Maccabi Tel Aviv punches ticket to finals with 2-0 sweep over Hapoel Holon

Jun 2, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv punched their ticket to the Israel Basketball League Finals with a 112-85 win over Hapoel Holon to sweep their best-of-3 semifinal series 2-0. Bonzie Colson was red hit from the get go and set the pace for the yellow-and-blue while the squad as a whole couldn’t miss from downtown with 18/34.

Oded Katash’s team will face the winner of the Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem series which Danny Franco’s club can wrap up at home in the Drive In Arena on Saturday night after blowing out the capital city reds 86-55 in game one this past Wednesday.

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Colson scored early and often over the course of the first half as he led Maccabi on a 14-0 second quarter run to grab a 54-38 lead at halftime. Lorenzo Brown, Wade Baldwin and Jake Cohen all got busy in the third quarter and held Joe Ragland, Chris Johnson and Niv Misgav at bay to notch the victory.

Bonzie Colson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Seven Maccabi players scored in double figures as Colson led the way with 23 points, Brown added 13 points, Baldwin checked in with a 10 point/10 assist double-double while Cohen chipped in with 11 points in the win. Johnson scored 17 points and Ragland scored 16 points in the loss.

Oded Katash – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“This was almost a perfect game from us,” Katash said following the game. “Of course there were moments we could have played better but we controlled the rebounds, we dished out 34 assists and only turned over the ball 5 times which is an incredible statistic. We were able to run and play our basketball. All in all I’m very content with how we played in this game.”

Guy Goodes – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“The matchup was very tough against them in every parameter,” Guy Goodes commented. “We tried to improve but their size and many other things it’s just very hard to go up against. Maccabi from the first moment were scoring and used their deep bench. It’s just very hard to play them.”

Jake Cohen – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Jake Cohen spoke about the victory, “I don’t think that it was an easy game although the score may say that, but we had to work hard at both ends. Our attitude and body language was excellent and it definitely wasn’t easy. We handled some of their runs and we went on some of our own.”

Chris Johnson looked back at the game that was, “They are a Euroleague team, their pace their size and being able to switch. The main thing for me is to compete for a championship and we won last year but we came up short this year and we have to gave Maccabi credit.”

Alex Poythress – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Wade Baldwin fed Alex Poythress off the left wing for a dunk and Lorenzo Brown lined up for a triple to get the game going for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Netanel Artzi and Shawn Dawson got Hapoel Holon on the board but a corner 3-ball by Baldwin and points from Bonzie Colson gave the Yellow & Blue a 10-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Poythress form the inside and Colson from the outside benefited from Jake Cohen assists, while Cohen then went from deep himself to go up by double digits.

John Dibartolomeo – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

John Dibartolomeo scored off a steal and went from downtown, CJ Harris and Joe Ragland found points, Rafi Menco dialled up long distance as Niv Misgav did the same at the other end, but buckets by Darrun Hilliard and Brown gave Oded Katash’s team a 33-19 lead after ten minutes of action.

Lorenzo Brown – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Joe Ragland scored his first basket of the game to begin the second quarter, Misgav added points from the inside and outside, Hilliard went from way downtown but Harris scored a 3-point play to pull Guy Goodes’s team to within 36-29 with 6 minutes left in the first half. Colson went off the glass, Sorkin dunked, Chris Johnson went from the corner as did Misgav, Colson nailed a pair of 3-pointers, Brown and Menco drilled from deep as well to polish off a 14-0 run and take a 54-38 advantage into halftime.

Shawn Dawson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Dawson and Hayden Dalton opened the third quarter with points, Cohen answered right back with a pair of buckets, Colson scored from the inside and outside as Dawson responded but Maccabi stayed in front 65-50 midway through the period. Dibartolomeo kept the 3-point parade going with another one from deep, Colson scored an off balance jumper, Brown went from deep and added a turnaround jumper, Johnson tried to keep Holon in the game with a pair of 3-pointers, Cohen scored and Baldwin put in a 3-point play to keep Maccabi ahead 82-62 after thirty minutes of action.

Guy Pnini – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Ragland and Baldwin traded baskets to begin the fourth quarter, Guy Pnini went from deep, Johnson and Poythress went back and forth while Iftach Ziv found points off the glass with garbage time galore ruling the final frame as Maccabi advanced to the finals.

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