Maccabi Tel Aviv drops Hapoel Holon, grabs 1-0 semifinals series lead

May 30, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped Hapoel Holon 90-76 to take a 1-0 series lead in their Israel Basketball semifinals tilt. The yellow-and-blue dominated every facet of the game as Lorenzo Brown and Bonzie Colson chalked up a double-doubles to lead Oded Katash’s club to a double digit victory. The two sides will meet once again on Friday as Maccabi will look to advance to the finals while Holon will try to extend the series to a decisive third game.

Joe Ragland went wild to start the game with a trio of triples to give Hapoel Holon a 18-10 lead midway through the first quarter but Lorenzo Brown started to get busy for Maccabi Tel Aviv to cut down the early purple lead to 25-21 after ten minutes of play.

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Bonzie Colson and Shawn Dawson traded baskets while Wade Baldwin and John Dibartolomeo found points for Oded Katash’s squad but CJ Harris and Marvin Jones did the same for Guy Goodes’s team, however, buckets by Roman Sorkin, Baldwin and Dibartolomeo gave the hosts a 49-43 advantage at halftime.

Rafi Menco – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Harris got busy to begin the third quarter while Dawson also drilled one from downtown as Ragland went in for a pair of layups and Johnson checked in with a corner 3-ball to help Holon retake the lead 60-57 midway through the period. But, Colson went in for a 3-point play and added a triple, Rafi Menco on the inside and outside and Alex Poythress chipped in with a deuce to give Maccabi a 72-64 lead after thirty minutesof action.

Wade Baldwin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Baldwin began the fourth quarter from deep, Ragland responded with a layup, but Sorkin came back with points off the glass, Baldwin dunked and added a deuce while Brown hit a midrange and another one from deep to put away the game and give Maccabi a 1-0 series lead.

Maccabi celebrates – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Wade Baldwin led Maccabi with 20 points, Colson added 17 points and 12 rebounds, Brown scored 15 points and dished out 11 assists while Sorkin chipped in with 13 points in the win. Ragland scored 28 points and Johnson added 12 points in the defeat.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“Overall we did a good job in this game,” Katash began. “We didn’t begin the first and third quarters well as we gave up some of their fast break points and we weren’t focused in defense. But we very quickly woke up and did what we needed to on the boards and we took advantage of using our forwards despite not having Jarell Martin available for this game.

Guy Goodes – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“Maccabi made a great run that we couldn’t come back from,” Holon coach Guy Goodes said. “Every point is critical and they scored a lot off the fast break in what was a physical battle. Basketball games don’t end after 5 minutes or so because the bench comes into play and there are waves that go up and down. It’s tough to play Maccabi in their home arena and you’ll pay for every mistake that you make. Some of those plays really broke us and the game went their way.”

Roman Sorkin – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Roman Sorkin looked back at the win, “Even though we were very good on rebounding it was with our assists where we were very good in this game. We also had to stop them on defense in the second quarter which is what we did. As for my performance, I try to get into the flow of the game and Oded talks about that a lot. If I’m not scoring I’m helping my teammates but being consistent is really the most important thing that I can do.”

Netanel Artzi – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Netanel Artzi reflected on the loss, “There is a lot to learn from this game and we will have until Friday to make our adjustments. There are a number of players who have experienced a short series and they also know how to prepare for the mental aspect. We still have plenty of energy and we are getting ready for that game right now.”

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