Holon grabs maiden win by edging Maccabi Tel Aviv

Captain Brown returns to help Jerusalem topple Eilat • Hapoel Haifa nips Rishon on late three

Hapoel Holon forward Willy Workman hangs from the rim after a dunk in the second half of his team’s 79-76 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in Winner League action (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Holon forward Willy Workman hangs from the rim after a dunk in the second half of his team’s 79-76 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in Winner League action
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Holon defeated visiting Maccabi Tel Aviv 79-76 in Israel Winner League action over the weekend to pick up its first win of the season.
CJ Harris starred for the hosts with 26 points as Holon controlled the game throughout the 40 minutes to notch the well-earned victory.
In addition to Harris, newcomer Maxine de Zeeuw scored 15 points and Chris Johnson added 13 points for Stefanos Dedas’s squad. Elijah Bryant led Maccabi with 21 points while Othello Hunter and Angelo Caloiaro each scored 12 points in the loss.
“Congrats to my players we controlled the game against a good team,” said Dedas. “I like that Maccabi came with a full rotation and that motivated us. We played a balanced game and had a good shooting day.”
Harris also reflected on the conquest.
“We struggled in the league so far this season. We practiced hard and it paid off tonight. We’re happy about it. We started the season off slow with some injuries but we are slowly getting better.”
Maccabi dug itself a deep hole early and was never able to dig out of it.
“We didn’t start the game off well and gave up 28 points in the first quarter against a good offensive team,” explained Maccabi coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos. “We knew that they could control the tempo and shoot threes and go after the offensive rebounds and although we planned to play much better in these areas we were now ready.”
Early on, Johnson scored inside and Harris found points from the outside for Holon while Scottie Wilbekin nailed a pair of jumpers for Maccabi as the hosts led 17-9 midway through the first quarter.
Johnson continued to score in the paint, Isaiah Miles went from deep and de Zeeuw scored as well as Hunter, Caloiaro and Dori Sahar put in points inside, but Holon held a 28-18 lead after 10 minutes.
Sahar, John DiBartolomeo and Oz Blayzer got the second quarter off to a good start for Sfairopoulos’s squad, but Guy Pnini and de Zeeuw answered from beyond the arc to keep Holon ahead 36-27 with six minutes to go in the frame.
Bryant drilled home a pair of triples and Blayzer put down a dunk off a fast break, but Harris and Frederic Bourdillon kept Dedas’s team in front 47-39 heading into the half.
Sahar opened the scoring in the third quarter, but Harris hit another three-pointer and a dunk from Willy Workman helped Holon maintain a 53-43 lead midway through the third quarter.
However, Bryant went from downtown, Hunter scored inside and Sandy Cohen put in a layup as Maccabi trimmed the deficit to just two points (60-58) after 30 minutes.
Yovel Zoosman, who made his return after injury, found points to kick off the fourth quarter and Caloiaro hit a jumper at the end of the shot clock, but Miles nailed a triple and Harris put in a layup to keep Holon in front 67-65 with 5:52 left in regulation time.
Bourdillon put in a layup, Johnson hit free throws for Holon but Wilbekin did as well to keep the score knotted up at 72-72 with 1:53 to go.
De Zeeuw drained a three and Bryant answered at the other end, but free throws by Harris and a clutch steal by Bourdillon sewed up the tight three-point Holon win.
Meanwhile, Hapoel Jerusalem downed Hapoel Eilat 100-79 at the Red Sea city as the Reds raced out to a 27-16 lead after 10 minutes and never looked back.
Chris Kramer was the main man with 20 points and eight rebounds for the capital city squad, Jerusalem captain J’Covan Brown, who made his return after being out for a couple of months injured, scored 14 points while TaShawn Thomas and Suleiman Braimoh also dropped 14 points apiece in the win.
Casey Prather led Ariel Beit Halachmi’s team with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Joe Ragland added 19 points in defeat.
Elsewhere, Nahariya dropped Maccabi Haifa 110-102 in overtime in an entertaining game up in the northern capital.
As regulation time wound down, Roman Sorkin tied the game up for Haifa at 97-97, but Kalin Lucas – who scored 31 points and dished out eight assists – led the way for Dany Franco’s team in the extra session to notch the win.
Jaron Blossomgame added 20 points and 13 rebounds while Devon Scott chipped in with 16 points and 12 boards to help take the victory. Sorkin led the Greens with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Donta Smith scored 21 points and Avi Ben Shimol checked in with 18 points in the tough defeat for Daniel Seoane’s team.
Also, Hapoel Haifa edged Maccabi Rishon Lezion 85-84 as Rakeem Buckles drilled home a corner three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to win the game for the Reds.
The triple capped off a 14-2 run to end the fourth quarter to give Elad Hasin’s squad the victory.
Keenan Evans led all scorers with 23 points, Amit Simhon added 19 points while Buckles ended the game with 10 points and nine rebounds in the win. Isaiah Taylor with 24 points and Trey Lewis with 23 points paced Guy Goodes’s Rishon team in the loss.
Hapoel Beersheba downed Hapoel Tel Aviv 88-75 in a lively and physical battle in the southern capital.
Rami Hadar’s desert squad controlled the game from the get-go as November’s MVP Caleb Agada once again paved the hosts with 27 points in the win. Eric Griffin scored 15 points while Spencer Weisz and Amir Bell scored 13 points for Beersheba.
Bar Timor led Ioannis Kastritis’s team with 18 points, but was held to only three over the final half of the game, Gabe York added 14 points and Yonatan Mor chipped in with 12 points in the loss.