Babb paces Herzliya to win over Jerusalem, Galil Elyon with comeback downs Beer Sheva

Oct 15, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Herzliya may have lost a number of players over the summer including last season’s Israel league MVP Chinanu Onuaku, but Oren Aharoni’s club still has arguably the best shooting guard in one Chris Babb who carved up Hapoel Jerusalem to help lead the hosts to a 83-66 victory.

The Reds grabbed a 36-29 lead at halftime on strong play by Siim Sander Vene and Levi Randolph but the second half was all Herzliya as Quinton Hooker and Julian Gamble started to score while Chris Babb dropped 19 of his 24 points over the the final two quarters to help Oren Aharoni’s team to the 17-point win.

Babb led the way with 24 points, Hooker added 14 points, while Andy Van Vliet and Maurice Kemp each scored 12 points in the victory to move their record to 1-1. Randolph paced Jerusalem with 17 points, Vene added 13 points and Speedy Smith chipped in with 12 points in the defeat that drops the club to 0-2 on the young season.

Chris Babb and Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“I have to give credit to the players on the defense that we played,” Aharoni said after the contest. “We played very well defensively and we knew how to close things up and go get the rebounds. We scored on the fast breaks and after a very bad first half the story was defense.”

“We played two different halves and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that,” Jerusalem coach Aleksander Dzikic commented. “We controlled what was going on in the first half and we were out of focus in the second half. It’s a heavy loss and I want to apologize to our fans.”

Quinton Hooker – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Quinton Hooker spoke about Chris Babb’s contribution to the win, “Chris is a great player and has done that his entire career. He knows how to rebound from a tough night but it’s not one player as we need to have a whole team effort in order to succeed.”

Mareks Mejeris also reflected on the game from his point of view, “Bad game for us especially the second half. I hope that this is the worst game of the season and we don’t want to feel this way again. It’s going up from here.”

Speedy Smith – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Siim Sander Vene, Or Cornelius and Levi Randolph each drained 3-pointers to get the game rolling for Hapoel Jerusalem while Yair Kravitz and Andy Van Vliet scored for Bnei Herzliya but Speedy Smith and Chris Babb traded triples before the end of the quarter as the Reds grabbed. 19-15 lead after ten minutes of play.

Sandy Cohen and Maurice Kemp found points for the hosts, Khadeen Carrington and Randolph did the same for the visitors but Van Vliet scored to cut the lead to 25-23 with 5:30 remaining in the second quarter. Vene for a deuce and Randolph for a triple bumped the Jerusalem lead right up again while Vene and Cornelius each added a 3-pointer to give Aleksandar Dzikic’s squad a 36-29 advantage at halftime.

Julian Gamble – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Itay Segev began the third quarter with a 3-point play, Julian Gamble scored a pair inside and then pulled the defense out for Quinton Hooker to score an easy layup while Babb hit a 3-pointer to pull Herzliya to within 3-points, 41-38 midway through the period. Hooker scored from the inside and the outside, Babb put in a 3-point play and added a jumper to send Herzliya into the lead 54-46 after thirty minutes of action.

Van Vliet and Hooker found the basket inside and Babb went twice from deep and Kemp added a 3-point play to keep Oren Aharoni’s team in front 70-53 with 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Randolph and Kemp traded baskets while the latter added another bucket, as Smith as Vene tried in vain to cut the lead as Herzliya finished off the double-digit win.

Hapoel Galil Elyon used a strong second half to come back and take a 90-84 win over Hapoel Beer Sheva. Ben Moore and Tidjan Keita paced the visitors to a 51-43 lead at halftime but Bryce Washington, Deishaun Booker and Jalen Hudson all helped out Barak Peleg’s to a strong second half to notch the victory

Booker led the way with 20 points, Hudson added 19 points and 11 boards while Washington chipped in with 18 points in the win. Moore scored 23 points, Keita added 17 points and Roie Paretzky scored 12 points for Beer Sheva in the loss.

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