Hapoel Tel Aviv dominate in win over Bnei Herzliya

Mar 5, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Herzliya 99-80 on Tuesday night to move back into first place in the Winner League standings for the time being.

Tyler Stone and Freddie Bourdillon started perfect from long range, with the pair sinking a pair of 3-pointers each with 12 of Herzliya’s first 14 points of the game coming from behind the arc. Conversely, the strong presence under the basket on both ends of the court of Jaylen Hoard and Tomer Ginat, who combined for Hapoel’s first 16 points, helped Hapoel to a 16-14 lead over the visitors at the first timeout 6 minutes into the game. Hapoel threatened to break away, however some sloppy play and sharp 3-point shooting from Herzliya – 6/10 for the period, including a buzzer beater from February Israeli player of the month Ethan Burg – meant that the home team’s lead was at 26-22 after 10 minutes.

Tyler Stone – Photo credit: Winner League

Stone continued to light it up at the start of the second quarter with consecutive 3s for the visitors and four minutes into the period the teams were locked at 32-32. It seemed as though that woke up Hapoel, with them going on a 7-0 run, including a 3-pointer from captain Bar Timor, forcing Herzliya coach Dan Shamir to call a timeout to stop the momentum and try to get his team to refocus. The teams traded buckets towards the end of the half, with Hapoel leading 47-40 after 20 minutes. The hosts had opportunities to take a bigger lead into the break, with Herzliya committing 11 turnovers for the half (Hapoel only 4), but the visitors’ 3-point shooting – 10/17 while Hapoel shot 3/10 from long range – kept them in touch.

Hapoel started the second half in the same fashion as the first, with Hoard and Ginat scoring 9 points early on and the lead was extended to double-figures 59-45 after only a few minutes of play in the quarter. The lead was maintained and slightly extended throughout the quarter, with Hapoel up 77-61 going into the last 10 minutes of regulation.

Bar Timor and Tomer Ginat – Photo credit: Winner League

By the last quarter, Herzliya looked like they had run their run and had little left in the tank. On the other side of the court, newly-signed Dusty Hannahs in his first appearance for Hapoel found his touch, scoring his first 6 points of the game to give the hosts an 87-63 lead just a few minutes into the period. Herzliya still didn’t throw in the towel, with Bourdillon and Evyatar Mor Yosef adding more 3s and the team finishing 15/29 from behind the arc to keep the deficit under 20 points, but ultimately Hapoel was too good, with Will Cummings also adding a large chunk of his points in garbage time, with the result was never in doubt.

Hoard (22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block), Cummings (18 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists), Ginat (15 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal) and Timor (12 points, 6 rebounds and 16 assists) led the scoring for Hapoel, while Stone (21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists), Marcus Carr (20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists) and Bourdillon (12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal) were in double-figures for Herzliya.

Dan Shamir and Danny Franco – Photo credit: Winner League

“It was difficult to get through the game,” Hapoel coach Danny Franco said. “Dusty [Hannahs] who joined yesterday for his first game, Jaylen [Hoard] who is still not 100%, Tomer [Ginat] who has lots of injuries, Brian [Angola] who has just retuned after a long time off the court. Everyone brings quality to the court, but we’re not playing everyone together. We have an important game in Eilat on Friday. We need to go in as required for that game, then next Wednesday [ the EuroCup single-game quarterfinal, where Hapoel will play the winner of tomorrow night’s Gran Canaria vs Besiktas game] to go in and do the best we can and arrive to the game as prepared as possible.”

“Well done to Hapoel,” Shamir said after the game. “They did their things. They’re a very good team that attacks the basket very well. We couldn’t disrupt them in what they do well.

“We need to learn, but I thought there were some good things,” Shamir continued. “We lost too many balls in the first half. Basketball is a developing game and slowly we’re getting our tools together.”

The game’s top-scorer Hoard had plenty of praise for his captain’s double-double: “I think he [Timor] is a big game changer. Already last year he was playing well and he’s continuing to play good. Personally, our connection – he spotted me a lot tonight and we had a good connection.”

Jaylen Hoard – Photo credit: Winner League

“I feel good,” Hoard said of his own health after he was out earlier this season with a knee injury. “My knee has been a bit sore, but it feels pretty good and you don’t think about it in the flow of the game. It was a good win and we need to focus on the next one.”

Hapoel Tel Aviv next take on Hapoel Eilat this Friday (14:30 IST / 7:30 EST) in the Southern Negev, while Herzliya travel to the Northern Negev to take on last-placed Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Monday (18:30 IST / 12:30 EST).

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