Maccabi Tel Aviv overwhelms Hapoel Jerusalem in Israeli Classico

May 19, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv thumped Hapoel Jerusalem 103-71 to exact an ounce of revenge for the Reds Israel State Cup win over the yellow-and-blue late last week. Oded Katash’s squad came out flying early on and never let up as Joe Thomasson, Tamir Blatt and Lorenzo Brown scored at ease over a porous Jerusalem defense as the hosts rolled to the 32-point victory.

Joe Thomasson – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Thomason scored 17 points while Blatt and Brown each added 16 points each in the win and JaCorey Williams scored 18 points in the loss.

Oded Katash – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“I didn’t take it for granted that the guys came out to play hard after the state cup loss,” Maccabi coach Oded Katash said. “We fell in that game due to lack of intensity and aggressiveness and we didn’t come into that matchup in the best condition that we could have. The important game was the cup but it’s also good that we played hard and that the guys cared about it and made sure to play well in this game.”

Yonatan Alon – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

“Of course I’m disappointed we lost by 30 points and I thought we would play better than this,” Jerusalem head coach Yonatan Alon said. “I thought this squad would play better than what they did, Chris Johnson broke a finger and Speedy Smith rested but the guys who played I did expect more from.”

Roman Sorkin – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Roman Sorkin looked back at the victory, “It took us a bit of time to get over the state cup loss and we showed some character in this game and we have to make sure that we will be playing our best going forward. We had a drop in our energy in the cup game and Jerusalem is a very good team as we are as well. But we all want to win the Israeli league title and we against won anything this season which is bothering us.”

Nimrod Levi reflected on the loss, “Our energy just wasn’t there after the State Cup win. We have some very important games coming up ahead of the playoffs and we just didn’t perform the way we wanted to. I believe in the guys and I’m sure we will all come together and get ready both mentally and physically for the game against Hapoel Holon.”

Tamir Blatt and Joe Thomasson – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Joe Thomasson knocked down a pair of triples, Lorenzo Brown scored a couple of 3-point plays as Roman Sorkin answered Jasiel Rivero found points inside to give Maccabi Tel Aviv a 26-18 lead over Hapoel Jerusalem after ten minutes of play. JaCorey Williams and Levi Randolph closed the gap for the Reds as the second quarter got underway, Tamir Blatt drained a trio of 3-pointers while Brown and Jake Cohen scored as well to give the yellow-and-blue a 53-35 advantage at halftime.

Lorenzo Brown – Photo credit: Yehuda Halickman

Brown came out of halftime on fire with a pair from deep, Joe Thomasson added points a plenty while Sorkin scored as well for Oded Katash’s team as Williams tried to keep Yonatan Alon’s squad competitive but Maccabi upped their lead to 80-52 after thirty minutes of action. Blatt continued to score from downtown, Bonzie Colson started to find the bottom of the basket as did Rafi Menco to wrap up the blow out win.

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Hapoel Tel Aviv overwhelmed Kiryat Ata 98-77 as the reds continue to roll under new head coach Stefanos Dedas as the Greek tactician is now 5-0 in charge. Hapoel jumped out to an early 28-21 lead after the first quarter as newcomer Tyler Ennis made his debut and Jaylen Hoard returned to action after having been injured over the past couple of months. John Holland led the way with 16 points, Hoard and Zalmanson each added 15 points while Ennis and Munford scored 10 points a piece in the win. Amin Stevens and Yariv Amiram each scored 13 points in the loss.

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