Hapoel TLV downs Haifa, Jerusalem crushes Kiryat Ata

Mar 19, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Tel Aviv downed Hapoel Haifa 87-77 thanks to a strong second half of play to wipeout a small halftime deficit to take the 10-point win. Jordan McRae kept the Reds hanging around in the first half as he paced Danny Franco’s team early on while J’Covan Brown’s tremendous third quarter put away Anthony Hickey, Justin Tillman and company to notch the victory.

Jordan McRae – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

McRae led the way with 23 points, Brown added 18 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists and Onuaku chipped with 12 points in the win. Tillman paced Haifa with 25 points and 12 rebounds and Hickey scored 12 points in the loss.

Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We had a rough week with a lot of games and we had some players carrying small injuries but that’s why we have a bigger roster,” Tel Aviv coach Danny Franco explained. “We played well in the second half and we we able to win the game, with positive basketball. We could have pushed a bit more but we did start to run a bit more in the third quarter which was important to get J’Covan Brown into the game.”

Isaiah Cousins – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“The first half we should have led by more 7-8 points although that would not have guaranteed anything,” Haifa coach Sharon Drucker said. “But the third quarter we did not play well at all on both sides of the floor, however, we still were able to cut the lead down, but with their experience they were able to close out the game. I saw that the players battled and they cared so that’s what I can take from this matchup.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jordan McRae reflected on the game, “After a few rough games we had rhythm in the second half and we did a good job on defense. We were able to hold Anthony Hickey is a good player to only 5/14 from the field. As for me, I feel good. Since we got back from the break we have done a better job.”

Hapoel Jerusalem walloped Kiryat Ata 107-65 as the reds will head to France to battle Strasbourg for first place in their Basketball Champions League group and home court advantage with an Israeli league victory for their 11th win in a row across all competitions.

The capital city squad grabbed a double digit lead at halftime and then outscored the hosts 54-24 in the second half to cruise to the win. Five players recorded double digits for Hapoel as Khadeen Carrington led the way with 27 points, Levi Randolph added 18 points, Siim Sander Vene scored 15 points while TJ Cline and Speedy Smith each checked in with 13 points a piece in the victory. Karam Mashour scored 14 points as Amin Stevens and Chavaughn Lewis each added 13 points in the loss.

Hapoel Jerusalem Celebrates – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

“We won which is good and we didn’t suffer any injuries and we tried to spread the minutes as much as possible,” Jerusalem coach Aleksandar Dzikic said. “We played four guys that didn’t play in Dijon in this one as we didn’t have much choice. But the final result didn’t reflect what was on the floor. I think they are a good team and they were trying to play a best as possible. We have to see about Strasbourg and see what we want to do.”

“We didn’t look good in this game,” Kiryat Ata coach Sharon Avrahami said. “Jerusalem played very well and they really hurt our confidence as they played very aggressively, we didn’t defend the way we should have for a good portion of the game as well and this game was really not one that represents us as we have played very well against all of the big teams.”

Khadeen Carrington – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

The game MVP Khadeen Carrington also spoke about the game, “We just lock in every day and every game we have a game plan that we try to stick to. But we can get better and this is better than it has been a few months ago. Shots were falling early and I just wanted to keep it up.”

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