Hapoel Holon were crowned champions after defeating Bnei Herzliya 90-74 to take the Israel Basketball League Final series 2-0. Guy Goodes, who won his first championship as a head coach saw his squad dominate Oren Aharoni’s team over the forty minutes as five players featured in double figures to guide Holon to their second ever league title. Joe Ragland scored ten or his 23 points in the third quarter to break open the game for Holon and was named the MVP.
Rafi Menco once again started off the game well for Holon just as he did in game one while Niv Misgav helped Holon to a 28-22 lead after ten minutes while Menco, Ragland and Hayden Dalton drilled home triples to end the half with a 49-42 advantage. Ragland came on strong in the third frame with ten points as veteran sniper Guy Pnini knocked down his shots from deep over the final period to hand Holon the title.
Ragland led the way with 23 points, McGee added 16 points, Johnson scored 13 points, while Hayden Dalton and Rafi Menco each chipped in with 11 points to take home the championship. Maurice Kemp scored 21 points, Chinanu Onuaku added 12 points as Chris Babb and Andy Van Vliet each scored 9 points in the loss.
“I had a very interesting journey since I arrived here at Holon at a time when they club was struggling,” Holon coach Guy Goodes said. “But we were able to do some great things including heading to the Basketball Champions League Final Four and now winning the championship. I felt that if we could get by Hapoel Galil Elyon we could go all the way and we did some amazing things this season.”
“I want to congratulate Hapoel Holon and they are a deserving champion,” Herzliya coach Oren Aharoni said. “We had a historic season and we were able to reach some of the highest heights in Israel with a low budget. The players worked very hard to take this club to the top. The refereeing today was not at the level for such an important game, however, Holon is a deserving champion.”
The game opened up a few minutes late due to some pyrotechnics from the Holon faithful to get the atmosphere heated up and the matchup underway. Chinanu Onuaku started off with a pair of points in the paint for Bnei Herzliya, Sandy Cohen went from deep, Rafi Menco matched him at the other end for Hapoel Holon’s first field goal of the game while Michale Kyser dunked and Tyrus McGee dialled up long distance to give the hosts a 10-7 lead midway through the first quarter.
Menco with the hot hand went from downtown and then added a deuce for Guy Goodes’s team, Onuaku scored inside, Cohen went from the outside, Chris Babb and Quinton Hooker hit back-to-back triples for Oren Aharoni’s squad to close the gap to 23-33. But Niv Misgav scored high off the glass and then went from beyond the arc to keep Holon in front 28-22 after ten minutes of play.
Johnson began the second quarter with points, Maurice Kemp immediately answered, Guy Pnini went from deep, Yair Kravitz did the same for Herzliya while Joe Ragland scored a layup to keep Holon ahead 35-29 with 6:33 left in the first half.
Babb went from way, way downtown and completed a 4-point play, Kemp scored in the paint, Johnson nailed a corner 3-ball and then added a basket in the paint as Holon continued to lead 40-36 with 3:37 remaining in the quarter. Kemp scored a turn around jumper but Menco, Hayden Dalton and Ragland all went from deep to take a 49-42 advantage into halftime.
Kemp started off the third quarter with a 3-point play, Ragland beat Cohen on the baseline, Onuaku came back with a bucket in the paint, Ragland scored a pair of baskets and Dalton went from deep to bump the lead up to 58-49 midway through the frame. Ragland went in for another layup, Kravitz and Kemp did the same for the visitors, McGee went from deep, Ragland dropped yet another bucket as did Johnson and Dalton to open up a double-digit lead, 70-57 after thirty minutes of action.
Ragland dialled up long distance to get the fourth quarter underway, Van Vliet drilled home a triple, Pnini matched him at the other end with a pair of 3-pointers, McGee knocked down his free throws and added a layup as Holon took home the 2021/22 championship!