Maccabi Tel Aviv ran Hapoel Holon out of Yad Eliyahu 98-78 as the yellow-and-blue dominated every facet of the game to keep their record perfect at 3-0 in Israeli league play. Oded Katash’s squad jumped out to an early 26-19 lead after the first quarter thanks to fine play by Rafi Menco and Jarell Martin while Roman Sorkin, Lorenzo Brown and Josh Nebo bumped the advantage up to 52-40 by halftime. Joe Ragland tried to keep Guy Goodes’s team in the game but Nebo and Sorkin kept scoring while Jalen Adams and Wade Baldwin polished off the victory in the final frame to take the 20-point win.
The yellow-and-blue had a superb evening from beyond the arc going 16/32 for 50% while out rebounding Holon 43-24 while dishing out 27 assists to 19 in the win.
Adams led the way with 16 points going 4/5 from downtown, Baldwin added 13 points, Sorkin scored 14 points and Nebo chipped in with 12 points in the win. Ragland paced the visitors with 25 points while Erick Green added 19 points in the defeat.
“This was a very good game for us and we were able to keep to our game plan,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash explained. “We ran more, controlled the rebound but we’re still in a process. We were able to share the ball the way we wanted to and we were also able to allow many other players the chance to get some playing time.”
“The better team beat us today and they had more quality then us,” Holon coach Guy Goodes said following the game. “We had some poor minutes in defense and when you are at this level you can’t make those mistakes or else you will pay for them which we did.”
Jake Cohen looked back at the win, “It was overall a good night for us and we kept getting better. I liked our focus and intensity, they have a lot of talent but we imposed our will after a slow start and ended the game in a positive way.”
Green also spoke about the game that was, “It’s pretty simple, they outplayed us, outhustled us and they wanted it more. It’s a lesson for us and that’s where we want to get to. It was a wake up call for us.”
Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson scored for Hapoel Holon to open the proceedings, Jarrell Martin came back with a 3-point play for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Erick Green went for a long two, Lorenzo Brown answered with a triple as the score was all knotted up at 8-8 midway through the first quarter. Kenneth Kadji went from deep for Guy Goodes squad, Josh Nebo put down an alley-oop while Rafi Menco scored off an Yiftach Ziv steal, Martin dialled up long distance, Ziv hit a step back 3-pointer, Menco and Green traded triples and Johnson and John Dibartolomeo did the same as Oded Katash’s team grabbed a 26-19 lead after ten minutes of end to end action.
Wade Baldwin began the second quarter from deep, Niv Misgav drilled home a pair of 3-pointers, Sorkin found points inside while Ragland did the same as but Guy Pnini also went from downtown as the yellow-and-blue held a 38-32 lead with five minutes left until halftime. Jalen Adams scored his first Israeli league points for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Brown hit a jumper in the paint, Adams fed Nebo for an alley-oop, Ragland went from beyond the arc as did Brown to give the hosts a 52-40 lead at halftime.
Marvin Jones scored to get the third quarter underway, Jake Cohen responded, Ziv fed Nebo for an alley-oop, Ragland went from deep but Ziv and Nebo teamed up once again for some showtime as Maccabi stayed ahead 61-49 midway through the period. Ragland once again scored from long distance, Sorkin scored in the paint, Johnson answered right back with a deuce and then a triple, but Baldwin and Dibartolomeo both scored as Maccabi headed into the final frame with a 72-59 advantage.
Misgav scored a long two from the corner, Baldwin nailed a pair of elbow 3-pointers, Green put in a 3-point play but Adams answered with two triples to give Maccabi a 86-69 lead with 5:24 remaining in regulation time. Green scored a layup, Adams added a deuce and a 3-pointer, Cohen drained one from deep as well while Ziv and Adams teamed up for a Sorkin dunk to put the exclamation mark on the victory.
Hapoel Haifa needed overtime to knock off Bnei Herzliya 87-85 as Anthony Hickey scored the game winning layup after having just missed the winner in regulation time afetr scoring just a split second too late. Hickey led the way with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, Jalen Jones added 20 points and Devonte Upson chipped in with 16 points in the victory. Maurice Kemp paced the hosts with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Sandy Cohen added 19 points in the loss.