Jerusalem is Israeli champion for second time
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem won the Israeli League championship for the second time by holding off Maccabi Hunter Haifa 83-76 in Thursday's championship game at Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. Jerome Dyson shined with 30 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting to lead Jerusalem. Curtis Jerrells was 5 of 8 from behind the arc for 21 points and Tarence Kinsey added 19 points. Dyson and Jerrells each dished 5 assists, too. Gregory Vargas stood out for Haifa with 30 points and 6 assists, Orlando Mendez-Valdez scored 14 and Kevinn Pinkney added 13.
Jerrells and Dyson started strong to give Jerusalem a 2-8 lead, but Haifa's defense slowed the pace and 6 straight points by Vargas tied the game at 10-10. Jerusalem led 14-13 after 10 minutes. Mendez-Valdez helped Haifa to a 6-point edge early in the second quarter and Vargas extended it to 18-26. Jerusalem scored the next 8 points to tie the score on a Dyson triple. Kinsey and Mendez-Valdez traded threes in the final minute of the first half and the teams parted ways at halftime tied 41-41. Pinkney put Haifa up 42-43 to start the second half, but Jerusalem took over from that point. Richard Howell anchored the paint with a pair of blocked shots as the team went on a 15-2 charge, during which Dyson drilled 3 three-pointers. Willy Workman and Kinsey each hit three in the final minute of the third quarter, which ended with Jerusalem ahead 65-52. Vargas drew Haifa within 67-60, but Jerrells and Dyson each sank another three as Jerusalem protected its lead and coasted to the title.