Bnei Herzliya downed Hapoel Holon 77-64 to continue their fine run of late as they now will ready for an Israel State Cup quarterfinal clash at Maccabi Tel Aviv. Oren Aharoni’s squad jumped out to double digit lead by halftime thanks to Chris Babb and Quinton Hooker, but Shawn Dawson’s third quarter performance pulled Guy Goodes’s team even at 54-54 at the start of the final frame. However, Hooker along with Maurice Kemp and Andy Van Vliet scored in bunches as the hosts took the 13-point victory.
Hooker led the way with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, Babb added 16 points while Van Vliet checked in with a 13 point and 13 rebound double-double in the win. Dawson paced Holon with 15 points, Marvin Jones added 12 points and 9 rebounds while Hayden Dalton also scored 12 points in the loss.
“This was a big battle against a very good team,” Herzliya coach Oren Aharoni said. “We made some big stops in the fourth quarter and we were able to win the game. We were in this game because of our defense and that is what won us the game.”
“Herzliya led the whole way and it was tough to play as Javin DeLaurier didn’t feel well,” Holon bench boss Guy Goodes began. “We were able to cut into the lead but it wasn’t enough. If I would have know they would only score 77 points I would have been happy.”
Game MVP Quinton Hooker reflected on the win, “The biggest thing was staying together as our communication picked up. We were in our spots and we were able to turn that into offense as guys hit big shots and it was an entire team effort. We knew it was going to be a battle and they are a high level team, but big games bring big performances.”
Hayden Dalton spoke about the contest from his point of view, “I’m not sure if I could not put a finger on why we didn’t come out well but their zone defense slowed us down a little. We were frustrated with our play and they were up most of the game.”
Chris Babb, Sandy Cohen and Quinton Hooker helped Bnei Herzliya get off to a quick start but Marvin Jones on the inside made sure to keep Hapoel Holon close as the hosts took a 21-15 lead after ten minutes of play. Babb continued to score at will from deep as Hooker also made an impact for Oren Aharoni’s squad while Niv Misgav, Hayden Dalton and Jones countered for the visitors but the home team stayed in front 43-32 at halftime.
Andy Van Vliet began the third quarter with points but Shawn Dawson scored from the outside and the inside, Joe Ragland put in points as did Dalton for Guy Goodes’s team to cut lead to 50-48, but Hooker and Gamble kept Herzliya ahead 54-51 after thirty minutes of action.
Dawson continued with the hot hand and went from downtown to tie the game up at 54-54 but Maurice Kemp, Yair Kravits, Hooker and Van Vliet all came back with points to go back up 64-57 midway through the fourth quarter. Dawson and Dalton responded right away, Kemp came back with a deuce, Ragland was sent to the showers with a pair of unsportsmanlike fouls as Hooker hit his free throws and then added a layup to wrap up the victory.
Hapoel Tel Aviv gritted out an 81-71 win over Hapoel Gilboa Galil as the Reds came back from a double digit deficit to take the hard earned win up in Gan Ner. Payton Willis helped the hosts to a quick 30-18 advantage after the first quarter but Danny Franco’s squad began to chip away at the lead as Jordan McRae, J’Covan Brown and JP Tokoto all picked up the offense in the second half to lead the visitors to the win.
McRae scored 20 points while Brown added 11 points and 9 assists and Tokoto scored 11 points as well in the victory. Willis paced Gilboa with 30 points and Justin Gorham scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.
We found our heart,” Danny Franco began. “Thisgame was similar to the one at Herzliya and that just can’t be. I am happy thatwe were able to use our depth and brining aggressiveness and intensity to holdGilboa to only 19 second half points and we were able to create turnovers andtake advantage of them.”