Hapoel Holon grabbed a 1-0 series lead over Igokea with a 103-79 win as they will look to punch their ticket to the Basketball Champions League Round of 16 next week in Bosnia. The visitors grabbed a quick 27-22 lead after the first quarter as Nikola Tanaskovic, Antabia Waller and Bryant Crawford led the way. But Guy Goodes’s squad came back with a 35-point second period as CJ Harris began to heat up, Joe Ragland conducted the offense, Marvin Jones dominated the inside and Hayden Dalton scored from the outside to help the hosts to the win.
Jones led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds, Dalton added 18 points, Johnson chipped in with 15 points and Ragland scored 12 points and dished out 14 assists in the win. Waller paced Igokea with 21 points, Crawford scored 16 points and Tanaskvoc added 14 points in the loss.
“We did the job and we are up 1-0,” Goodes said. “We didn’t start well, Igokea came focused and they played their style and tempo. Second quarter we started to run and scored on the fast break. We scored 18 points from second chances, 23 on fast break, the players were sharing the ball and moved well and we all contributed to the win. We stopped them on 32 points in the second half which sealed the game.”
“Congrats to Holon,” Igokea coach Dragan Basic began. “We started the game with some injured players and one of our main players Kendrick Ray sprained his ankle and his absence impacted the final result of the game. We played pretty good in the first quarter. We let them come back into the game in the second quarter which has been the same problems from previous games. Holon had a lot of offensive rebounds and in that second quarter they showed that quality.”
Game MVP Hayden Dalton added, “Always good to win at home and the fans were amazing. It was a great team win and we picked it up on defense in the second half and we shared the ball. We took care of business and we need to win on the road next week.”
Nikola Tanaskovic, Antabia Waller and Bryant Crawford scored early for Igokea as the game got underway while Niv Misgav with a pair of triples but collected four fouls over the course of the first quarter and Joe Ragland tried to keep Hapoel Holon close but the visitors grabbed a 27-22 lead after ten minutes of play.
Hayden Dalton started off the second quarter with a 3-pointer, CJ Harris dished off to Marvin Jones for a dunk and then hit a triple from deep to quickly give Guy Goodes squad a 31-29 lead. Harris continued to work his magic with another one from deep plus a 3-point play while Jones scored with ease inside but Walter and Tanaskovic countered to keep the Bosnians close, however, Jones kept dominating the paint and Frederic Bourdillon dialled up long distance to finish off a 35-point frame to take a 56-57 advantage into halftime.
Waller and Igokea tried to reduce the gap as the third quarter began but points by Dalton, Chris Johnson and Javin DeLaurier to give Holon a 65-52 lead midway through the period. Dalton and Ragland went from deep, Crawford and Waller responded, but Dalton went from deep yet again to bump the lead up to 82-65 after thirty minutes of action.
DeLaurier and Bourdillon scored on the inside and on the outside, Jones dunked, Shawn Dawson put in a circus act layup and Misgav hit a triple to finish off the 24-point win.
In Israeli League action, Hapoel Tel Aviv slammed Nes Ziona 102-85 in a game that the Reds controlled from the get go with 5 players finishing in double digits to cruise to the big win. One of the keys for Danny Franco’s team was to hold Elad Hasin’s star point guard to just 8 assists which was well under his double figure average while also getting off to a 32-21 first quarter start.
Jordan McRae led the way with 25 points, Xavier Munford added 16 points while trio of J’Covan Brown, Tomer Ginat and Idan Zalmanson chipped in with 15 points a piece in the victory. Shaw Buchanan paced Nes Ziona with 21 points, Jerome Meyinsee added 19 points and Tyler Bey scored 18 points in the loss.