Hapoel Jerusalem downs Hapoel Holon to sweep into semifinals

Hapoel Jerusalem downed Hapoel Holon 93-75 to sweep their quaterfinal series and move into the semifinals where they will meet Maccabi Tel Aviv. The purples came out strong and surprised the hosts as Kevin Hervey and Shawn Dawson paced Amit Sherf’s team. But prior to his injury, Levi Randolph scored at ease while Chris Johnson and Speedy Smith helped Yonatan Alon’s squad to a 52-42 halftime advantage and never looked back as Yovel Zoosman made sure the hosts chalked up the win.

Chris Johnson – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Johnson scored 16 points while Williams and Zoosman each scored 15 points in the victory. Dawson answered Hervey each scored 18 points in the loss.

Yonatan Alon – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


“This was a tough series and Holon deserves a lot of credit for playing tough despite their injuries,” Jerusalem coach Yonatan Alon said. “We can’t take anything for granted this season which has been tough both on and off of the court and it was great to win a cup but the campaign isn’t over, now it’s a new game and new series against Maccabi Tel Aviv and what was is not relevant.”

Amit Sherf – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


“We knew that we could stay in the game as long as we stopped their run and we hit our 3-pointers,” Amit Sherf said. “But we tried to stop them near the end of the first half but they made some key baskets and I didn’t have a timeout to use and they went in a quick run. From that point down by ten points it was going to be difficult to come back.”

JaCorey Williams – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


JaCorey Williams spoke about the victory, “There was a lot of emotion coming into the game as we knew we could close it out. We had a game plan to help on the strong side and kick the ball out and we ended up with the victory to close it out. We started out flat and when we switched on defense, we were soft and were not putting as much pressure on the ball as everybody for them drove to the basket and scored. Coach got on us about that and we started pressuring the ball and did it with more energy and that’s why we won the game.”

Netanel Art – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Netanel Artzi looked back at the series and the season as a whole, “We gave our all here in this series and came very close just a shot that we missed that could have changed things. We were missing some players but we didn’t give up. This was a very difficult season whether it was the trips abroad or just dealing with the events that occurred on October 7. But we can say that we were really close. The fans deserve a ton of credit as well.”

Kevin Hervey – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Hapoel Holon jumped all over Hapoel Jerusalem to begin the game as Kevin Hervey and Deondre Burns both went from deep while Shawn Dawson and Drew Crawford also scored to give the purples a quick 10-2 lead. JaCorey Williams got very busy in the paint while Levi Randolph dialled up long distance but it was Chris Johnson who scored at will to move the reds in front 24-23 after ten minutes of play.

Oz Blayzer – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Shachar Amir went from downtown and Yovel Zoosman put in a deuce to begin the second quarter, Hervey scored on the inside and outside while Khadeen Carrington responded but Amit Sherf’s squad took a 35-30 lead with 5:02 left in the first half. Hervey again went from deep, Drew Crawford scored as well but Levi Randolph went down with an ankle injury and had to be helped off but that didn’t stop Johnson, Carrington and Speedy Smith from answering right back as the latter drained a pair from beyond the arc while Oz Blayzer did the same to give Yonatan Alon’s team a 52-42 advantage at halftime.

JaCorey Williams – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Burns and Williams traded baskets to get the third quarter underway, Dawson and Williams did the same while Zoosman went from deep as Johnson dunked to give Jerusalem a 63-48 lead midway through the third quarter. Crawford dialled up long distance, Zoosman kept finding the basket while Noam Dovrat did the same to bump the lead up to 73-54 after thirty minutes of action.

Alex Tyus – Photo credit: Dov Halickman


Alex Tyus scored to begin the final frame, as Amir and Dawson tried to get Holon back into the contest while Crawford dropped one from deep, but Zoosman scored from the inside and outside and Williams added points as well to wrap up the victory.

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