By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Barak Netanya in an exciting game in week 9 of the Israeli Winner Sal League. Devin Smith was superb with 29 points (6 of 8 from three point range) and 10 rebounds, and with an index score of 43. Yogev Ohayon also had a great game, with 19 points and 5 assists. Ricky Hickman contributed 17 points and Sylven Landesberg added 14 points.
Starting the game for Maccabi were team captain Lior Eliyahu, Yogev Ohayon, Devin Smith, Shawn James, and Ricky Hickman. Smith opened the scoring with a stop and pop three, then went on to lead Maccabi to a 9-4 lead after four minutes of play. Ohayon and Hickman also scored from downtown, while Smith continued to rack up three pointers, adding a putback for a change of pace and giving Maccabi a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter got off to a slower start for Maccabi, and Netanya took advantage, coming within one, 25-24 after three minutes. It wasn't long before the hosts took the lead off a long three by Raymar Morgan, 29-28. The lead changed hands a few times in the next minutes, but Maccabi rallied, with a slam by Giorgi Shermadini (oop Eliyahu) and points by Smith, Ohayon and Eliyahu putting Maccabi up 49-41 going into the halftime break.
Points by Malcolm Thomas and two straight buckets by Sylven Landesberg (fadeaway jumper off the backboard and a three from the right corner), plus a slick hook shot by James made it 58-52 with about four a a half minutes left in the period. A layup on the fastbreak by Hickman set Maccabi's lead at ten, 62-52, but the pace slowed after that until the final seconds of the period, when Ohayon sank a bank shot trey from the top of the arc as the shot clock buzzer sounded. Ramel Bradley did the same for the hosts, sinking a three as time ran out and the quarter ended with the score 66-59.
Despite an early bucket by Smith, Netanya managed to pull to within three, 68-65 after just over three minutes of action in the fourth quarter. A three pointer by Hickman gave Maccabi some breathing room, but not for long as Netanya closed to within one, 71-70. But Maccabi wasn't ready to call it quits, as Hickman and Smith re-grew Maccabi's lead, taking it to 86-79 with less than a minute on the clock. The hosts made one final push but fell short as Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Barak Netanya 89-82.
Maccabi: Smith 29 points, 10 rebounds; Ohayon 19 points, 5 assists; Hickman 17 points; Landesberg 14 points; James, Eliyahu, Shermadini, Roth, and Thomas 2 points each.