“He has a lot going for him” Hayden Dalton gives Goodes plenty of food for thought after lights out performance

Apr 10, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Hapoel Holon and Maccabi Tel Aviv played a superbly entertaining game of basketball on Saturday night and this was after both teams had performed admirably in their respective European competitions just a few days before. Holon took a 1-0 lead in the Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Strasbourg while Maccabi demolished Barcelona in Spain in their penultimate game in Euroleague play ahead of the postseason.

While Holon came out on top 85-82 after an end to end battle that saw Guy Goodes’s team shoot lights out from deep going 18/39, it was Hayden Dalton’s showing that stunned many in attendance and watching on TV as the forward went 7/13 with five of those triples coming early and often to get the Purples rolling.

Dalton joined the club at the end of January but was injured soon after arriving in Israel from San Pablo Burgos and only made his debut on March 26th in a loss at Hapoel Galil Elyon. In fact, this was Dalton’s third team of the 2021/22 season after having started the campaign in France with JL Bourg.

In the 25-year old’s second game, Israeli basketball fans began to see what Dalton could offer when he dialed up long distance 3 times as Holon won on the road at Bnei Herzliya 91-82.

Finally, with Holon fans appetite whetted by Dalton’s knack for hitting his shot from beyond the arc, he let loose at home in front of over 4,000 supporters packed into the Toto Arena stands to see the 6”9 Parker, Colorado native do what he knows best, hit one 3-pointer after the next against first place Maccabi Tel Aviv. One after the next Dalton went from deep sending the crowd into pandemonium while the Yellow & Blue defenders couldn’t figure out how to stop him.

Guy Goodes – Photo Credit: Champions League

“I wasn’t surprised by his performance because I see him at practice,” Goodes acknowledged following Dalton’s lethal display from downtown. “He had an injury and then began to practice where we saw his shooting there. We didn’t know how he would react in a game situation under pressure but against Herzliya he gave us a little taste as to what he can do. He gained confidence as did we and we put him into the rotation to see how he would be.”

And how he would be was pretty darn good.

Hayden Dalton and Tyrus McGee – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

Dalton attended Central Wyoming College for his freshman year before transferring to the University of Wyoming where he averaged 17.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game in his senior season for the Cowboys helping Allen Edwards’s squad notch a 20-13 record in the 2017/18 campaign.

From there it was on to Denmark and Bakken Bears where he spent his first season overseas and then it was on to the Czech Republic where he played under Israeli bench boss Oren Amiel at Nymburk for two years before beginning this season with JL Bourg.

Hayden Dalton – Photo Credit: BCL

Dalton also reflected on his 24-point performance, “When I arrived here I got injured and I was out for a month and a half. I worked hard to come back and then I worked hard to get into shape. My coach back home told me that I had to be ready when they call my name; I was ready and I enjoyed the game.”

“I am finding a way to get everyone involved,” Goodes noted. “The good thing is that every two and half days there is another game that everyone can contribute to. Hayden Dalton has a lot going for him and I’d have to be crazy not to think as to what he can do. He was disappointed that he wasn’t dressed for the last game here.”

Maccabi’s interim coach Avi Even also spoke about Dalton’s showing against his club, “Dalton is a good player and we knew that he lives to shoot but we allowed him to have too many open shots.”

The key here was that not only did the Yellow & Blue give up too many open shots to Dalton but they gave up way too many uncontested attempts to the entire Holon team. Take away Dalton and Goodes’s squad went 11/26 for 42% which is just unacceptable from Maccabi’s point of view.

Oz Blayzer – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We knew that the game was going to be small ball and that is not something that we are used to,” Yellow & Blue forward Oz Blayzer explained. “We had to know how to adjust with five shooters but they are a very talented team with some very good shooters and they took an early lead which forced us to chase them the entire game. We had to be a bit more focused on defense, but maybe the schedule and exhaustion got to us. They hit 18 3-pointers and we had to stay closer at the start of the game. We will learn from this.”

While Maccabi’s defense in this game could be blamed on having played Thursday night in Barcelona and only arriving back in Israel late Friday afternoon with the Holon game coming Saturday night, Even’s bigger concern is ensuring that the team doesn’t start a tailspin of bad results after playing their best basketball of the season over the past few weeks. With the Euroleague playoffs slated to begin in less than two weeks, this would be not a be a good time for the Yellow & Blue to revert back to how they played back in the dead of winter when they went on an 8 game losing streak.

Avi Even – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We had a good streak recently, Even commented. “We have to learn from the last time when we had a bad run in order for it not to happen again. We don’t have a lot of time and I will watch the game and analyze it. I am happy that we didn’t fall apart and that we were in it but we were missing some energy.”

With the win, Holon leapfrogged Maccabi in the standings to move into 2nd place while the Yellow & Blue dropped from first to third with Hapoel Jerusalem taking over at the top. However, this doesn’t mean much to Goodes who has much bigger fish to fry over the upcoming few weeks.

“I am not thinking about the championship and right now and I am focusing on making history in the Champions League, so I can’t look too far ahead. We are trying to improve the team and see our players fresh with the crazy schedule.”

Hayden Dalton – Photo Credit: Basket.co.il

While Dalton wasn’t dressed last game against Strasbourg he may very well end up being in the lineup as Adam Smith strained a leg muscle in the first half of the last matchup between the two teams. However, one thing is certain, Holon has to put the win over Maccabi quickly in the rear view mirror.

“Strasbourg is a very good team and we played very well last game,” Dalton said. “We have to now forget about this game and get ready for the next.”

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