Maccabi drops Holon, Jerusalem wins 13th straight, Hapoel TLV & Nes Ziona victorious

Mar 26, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv jumped all over Hapoel Holon early to cruise to a 84-74 victory ahead of a critical Euroleague Italian double week in which the yellow-and-blue will have a chance to clinch a postseason berth.

Guy Pnini and Rafi Menco made their return to the Holon Toto Arena after they had helped the purples win the domestic league championship last season but it was Roman Sorkin, Lorenzo Brown and Wade Baldwin began the game strong for Oded Katash’s crew as Maccabi raced out to a 49-30 lead at halftime. Joe Ragland and Manny Harris tried to get Guy Goodes’s team back into the game in the second half but it was too little too late as the yellow-and-blue notched the win.

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit:

Sorkin and Baldwin scored 15 points each and Brown added 13 points in the win, while Joe Ragland paced Holon with 25 points and Manny Harris added 22 points in the loss.

“We played very well in the second half when we held Holon to just 7 points,” Katash said following the contest. “We thought that we would have an easy second half but we missed open shots, however, all in all I’m satisfies as we split up the minutes and we were the dominant squad. I’m not so concerned about missing shots, what’s most important is defense.”

Guy Goodes and Oded Katash – Photo Credit:

“I didn’t feel that we could do much more,” Goodes said. “We have a very short roster and it’s tough when there were moments that we played at Maccabi’s pace for ten minutes. We gave it our all and now we have to continue on. We knew that they would control the rebounds as we don’t have the height that they do.”

Maccabi who are 17-13 with four games to go in continental action will now ready for Euroleague play against Bologna on Tuesday and then Milano on Thursday as they will look to clinch a place in the quarterfinals. Should the yellow-and-blue sweep the week they will punch their ticket to the postseason and could challenge for 5th place overall.

Hapoel Jerusalem squeaked by Hapoel Haifa 85-82 to win their 13th straight game across all competitions. The capital city reds came storming back from a 60-51 third quarter deficit as Brandon Brown and Khadeen Carrington led the way to cancel put a tremendous performance Justin Tillman to take the win.

Brandon Brown – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Brown led the way with 19 points, Carrington added 17 points and Zach Hankins chipped in with 13 points in the win. Tillman was the game’s high scorer with 31 points, Isaiah Cousins scored 18 points and Will Rayman scored 15 points in the loss.

“Maybe I should have let the team loss because with a winning streak there is a lot of pressure,” Jerusalem coach Aleksandar Dzikic began. “Winning is good and losing sometimes is good as well. I think we need to look better, maybe some of us think that we are better than we are.”

“Every game is different and we knew what they can do and we knew what we wanted to do against them,” Haifa coach Sharon Drucker said. “The game went well just like the State Cup semifinal and we saw a team in this contest. I was able to see the toughness that I wanted to see from our team.”

Nes Ziona defeated Hapoel Beer Sheva 87-75 thanks to a big third quarter to move into 6th place and a chance to automatically advance to the Championship Playoffs. Tyler Bey and Shaq Buchanan provided the 1-2 punch for the hosts which saw new recruits Zuf Ben Moshe and Travis Warech join the club as David Efiyani and Khalil Ahmad tried to keep the southerners close to no avail. Bey led the way with 24 points, Buchanan added 19 points while Ronnie Harrell scored 15 points in the win. Efiyani paced the visitors with 18 points, Ahmad scored 17 points and Greg Whittington chipped in with 11 points in the loss.

“I had to come out and play my game and play for my teammates,” Bey said following the game. “Beer Sheva are a great team and we have a lot of respect for them but I am getting better every day, watching film and working on the little things. We have to come out and compete in our next game against Jerusalem who are a really good team and we have to play better than we did in this game.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv downed Bnei Herzliya 105-87 as a 21-4 second half run helped the Reds to the win. After a fairly even first three quarters, Danny Franco’s star guard J’Covan Brown took the bull by the horns to help spur the hosts to a 28-14 and record the victory. Brown led all scorers with 25 points and 9 assists, Jordan McRae added 17 points and Idan Zalmanson checked in with 13 points in the win. Maurice Kemp scored 22 points, Julian Gamble chipped in with 18 points and Chris Babb added 15 points in the loss.

“Once again I am very hooky that we were able to turn up the gears defensively in the second half,” Franco said. “We defended much better and that helped us get into our offense. We traded baskets throughout the first half which is something that we don’t like which we discussed at halftime. We know how to play offense as we gave enough talent to do so and with our 5th win in 15 days we understood that this is not something easy to do.”

“The result doesn’t reflect the game as there were many parts where we were dominant and we played the way we wanted to,” Herzliya coach Oren Aharoni explained. “Two things decided this game, Hapoel’s depth which did the job when we tired by the end of the third quarter and there bench made the difference. We also lost focus at that points as well and 18 turnovers really hurt us.”

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