Holon pulls out character victory over Galil Elyon, Watson leads Rishon Le’Zion to win, Haifa outlast Gilboa in OT

Dec 12, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon fended off Hapoel Galil Elyon 80-68 as Maurizio Buscaglia’s squad chalked up an 18-1 run in the final frame to come back from a 3-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to take the victory. Holon was in control of the game from the outset jumping all over Barak Peleg’s team with sharpshooting from game MVP Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson but Galil chipped away at the advantage thanks to Omer Tal and Bryce Washington and took a 59-56 lead by the end of the third quarter. However, Guy Pnini and Steven Gray started scoring at will from beyond the arc and Steve Zack played a huge role in the paint in the fourth period as Holon pulled away to take the win and will now ready for a Champions League clash against Darussafaka on Wednesday.

Chris Johnson led the way with 17 points, Joe Ragland added a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists while Guy Pnini scored 14 points in the win. Omer Tal scored 13 points, Ike Iroegbu added 12 points and Brace Washington chipped in with 10 points in the loss.

“After a couple of bad games including at Darussafaka last week, this was a step up,” Holon coach Buscaglia said after the game. “We kept calm and came back twice while we played a great last quarter. Guy Pnini and Steve Zack were crucial for the team in the fourth quarter and Steven Gray was terrific with his 3-point shots at the end.”

“I’m very disappointed because we really got caught up in places where we knew that we could be punished,” Galil coach Barak Peleg explained. “We knew the switches were going to be an issue and that as in the fourth quarter as well as over helping on defense.”

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

“It was a game that there was a sense of urgency as we both now have a 6-3 record,” game MVP Joe Ragland said. “We lost a few games that we felt like we shouldn’t have so we came here to protect home court. It’s one day at a time and we still want to finish at the top of the standings in the league.”

Chris Johnson got Hapoel Holon out front early on in the first quarter with a pair of 3-pointers while Rafi Menco and Joe Ragland also found points from deep. Jonathan Stove and Bryce Washington scored late in the period for Hapoel Galil Elyon but the hosts led 25-13 after ten minutes of play.

Chavaughn Lewis and Washington cut the lead but Ragland continued to fill the basket, however, Ike Iroegbu and Isaiah Eisendorf also score as Barak Peleg’s team pulled to within 35-25 midway through the second quarter. Nimrod Levi began to score for the visitors but Ragland made sure to keep Holon ahead 40-34 at halftime.

Steven Zack – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Ragland and Johnson got busy for Maurizio Buscaglia’s team to begin the third quarter but Gabriel Chachashvili and Eisendorf scored to cut the Holon lead to just 2-points, 50-48 with 4:43 left in the frame. Omer Tal drilled home a pair of triples, Iroegbu scored as well as did Washington to help Galil snatch the lead 59-56 after thirty minutes of action.

Tal, Washington and Itay Moskovitz all put in points to get the fourth quarter underway, Steven Gray and Frederic Bourdillon nailed corner 3-balls for Holon and Steve Zack scored in the paint to give Holon the 67-65 advantage midway through the final frame. Gray dialled up long distance again as did Guy Pnini while Michale Kyser scored a midrange to out away the game for the hosts as they now ready for Champions League play on Wednesday against Darussafaka.

Maccabi Rishon Le’Zion nipped Hapoel Eilat 79-77 as newcomer Maurice Watson scored the game winning basket for the wine city squad in a relegation battle by the Red Sea. Eilat built up an 8-point lead at halftime on the strength of guard Bryon Allen, but Kris Clyburn began to light up the scoreboard to get Rishon back into the game. With the clash all knotted up at 77-77, Watson put the ball high off the glass and into the basket with 4.4 seconds left to break the deadlock and take the win for Guy Goodes’s squad.

Maurice Watson – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Game MVP Maurice Watson also spoke about the win, “This was a big game for us. We have been working hard everyday and losing doesn’t show those results. But we have been resilient. I haven’t been here long but I’m excited about our future as long as we stick together”

Clyburn spoke about the victory, “Excited for the win and excited for coaching staff. Proud of my teammates for the constant fight we showed tonight. Much needed win for us!”

Hapoel Haifa disposed of Hapoel Gilboa Galil 80-71 in overtime as veteran point Gregory Vargas’s double-double helped lead Elad Hasin’s to the victory in the extra session. Haifa jumped all over the hosts with a quick 14-1 blitz to begin the game, but London Perrantes and Sacha Killeya-Jones began chipping away at the advantage as the former scored a pair of free throws to send the contest into the extra session.

However, in the five minute session it was all Haifa as Vargas spurred his team on to a 13-0 run and the win. Vargas scored 14 points and added 12 assists, Amit Simhon scored 14 points and Will Rayman chipped in with 12 points in the win. Killeya-Jones scored 22 points and Perrantes added 18 points in the defeat.

Hapoel Haifa – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

“I’m extremely proud of our fight and defense even when they made their run we held our ground” Rayman explained following the game. “Gregory Vargas showed why he is one of the best guards in the league. I will keep doing whatever the team needs for us to continue to win!”

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