Hapoel Jerusalem moves to 2-0 i BCL RD of 16 play with win over Karsiyaka

Jan 31, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem moved to 2-0 in the BCL Round of 16 group stages with a 83-74 win over Karsiyaka at their home away from home in Belgrade. Levi Randolph and JaCorey Williams paced the Reds to the victory after a tight first quarter as a total of four players ended the game in double figures.

Randolph scored 19 points, Williams added 15 points, Speedy Smith soccer 9 points and dished out 12 assists while Zach Hankins and Khadeen Carrington each scored 10 points in the win. Darrun Hilliard and Vernon Carey each scored 18 points in the loss.

JaCorey Williams – Photo Credit: FIBA

Zach Hankins began scoring inside while Levi Randolph found points at will for Hapoel Jerusalem early on as Darrun Hilliard, Vernon Carey and Errick McCollum responded for Karsiyaka but it was the Reds who took a slim 25-23 lead after ten minutes of play.

JaCorey Williams started to dominate the paint as Brynton Lamar and Khadeen Carrington gt busy in the second quarter, the trio of Hilliard Carey and McCollum tried to keep the visitors close, but Ilias Kantzouris’s squad took a 50-43 advantage into halftime.

Williams filled the basket while Carrington also scored for Jerusalem while Hilliard and Carey answered for Karsiyaka as Hapoel went into the final frame sporting a 65-57 lead after thirty minutes of action. Hankins and Chris Johnson began to score for Jerusalem, Vitto Brown and Carey kept Karsikaya hanging around, but Speedy Smith dialed up long distance as did Randolph to wrap up the win.

Hapoel Jerusalem – Photo Credit: FIBA

“We played against a very quality team with a lot of potential,” Coach Ilias Kantzouris said. “They beat beat a Euroleague team by 20, scoring 100 points a few days ago. We knew that the biggest part was going to be our defense. The players did an excellent job executing the plan but we lost some of the small details and Karsiyaka scored some big shots that kept them in the game. I am satisfied and I am happy with the assist and turnover ration. This is how we need to move on, take good shots, keep the hierarchy and play defense.”

“They played a physical game,” Karsiyaka coach Ufuk Sarica said. “The first half we hesitated and we made too many mistakes. We tried everything we could and they deserved to win. We have four more games left in the group.”

JaCorey Williams – Photo Credit: FIBA

JaCorey Williams who came off of the bench to change the game up spoke about the contest that was, “We got into an offensive battle with them in the first quarter and they are a very good offensive team. We just had to find a way in the second half to get some stops and we kept scoring. They are great offensively and they are so talented you can’t relax. I was happy to provide that spark, I am just an energy guy and I’m here to help my team scoring and that stiff happens when you play hard so I try to just play as hard as I can whether I score or not. I am just here to help my team and that’s why I am here.”

Darrun Hilliard also looked back at the game, “I thought it was a good game by both teams, I made some bad mistakes and Jerusalem is Championship team and they showed it. We have room to improve.”

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