Misgav comes up in the clutch as Hapoel Holon edges Kiryat Ata in entertaining clash

Mar 17, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon got by Kiryat Ata 88-82 thanks to a pair of late triples by Niv Misgav along with stellar play from up and coming Israeli Shachar Amir to notch the win ahead of their final game in Basketball Champions League Round of 16 Group Stage action where they will seek to advance to the quarterfinals of the competition with a win over Murcia.

Shachar Amir and Kevin Hervey – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Justin Smith and Netanel Artzi got busy early for the purples but strong play in the paint from Amin Stevens along with points from Ben Saraf kept the visitors close but down 44-42 at halftime. Amir started to score in the second half while Smith continued to find the basket at will but Stevens and Saraf kept Kiryat Ata hanging around, however, two late triples by Misgav allowed Amit Sherf’s team the chance to pull away for good as they sewed up the victory.

Justin Smith – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Smith scored 22 points, Amir added 19 points and Artzi chipped in with 16 points in the win. Stevens scored 25 points and Saraf added 18 points in the loss.

Amit Sherf – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“We expended so much energy in this win,” Hapoel Holon Amit Sherf said. “The fans really supported us on the entire way and to start the game with just 3 imports you need everything to be on your side. I’m so proud of the guys that they played hard and although we lost the battle of the boards we were able to move the ball around well and this was a very important win for us in the standings. We were able to handle this test and now it’s on to play Murcia.”

Sharon Avrahami – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“It was a weird game,” Kiryat Ata coach Sharon Avrahami said. “We controlled the rebound but we had a very tough time from deep, it’s hard to win with those low percentages. When Holon was winning by 15 points many teams would have just given up but we came back, however, the two 3-pointers from Misgav gave them the win. All in all, we missed some easy shots, we made a huge comeback on the road but it feels that we really missed out.”

Netanel Artzi – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Netanel Artzi spoke about the victory, “It was a very intense game and Kiryat Ata is a very good team with young players who battle for every ball. For us playing with just 7 players we had to give that much more extra, we won the game and perhaps we could have closed it out earlier but we were able to take the victory in any case.”

Amin Stevens – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Amin Stevens spoke about the game from his point of view, “They were short a few players and we wanted to use our rotation to our advantage and attack their point guard, that was our strategy. But they hit some big shots at the end and they just wanted to more. They have a team of really good players and they can step up and even with a short rotation players getting more minutes allows them to gain more confidence.”

Justin Smith and Netanel Artzi – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Justin Smith got busy in the paint and Netanel Artzi scored from the inside and outside to get things going for Hapoel Holon, Amin Stevens scored at will on the inside while James Batemon dropped a pair of deuces and a triple for Kiryat Ata, Shachar Amir went from downtown and Smith scored again inside but the visitors held a 20-18 lead after ten minutes of play.

Ben Saraf – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Ben Saraf led off the second quarter with a pair from deep, Niv Misgav dialled up long distance and Drew Crawford scored for Amit Sherf’s team but buckets by Isaiah Mucius, Ben Saraf and Stevens bumped the lead up to 32-25 midway through the period. Smith dunked, Artzi put in a deuce, Amir knocked down a corner 3-ball, Smith hit a deuce and dunked, Guy Palatin and Amir traded baskets, Tomer Porath scored but Amir drained another triple to give Holon a 44-42 advantage at halftime.

Netanel Artzi – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Smith and Stevens traded baskets to begin the third quarter, Artzi put in a 3-point play, Artzi drilled home a 3-pointer, Akia Pruitt came back with a 3-point play, Crawford and Saraf went back and forth with buckets, Amir hit a jumper, Smith scored off the glass and Crawford scored off an inbounds play to keep Holon in front 64-61 after thirty minutes of action.

Niv Misgav – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Yotam Hanochi drilled home a 3-pointer to open up the fourth quarter, Amir and Smith blew by the defense for a pair of layups, Artzi fed Smith for a monster alley-oop, Crawford went from deep to go up 76-61 but Stevens, Saraf, Batemon and Palatin from downtown responded for a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 76-71 with five minutes remaining in regulation time. Amir dialled up long distance, Saraf and Porath went from deep, Misgav answered with a pair from downtown, Kevin Hervey hit two from the free throw line and Misgav hit one to wrap up the win.

Adam Ariel – Photo credit: Guy Bitman, Maccabi Ramat Gan

Maccabi Ramat Gan defeated Bnei Herzliya 87-82 as six players featured in double digits in the win for Shmulik Brenner’s team. Isaiah Miles scored 15 points while JP Tokoto, Itay Moskovits and Adam Ariel all scored 13 points in the win while Mike McGuirl who was among his debut for Dan Shamir’s squad scroed a team high 19 points Tyler Stone scored 17 points and Adrian Banks scored 16 points in the loss.

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