Hapoel Jerusalem may have been without Amar’e Stoudemire and Lior Eliyahu but quality performances by Jerome Dyson (21pts) Bar Timor (15pts), Yotam Halperin (9pts/9assists) and Shawn Jones with a double-double got the job done over an undermanned Kiryat Gat. The hosts received fine play by Tayshawn Taylor (28pts) and James Singelton (19pts/11rbds) but it wasn’t enough against Jerusalem’s 56% shooting.
Maccabi Kiryat Gat got off to a flying start in the first quarter as veteran James Singelton scored five points and pulled down 6 of the team’s ten rebounds to lead the way for the hosts, taking an early lead 19-13 in the opening ten minutes. Canadian Devoe Joseph dropped seven for Kiryat Gat while Tarence Kinsey scored 6 points for Jerusalem.
But quarter number two was a totally different story as Simone Pianigiani’s troops outscored Kiryat Gat 29-16 to take a 42-35 halftime lead with the help of captain Yotam Halperin’s 9 points/5 assists, Bar Timor’s 9 points/4 helpers and Jerome Dyson’s 8 points. Tayshawn Taylor led the way for the home side with 10 points while Eyal Shulman and James Singelton each ended the first half with 8 points a piece.
Jerusalem came out flying for the second half and rattled off a 23-16 quarter as Timor and Dyson drilled dagger 3’s at the end of the frame to give the Reds a 14 point lead after 30 minutes 65-51. The final quarter looked to be all Jerusalem as Dyson’s game total went up to 21 points and Shawn Jones quietly picked up a double double with 15 points/10 rebounds but Kiryat Gat hung around as Taylor’s 28 points and Singelton’s 19 kept them in the game right until the end. However, Jerusalem held serve and won away 88-79.