Bnei Herzliya crushes Hapoel Holon 83-63 to punch ticket to State Cup Final

Feb 13, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Bnei Herzliya crushed Hapoel Holon 83-63 to advance to the Israel State Cup final where they will meet the winner of the Tel Aviv Derby which is slated to take place on Monday at 21:00. Oren Aharoni’s squad scored early and often thanks to Chinanu Onuaku who single handedly set the tone with scoring his team’s first 9 points in a variety of ways to stun Guy Goodes’s crew who were never able to recover from a 26-13 opening quarter deficit. Herzliya continued to pour on the offense with six players hitting from beyond the arc and five players in double digits to cruise to the win.

Shawn Dawson – Photo Credit: IBBA

This will be Herzliya first appearance in the State Cup final since the 2009-10 season where they fell to Maccabi Tel Aviv when they were known as Bnei Hasharon. Oren Aharoni’s squad will have one extra day of rest going into the final as they will look to win their first State Cup since 1994-1995 season when they defeated Hapoel Holon 88-77 to win the crown.

Chinanu Onuaku – Photo Credit: IBBA

Onuaku led the way for Herzliya with 21 points, Shawn Dawson added 15 points, Sandy Cohen chipped in with 12 points, Maurice Kemp scored 13 points and Quinton Hooker came close to a triple-double with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists in the win. Joe Ragland scored 25 points and Tyrus McGee scored 9 points in the loss.

“On the defensive side the guys did a great job to get Holon out of their rhythm,” Aharoni said following the game. “We did an amazing job on that side of the ball and we controlled the pace of play the entire game as we knew Holon is a good team when they run and we didn’t give up any points in transition.”

“This was a tough game and Herzliya did a great job as they hit in very high percentages,” a disappointed Goodes explained. “We didn’t score our open shots which hurt our confidence and now we have to move on and keep our heads up.”

Shawn Dawson – Photo Credit: IBBA

Herzliya swingman Shawn Dawson spoke about the win, “We played our game and we have a lot of tools to do so. If we can play like this we can beat every team in the league.”

Rafi Menco also reflected on the loss, “This was not a good game of ours and things didn’t go the way we wanted it to. Herzliya did what they wanted and we have to give them credit. Once we didn’t hit our open shots things didn’t go our way and we lost confidence and that was it.”

Chinanu Onuaku – Photo Credit: IBBA

Chinanu Onuaku proved tough to stop off the bat a the Bnei Herzliya big man got his club on the board early on in the first quarter but Joe Ragland came right back for Hapoel Holon and put in a pair of layups but Onuaku jammed the ball and drilled home a triple to hand Oren Aharoni’s squad a 9-4 lead midway through the period. Quinton Hooker, Sandy Cohen, Maurice Kemp and Chris Babb went from deep, Guy Pnini did the same for Guy Goodes’s team and Michale Kyser also scored but Herzliya held a 26-13 lead after ten minutes of play.

Joe Ragland – Photo Credit: IBBA

Ragland began the second quarter with points, Kyser dunked, Kemp and Onuaku answered and Shawn Dawson dialled up long distance to keep Herzliya in front 33-19 with 6:10 left in the first half. Kemp stole the ball and dunked, Dawson and Onuaku added points while Frederic Bourdillon went from downtown at the other end but Cohen scored a floater and Rafi Menco went from deep as Herzliya held an 18-point, 50-32 advantage at halftime.

Chris Babb – Photo Credit: IBBA

Babb and Ragland traded 3-pointers to get the third quarter underway, Cohen scored an and-1, Hooker went from deep while Menco matched him at the other end but Herzliya was in full control of the game leading 60-39 midway through the frame. Ragland hit a jumper in the paint, Dawson hit a 3-pointer and added a layup, as did Cohen to give Herzliya a 69-43 lead after thirty minutes of one sided action.

Tyrus McGee started off the fourth quarter with a trio of triples for his first points of the game while Dawson scored a putback to keep Herzliya in front 71-52 with 5:32 remaining in regulation time. Dawson scored a layup and Hooker hit a 3-pointer as Herzliya ran away with the victory.

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