Ragland paces Holon to win and sweep over Galil Elyon

May 22, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon defeated Hapoel Galil Elyon 97-88 to advance to the semifinals in three game sweep where they will play the winner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beer Sheva series. The purples had a tough time the entire 40 minutes but veterans Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson helped spur the hosts to the victory.

Deishuan Booker got busy early but so did Ragland and Johnson as Holon grabbed a 49-44 lead at halftime. Bryce Washington, Nimrod Levi and Roi Huber kept Barak Peleg’s squad close in the third quarter but the dynamic duo of Ragland and Johnson kept scoring to send Guy Goodes’s team into the next round of play.

Joe Ragland and Chris Johnson – Photo Credir: Yehuda Halickman

Ragland led the way with 31 point and 11 assists, Johnson added 20 points and Hayden Dalton chipped in with 12 points in the win. Booker paced the visitors with 21 points, Levi scored 19 points and Washington added 16 points in the loss.

Guy Goodes – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“I want to give credit to Galil as they are a very tough team,” Goodes said. “Last season we also defeated them in a sweep but it’s not easy to defeat them so many times. Now we are in the top 4 where we should be and we have a big challenge ahead of us. We are peaking right now and we want to continue. One thing is for certain is that we will give our all on both ends of the floor as we have a chance to do something special this season.”

Barak Peleg – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“It’s always hard to look back at the entire season,” Peleg commented. “But if I try and see what we had gone through I’m very proud as to how this campaign went as we continue to grow as a club. I feel that we reached our goals and in this playoff it’s tough to play a team like Hapoel Holon.”

Jie Ragland – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

The game MVP Joe Ragland looked back at the series while looking ahead, “I had to be aggressive in this game because in the first two my teamsters stepped up. We definitely wanted to finish off the series and that was the mission. Chris Johnson and I are veterans and we have been there before so we want to try and continue our success.”

Nimrod Levi – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Nimrod Levi also looked back at the campaign that was, “It’s not easy right now to sum up the season but we are disappointed. On paper it was a 3-0 sweep, but we were there and we feel that we could have done something in this series. We could have won this game. If I look back at the entire season I am proud after having such a difficult start to the season. To finish in 5th place with such a low budget where we beat some of the big teams and had a great time at our home arena it’s all a positive combination.”

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Joe Ragland made sure to show that he deserved to earn a spot in the Israeli League 1st Team All-Stars as he shredded the Hapoel Galil Elyon defense with a pair of triples and a couple of layups but Deishuan Booker, Nimrod Levi and Itay Moskovitz all scored to give the visitors a 23-21 lead after ten minutes of play.

Shawn Dawson – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Chris Johnson started to get busy while Shawn Dawson put down a high flying dunk and Ragland drilled home a third triple while Moskovitz went from deep as did Roi Huber and Booker added a layup to stay close as Holon grabbed a 34-32 lead with 5:19 left in the second quarter. Johnson and Dawson came out of the timeout with points Hayden Dalton went twice from downtown, Nimrod Levi answered with a pair as well plus added a layup, but Niv Misgav also dialled up long distance to keep Guy Goodes’s team in front 49-44 at halftime.

Deishuan Booker – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Galil Elyon came out strong to begin the third quarter as Bryce Washington, Devyn Marble, Huber and Booker all scored, but Ragland and Dalton kept filling the basket as Holon stayed ahead 58-56 midway through the period. Levi and Washington scored for Barak Peleg’s team, Ragland kept finding points while Booker did the same at the other end but Holon kept the lead 70-66 after thirty minutes of action.

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Booker went from deep to get the fourth quarter underway, Levi went from downtown, Ragland dropped a 3-point play, Johnson put in a deuce, Washington answered, but Harris came back with a layup at the other end to keep Holon in front 79-78 with five minutes remaining in regulation time. Johnson again put in a bucket, Washington responded, but Dawson and Johnson free throws along with baskets by Dalton, Ragland and Artzi to wrap up the series.

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