Randolph’s 30 points paces Jerusalem over Holon in overtime thriller

May 29, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Jerusalem got by Hapoel Holon 93-86 in overtime to take a 1-0 quarterfinal series lead. Levi Randolph kept the reds in front for the majority of the game but a furious comeback led by Justin Smith and Shachar Amir drew the purples even at 80-80 at the end of the regulation sending the contest into an extra session. From there Yovel Zoosman scored a pair of crucial buckets while Randolph did the same to give Yonatan Alon’s squad the hard earned win.

Speedy Smith – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Levi Randolph scored 30 points, Speedy Smith added 17 points while JaCorey Williams and Noam Dovrat each scored 10 points a piece in the win. Justin Smith scored 18 points as Tahjere McCall and Shachar Amir each scored 14 points in the loss.

Yonatan Alon – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We played well but we made our lives difficult in the fourth quarter,” Jerusalem coach Alon said. “I have to give credit to Holon for how they came and played that quarter and they were able to play physically. They came out much more aggressive at the start of the game and I told the guys that we had to react. I really believe in the guys and they are winners who know how to win games. That’s how we won the game because they are winners and that’s what worked.”

Amit Sherf – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“It was great to be in the game at the end and the matchup really began in the first few minutes when we were up by double digits,” Holon coach Amit Sherf said. “Jerusalem has a lot of tools but Justin Smith was key for us as we battled the entire game through. This is a series and I have to see what we can do better in the next game and I’m sure when I watch the video I’ll see 20 of those things.”

Levi Randolph – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

The game MVP Levi Randolph spoke about the overtime victory, “We turned up the defense in overtime and we were able to get some stops, get to the free throw line which was key down the stretch. It was a hard fought game and we knew it was going to be playoff style basketball. Thankfully we were able to come out on top. As for game two, we just have to focus in and focus on that game. Don’t get into anything with the crowd just play our style of basketball, excuse and finish.”

Shachar Amir spoke about the game from his point of view, “It was a disappointing loss but we have to lift up our heads. We broke down on the small details. Rebounds, free throws we were there and I believe that we can win this series. We are a team that has a very special squad with guys that want to win and we are all on the same page.”

Justin Smith – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

An active Justin Smith scored inside while Tahjere McCall also found points to get Hapoel Holon going and take a 12-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Speedy Smith and JaCorey Williams came back with points for Hapoel Jerusalem while Noam Dovrat dialled up long distance but a Shachar Amir 3-pointer kept the purples in front 17-15 after ten minutes of play.

Niv Misgav – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Shawn Dawson and Levi Randolph traded triples to begin the second quarter, Niv Misgav also got busy for Amit Sherf’s team but Randolph put home a 3-point play and a 3-pointer to put Yonatan Alon’s team ahead 28-23 with 5:47 left in the half. Nimrod Levi knocked down a corner 3-ball, Misgav did the same, Khadeen Carrington and Williams found the bucket as did McCall and Dawson but more points from Randolph gave the hosts a 39-33 advantage at halftime.

JaCorey Williams – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Randolph went for a pair from deep, while Williams added a deuce and Yovel Zoosman put in a 3-pointer to get the third quarter underway, Netanel Artzi put in two from long distance and Justin Smith scored off the glass to stay in the game but down 54-46 midway through the third quarter. Artzi dunked off a break, Randolph and Dovrat went from beyond the arc, McCall responded, Levi came right back from deep as did Drew Crawford but Jerusalem held a 65-59 lead after thirty minutes of action.

Shahar Amir – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Speedy Smith and Amir traded triples to start off the fourth quarter, Dawson scored an easy bucket, Williams found a basket inside the paint, Chris Johnson went from downtown but Crawford and Justin Smith kept Holon hanging around but down 76-68 with five minutes remaining in regulation time. Justin Smith scored another deuce, Amir went from deep, Crawford went for points inside as did Justin Smith yet again and another Amir corner 3-ball knotted the game up at 80-80 with 1:29 left. Speedy Smith split his free throws as did McCall to take the game into overtime.

Yovel Zoosman – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

Zoosman opened the extra session with points, Randolph hit a turnaround prayer for two, Amir, Artzi and McCall scored their free throws, Speedy Smith did the same at the other end while Zoosman put in a layup as Randolph scored from the charity stripe to close out the victory.

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