By Amy Samin
In week 6 of the Israeli Winner Sal League, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Fattal Eilat by a score of 79-68. Lior Eliyahu was top scorer with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Ricky Hickman added 17 points, Devin Smith contributed 16 points, and Malcolm Thomas scored 15 points and pulled down 7 rebounds.
Maccabi's starters were Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, Shawn James, Lior Eliyahu and Yogev Ohayon. Eilat jumped to a 5-2 lead early in the period, but a layup by Ohayon and free throws by Eliyahu made it 8-5 Maccabi after two minutes of action. Smith added points from the top of the arc, plus two buckets in the paint (the second off a great dish by Eliyahu) to make it 17-12 just before the halfway mark in the period. Eilat redoubled their efforts, cutting their deficit and then retaking the lead, 20-19. The lead changed hands several times in the next minutes, but the quarter ended with the hosts leading 24-21.
The second quarter got underway with a dunk by Malcolm Thomas for Maccabi, but Eilat hung on to the lead through the first half of the period. A triple and 1 by Hickman set the stage for Eliyahu's tying shot, 33-33 with 5:03 on the clock. Hickman added another trey and Smith's steal/dunk made it 38-33. Maccabi's defense kept a tight hold on Eilat, while Thomas added more points in the paint, including a bucket off an assist from Smith that made it 44-35 Maccabi at the half.
Eilat came out in the third quarter with guns blazing, going on a 13-4 scoring run that tied the score at 48 with 6:12 on the clock. Maccabi worked to stay close, but the hosts ran away to a 9 point lead, 59-50 with a minute left in the period. Points by Thomas in the paint, a steal and free throws from Smith and a putback by Eliyahu at the buzzer ended the period with Eilat clinging to a 59-56 lead.
Two drives to the basket by Hickman and points by Eliyahu gave Maccabi back the lead in the early minutes of the final period. A huge three pointer by Moran Roth added some breathing room, and six straight points by Thomas extended the lead to double digits, 71-61 with just under four minutes remaining. Maccabi's defense kept a stranglehold on Eilat's shooters, holding Eilat to only 9 points in the quarter, while Hickman, Eliyahu and Smith went to town. In the end, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Fatal Eilat 79-68.
Maccabi: Eliyahu 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists; Hickman 16 points, 5 rebounds; Smith 16 points; Thomas 15 points, 7 rebounds; Ohayon 4 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists; Roth 3 points; Pnini and Caner-Medley 2 points each.