Holon downs Nes Ziona, Beer Sheva slips by Eilat

Jan 22, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon cruised by Nes Ziona 101-81 as Joe Ragland ran Guy Goodes’s offense to perfection to notch the win. In a game that was never in doubt from the get go, visiting Holon took a 52-36 lead into halftime thanks to fine play by Ragland, Hayden Dalton and Chris Johnson and never looked back to record the victory.

Ragland led the way with 22 points and 9 assists, Dalton added 23 points and Johnson picked up a 17 point and 13 rebound double-double in the win. Tyler Bey paced Nes Ziona with 20 points, Shaq Buchanan added 14 points and DJ Cooper scored 10 points and dished out 13 assists in the loss.

“We were very focused and played with a lot of energy and we executed extremely well,” Holon coach Guy Goodes said. “Everybody on the court played a team game and I’m happy that the players understood the challenge of playing in Nes Ziona which is not easy. But we stayed together and picked up an important win.”

Chris Johnson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Chris Johnson spoke about the victory, “We stuck to the game plan and we got back quickly as Nes Ziona is a transition team which we were able to limit their baskets from that and backdoor. I think we did a great job. If we come in focussed to play team basketball for 40 minutes, then we can beat anybody.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva just got by Hapoel Eilat 105-101 in the southern capital as Khalil Ahmad, Ben Moore and David Efiyani all had 20 plus points to take the win over the Red Sea side and their new head coach Maurizio Buscaglia. Eilat grabbed an early lead as Jared Terrell and Eric Griffin helped them nurse the advantage over the course of the first three quarters but in the final frame Ahmad and Efiyani pushed the hosts in front as Beer Sheva was able to hold on to record the victory.

Ahmad led the way with 28 points, Moore added 23 points and 10 boards as Efiyani chipped in with 22 points in the win. Terrell with 31 points and Griffin with 26 points paced the visitors in the loss.

Game MVP Khalil Ahmad spoke about the keys of the win, “We were aggressive defensively which transitioned into offense. We had to buckle down on defense as they were picking us a part on one-on-one and once we did that it kind of took care of itself. We came out with a different type of energy in the second half and it carried us until the end.”

“This wasn’t one of our best games,” Beer Sheva coach Lior Lubin began. “But we made the stops that we needed to at the end. We knew that Eilat would come in and battle hard after they changed coaches. We were a bit careless but at the end of the day we won the game which the fans very much enjoyed due to the high score.”

“We missed some shots that we shouldn’t have near the end of the game and our execution was not at a very high level,” Eilat’s new coach Maurizio Buscaglia said. “We allowed them to have too many open shots. The bottom line is we gave up 105 points which is very bad for us. We had some good practices this week and we will come in to the next game stronger. I am happy to be back in Israel and I very much like this country.”

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