By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv claimed their sixteenth victory of the season in week 17 of the Israeli Winner Sal League, defeating Hapoel Fattal Eilat 72-70 in overtime. Devin Smith was outstanding, with 23 points and 10 rebounds. David Logan added 16 points and Sylven Landesberg contributed 11 points. Both Lior Eliyahu and Ricky Hickman sat out the game with injuries.
Starters for Maccabi were Nik Caner-Medley, Yogev Ohayon, Sylven Landesberg, David Logan and Darko Planinic. The game got off to a slow start, with Maccabi taking the lead early off points by nearly all of the starters. Maccabi also fought hard under the basket on defense, and halfway through the period the score was 10-7. Ohayon added a layup and Logan drained a three to make it 15-9 with three and a half minutes left in the period. Eilat scrabbled their way back into the game thanks mostly to Darius Washington, and the period ended with Maccabi up by one, 19-18.
The second quarter got underway with points by Smith and Moran Roth, who scored from downtown to make it 23-20 after a minute and a half. The visitors from the south continued to fight, taking a 29-25 lead with four minutes left in the period due to the efforts of Ezekiel Skverer. Eilat kept the momentum, cruising to a 33-29 lead as the half ended.
Maccabi came out after the break looking a lot more like Maccabi, with a dunk and points rom the foul line by James tying the score after two minutes of action, 33-33. The game stayed close, with Maccabi inching ahead and Eilat retying the score, until Smith scored to make it 39-37 Maccabi midway through the period. Points by James and Logan extended Maccabi's lead to 42-37, but Eilat closed the gap a bit and the period ended with the score 42-41.
Eilat immediately retook the lead at the start of the fourth quarter, but Smith came through as usual, scoring off a dime from James. The lead continued to seesaw, as James and Smith both scored (the latter after stealing the ball) to make it 49-47 Maccabi after three and a half minutes. Eilat immediately scored, butSmith responded with a layup. Eilat scored to make it 58-51 with just over three minutes left in the period, but Smith scored from downtown and the charity stripe, putting Maccabi within five, 60-55 with just over two and a half minutes left in the game. Landesberg scored off dimes from James and Smith, closing the gap to 62-59 with less than two minutes left. Logan scored from beyond downtown to tie the score at 62 with :25 on the clock. Eilat wound down the clock on the final possession but couldn't score, and the game went into overtime.
The overtime period began with another trey by Logan, this time from the right wing. Tough defense by Maccabi forced a shot clock violation on the visitors, and then Logan decided to do it again, 68-62 Maccabi with three and a half minutes left. As they had throughout the game, Eilat fought their way back, whittling the deficit to 70-69. A dunk by James (assist Smith) was enough to give Maccabi the win, 72-70 over Hapoel Fattal Eilat.
Maccabi: Smith 23 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals; Logan 16 points; Landesberg 11 points, 5 rebounds; James 9 points, 7 rebounds; Caner-Medley 5 points; Ohayon 4 points; Planinic and Roth 2 points each.