88-74 on the road.
Jumaine Jones had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Herzliya, with Romel Beck netting 22 for Ariel Beit-Halachmi’s team, which secured the victory with a 20-4 fourth-quarter run.
Diamon Simpson led Ashdod once more with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but he will need some help from his friends if the side is to get off the mark at Malha Arena next week.