Hapoel Holon tops Hapoel Jerusalem in tight battle

Oct 7, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

After raising their championship banner for the 21/22 season, Hapoel Holon went out to show exactly how the captured that title, with lots of fight, hustle and second half sharpshooting to down Hapoel Jerusalem 80-76.

After a slow paced first half that saw the dueling centers Zach Hankins and Marvin Jones set the tone, play picked up in the third quarter when the guards began to dominate play on either side of the court. Chris Johnson and Erick Green attacked the basket from the inside and outside while Noam Dovrat and Siim Sander Vene matched Holon’s shooters basket to basket to head into the final frame all knotted up at 54-54.

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Joe Ragland who notched a double-double got things rolling for Guy Goodes squad the fourth quarter, but Khadeen Carrington kept Aleksander Dzikic’s team in the game, but Green once again came up big while Niv Misgav hit a big 3-pointer as time wound down to seal the victory for the hosts.

Chris Johnson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jones led the way with 21 points, Green added 18 points, Johnson checked in with 16 points while Ragland scored 10 points and dished out 10 assists in the win. For Jerusalem Hankins scored 16 points, Carrington added 15 points and Dovrat chipped in 12 points in the defeat.

Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We won the game against a tough team in what was very early to play against such a talented club,” Goodes said. “We only began practicing back on our home court a few days ago and we have been playing all over the place whether in Israel or Europe. It took time to get into the game and after a slow first half we were able to make some stops and adjustments on pick and rolls and we were able to go on a short run. Until we get into our best shape it’s great that we are winning games which is the most important thing right now as the players keep learning one another.”

Aleksander Dzikic – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“I’d like us to do a better job targeting various players as we ended up attacking with the players with the best defensive ratings,” Dzikic commented after the game. “In the last quarter we could have used some of the fouls to stop the runs and Green a bit as a team. We have to use the fouls smarter and not allow them to shoot free throws.”

Levi Randolph and Marvin Jones – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Marvin Jones who paced the team in scoring spoke about how each game Holon has the ability to have a different player leading the way, “That’s just how the game played out and if you look at our roster we are all talented. One game it it could be Shawn Dawson, one game it can be Niv who made a big shot at the end of this game, it can be anyone.”

Marvin Jones – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Siim Sander Vene also reflected on the game that was, “First league game and it was not the most beautiful basketball. It was close at the end and usually these types of games go down to the small details which make the difference. They had a bit better aim and they got the win. Ultimately we were missing more points, maybe one rebound, there was not one thing as to why we lost. It was just a close game in their gym and small things matter. That is what high level basketball is.”

Zach Hankins – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Zach Hankins got busy inside with a trio of baskets for Hapoel Jerusalem as they garbed an early 10-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Hankins continued to dominate the paint overwhelming Hapoel Holon’s center Marvin Jones while Chris Johnson tried to keep his team in the game but baskets by Khadeen Carrington and Speedy Smith handed the Reds a 21-13 lead after ten minutes of play.

Erick Green – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Marvin Jones began to find the bottom of the basket for Guy Goodes’s team while Johnson also cut into the Jerusalem lead to pull the purples to within 27-21 with six minutes remaining in the second quarter. The duo of Johnson and Jones kept scoring as Joe Ragland conducted the orchestra while Erick Green added a bucket as did Kenneth Kadji as the half ended with both sides knotted up at 31-31.

Noam Dovrat – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Johnson scored the first field goal of the third quarter, Smith came back with points for Aleksandar Dzikic’s team, while Kadji and Green made sure to keep the scores all even at 37-37 midway through the frame. Siim Sander Vene knocked down a pair of triples, Green and Jones responded for Holon, Ragland and Dovrat traded 3-pointers, Jones put in a pair of baskets as the score remained tied at 54-54 after thirty minutes of action.

Niv Misgav – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Holon started the fourth quarter on fire as Kadji, Green and Ragland all scored but Carrington and Dovrat went from downtown while the former added a 3-point play and the latter another 3-pointer to put Jerusalem ahead 66-63 with six minutes left in regulation time. Johnson drilled in a corner 3-ball with Hankins in his face, Green went from the outside and the inside, Ragland nailed a 3-pointer but Carrington came back with one of his own to cut the Holon advantage to 77-75 with 30 seconds left in the game but Misgav also went from behind the arc to polish off a 80-76.

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