Maccabi Tel Aviv downs Hapoel Holon, Hapoel Jerusalem gets by Hapoel Galil Elyon

Apr 13, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Holon 91-82 to win their 16th straight game in Israeli league action. The purples kept the game close throughout, but when it came to fourth quarter crunch time, both Wade Baldwin and Lorenzo Brown scored key baskets to send the yellow-and-blue to the win.

Brown and Baldwin both scored 14 points, Tamir Blatt added 11 points while Josh Nebo and Roman Sorkin each chipped in with 10 points a piece in the win. Justin Smith paced the visitors with 20 points while Kevin Hervey scored 17 points in the loss.

The big men for both teams carried the scoring over the course of the opening ten minutes as Jake Cohen and Josh Nebo scored inside for Maccabi Tel Aviv while Justin Smith and Kevin Hervey did the same for Hapoel Holon but the hosts held a 27-24 after the first quarter. Hervey and Yotam Hanochi helped Amit Sherf’s team jump out in front in the second quarter, but bring play from Roman Sorkin, Lorenzo Brown and Antonius Cleveland sent Oded Katash’s squad into halftime with a 45-43 advantage.

Antonius Cleveland – Photo credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Smith scored at will for the visitors while Netanel Arzti added points as well in the third quarter but Tamir Blatt and Rafi Menco countered to keep Maccabi in front 67-65 after thirty minutes of action. However, the duo of Baldwin and Brown took over the game in the fourth quarter as the later hit a pair of triples as time wound down to sew up the win.

Oded Katash – Photo credit: Dov Halickman

“We found the way to win in a tough game and the guys deserves a lot of credit,” Oded Katash said. “We are a team that has quality and we found the energy. We won through our offense and we are in the midst of a very busy time but everyone understands that Baskonia’s Markus Howard is an excellent scorer and we have to pay attention to that. We perhaps can take some things from this game, but we have to make sure that we are there mentally. We are proud as to how we played throughout the regular season and we have to do the same now in the Play In. It’s just too bad that we can’t play here in Tel Aviv.”

“We fought and we tried to get to the end with the score being tight,” Holon coach Amit Sherf said. “But we can’t have five guys on the court watching the rebound. We allowed too many easy one on one shots from Brown and Baldwin.”

Lorenzo Brown – Photo credit:

The game MVP Lorenzo Brown spoke about the win, “It’s been a difficult process but staying focussed and together and doing what Maccabi does which is win. We have a bunch of great scorers on our team. The fan support has been great even though it’s been from afar. As for myself, I feel that I am healthy and it’s been a good three months since I was feeling like myself. As for Baskonia, if we keep our head above water and fight and do what we are doing for the most part of the season then we will get the job done.”

Justin Smith – Photo credit:

Justin Smith reflected on the loss, “We did a good job for the first 35 minutes, but we may have gotten worn out at the end. Maccabi is talented group and they have a lot of depth, they threw a lot at me but I feel that I was able to handle it.”

Photo credit:

Hapoel Jerusalem got by Hapoel Galil Elyon 80-71 as Levi Randolph’s huge fourth quarter helped the Reds comeback from a 66-61 deficit after thirty minutes to take the win.

Randolph scored 18 points, JaCorey Williams added 13 points and Speedy Smith scored 12 points in the win. Roi Huber paced Galil Elyon with 18 points and James Feldeine chipped in with 11 points in the loss.

“We have to give credit to Hapoel Galil Elyon,” Jerusalem’s interim coach Yonatan Alon said. “We made some tactical changes in the second half which worked out for us to take the win. We tried the two big men together which we hadn’t done in the past but worked out well for us here. As for the security situation, the players know that they are in good hands as they have always been this season.”

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