Jerusalem needs overtime to drop pesky Sassari as Hapoel TLV await in preseason tourney final

Sep 18, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Sassari 83-75 in overtime to punch their ticket to the Winner League Tel Aviv Preseason Tournament final on Tuesday at 7:30pm where they will take on Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Drive In Arena. The Reds were led early by Khadeen Carrington but had a tough time against a game Italian squad and needed a late rally led by Speedy Smith and Levi Randolph to send the contest to overtime. In the extra session Smith, Brynton Lemar and a Chris Johnson sealed the deal to set up an all Red final.

Smith led the way with 21 points, Carrington added 16 points and Randolph chipped in with 13 points in the win. Stanley Whittaker and Ousmane Diop each scored 15 points while Kaspar Treier scored 11 points in the loss.

“It’s clear that we were not expecting a crazy good game as we know,” Hapoel Jerusalem coach Aleksandar Dzikic explained. “For us it was a game against some good ball handlers and it was a good test. Am I satisfied, no. We have played some very good teams up until now and this is a very good tournament.”

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“As for the game against Hapoel Tel Aviv, I know that we will come with a BCL roster and not Israeli. Teams that will face tomorrow will not play in the Israeli league championship. They want to win and we want to win, is it the end of the world with what the result will be, no, but it’s what we want from the game. My primary goal is to have every player healthy for the opening night of the Israeli league.”

“We lacked three players and all the guys gave a good effort. All in all we played very well and we tired near the end. This was a good scrimmage for us,” Sassari head coach Piero Bucchi said following the game.

Speedy Smith – Photo Credit:

Speedy Smith also reflected on the game, “I don’t think this was a good game and not up to our standards for the upcoming year, we have to cut the turnovers and get the guys involved. I had four turnovers almost in a row and they got more confidence. We are just growing as a team day by day. As for the game against Hapoel Tel Aviv, we’re prepping and they’re prepping.”

Khadeen Carrington had the hot hand for Hapoel Jerusalem and help the Reds to an 18-8 lead after the minutes of play, but Sassari’s Stephane Gombauld and Stanley Whittaker cut down the advantage over the course of the second quarter to head into halftime down 32-29.

Zach Hankins – Photo Credit:

Carrington along with Speedy Smith and Levi Randolph came out firing on all cylinders, Whittaker, Kaspar Treier and Filip Kruslin countered as the Italian club grabbed a 52-49 lead after thirty minutes of action.

Alessandro Cappelletti and Ousmane Diop kept Sassari in front, Carrington helped Jerusalem keep pace, while Randolph and Smith cut the lead down to 64-63 with under three minutes to go as Zach Hankins evened the game up from the line at 69-69 with 23 seconds remaining to send the contest to overtime. Smith and Brynton Lemar took the bull by the horns in the extra session while Chris Johnson put the hammer down with a triple to send the reds into the preseason tourney final.

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