Jerusalem slips by Holon, Hapoel Tel Aviv clinches EuroCup playoff berth

Feb 2, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem just slipped by Hapoel Holon 65-63 as Khadeen Carrington scored the game winning basket with 14 seconds to go to give the Reds the close win. With the victory, Aleksandar Dzikic’s squad evens up their Basketball Champions League Round of 16 record to 1-1 while Guy Goodes’s team drops to 0-2. The other game in group play saw Strasbourg down JDA Dijon 85-72 as the former moves to the top of the group with a 2-0 record while the latter drops to 1-1.

In a back and forth game, Holon opened up a 29-20 lead midway through the second quarter on the strength of fine play by both Shawn Dawson, Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson but Levi Randolph helped cut the lead to 35-30 at halftime.

Khadeen Carrington – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Khadeen Carrington and Levi Randolph used some shooting from the outside and baskets on the inside to take a 1-point advantage 47-46 after thirty minutes of play. However, Holon jumped out of the get go of the final frame with key points for Ragland and Johnson but Speedy Smith and Carrington made even bigger shots to snatch the win.

Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Randolph led the way with 21 points, Carrington added 16 points and Smith chipped in with 10 points in the win. Ragland paced the Purples with 19 points and Johnson added 18 points in the loss.

Aleksandar Dzikic – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“First of all, I like the atmosphere,” Jerusalem coach Aleksandar Dzikic began. “I really like all the noise and the pressure that the home fans were putting on us. I have great respect for our fans coming and supporting us in this kind of environment.“

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“Overall, we were leading most of the game, but it was a short gap,” Holon coach Guy Goodes said. “I think the big damage was 15 offensive rebounds to 18 points. Offensively, it was tough for us to create situations.”

Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Khadeen Carrington who scored the game winning basket reflected on the game, “I think in the first half, we didn’t do the things we wanted to do, but in the second half, we just stayed in it. We even got down a little bit, but we stuck together and got some big stops and some big baskets at the end. I think our fans were really great tonight, they kept us in the game.”

Chris Johnson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Chris Johnson also spoke about the the matchup, “Tough loss at home. We knew coming in that they’re a good defensive team, one of the best defensive teams in the Champions League. They limited us to 63 points. I think they did a good job of pressuring the ball, taking away our guards and tired them down.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv eased by Trento 78-60 after exploding on both ends of the court in the second half to clinch a playoff berth in Italy. After a Ho-hum first half that saw the hosts take a 40-37 lead, the Reds went on an 8-0 run to start off the second half and added a 7-0 run to cap off the final frame and take the victory.

Chinanu Onuaku scored 22 points, Jordan McRae added 15 points and Xavier Munford scored 11 points in the win.

Darion Atkins led the hosts with 15 points and Diego Flaccadori added points 15 points in the loss.

Danny Franco – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“First of all, it was not a great game of ours but in the second half, we came out playing defense as we knew,” Hapoel coach Danny Franco began. “We got 40 points in the first 20 minutes, we spoke about that at halftime and came back to receive only 20 points in the second half. Cannot go better than that, and we built our confidence on offense as well. Even on a bad shooting night, we came up with a good result.”

Chinanu Onuaku – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Big man Chinanu Onuaku also looked back at the victory, “We actually played defense [in the second half], we got stops, and it helped us getting in offense, getting easy buckets and have more flow on offense. [What we can still improve is] just our defense and team rebounding, that’s it. If we can do that, we can take it all the way.”

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