By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv lost 84-82 at home to rival Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in a close and thrilling game that went into overtime. Devin Smith led Maccabi's scorers with 19 points. David Logan, Guy Pnini and Nik Caner-Medley also scored in double figures. Before tipoff, the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer team was honored for winning the Israeli championship in that sport.
Starters for Maccabi were Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, Yogev Ohayon, Darko Planinic and team captain Lior Eliyahu. Ohayon opened the game with points from the right wing, but Jerusalem soon claimed a 4-3 lead. Two straight triples by Smith put Maccabi up 9-6, but once again Jerusalem responded, tying the score, then surging ahead with an 18-13 lead with less than two minutes on the clock. A buzzer-beating trey by David Logan ended the quarter with Jerusalem up by only three, 19-16.
The second quarter started off the same way as the first, with a three pointer by Ohayon, that tied the score at 19. Nik Caner-Medley went to work, scoring a layup and serving up dishes to James in the paint and to Hickman, whose triple made it 26-20 Maccabi after two and a half minutes of action. A block by James (his fourth so far) kept Jerusalem off the scoreboard, and Guy Pnini sank three straight buckets (two of them from downtown) to boost Maccabi to 34-22 just past the halfway mark. Caner-Medley scored off an assist by Eliyahu with a minute remaining, but two buckets by Jerusalem ended the half with Maccabi up by four, 36-32.
Jerusalem tied the score once again early in the third quarter, but points by Caner-Medley from the top of the arc put Maccabi back in the lead. James added points in the paint, and Smith scored to make it 43-36 after three and a half minutes. Sylven Landesberg added points from the field and the foul line, and Caner-Medley's putback off a steal by Moran Roth gave Maccabi a double digit lead, 48-38. Smith and Caner-Medley extended that lead to thirteen, but Jerusalem woke up and crafted a comeback, scoring fourteen unanswered points and reclaiming the lead, 54-53 as the period ended.
Smith scored to put the lead back in Maccabi's hands at the start of the fourth quarter, but a technical on Ohayon gave the advantage back to Jerusalem. A steal and assist by Pnini led to points by Logan that tied the score at 57 after three and a half minutes. Points by James and Logan made it 61-58 with five and a half minutes left. Ron Steele sank a three pointer and 1 to put Jerusalem up 62-61, but Pnini made one foul shot and missed the second, and James jammed it home to put Maccabi back up 64-62. Free throws gave Maccabi some breathing room, but Jerusalem pulled within one with a minute and twenty seconds left on the clock. Maccabi battled on defense, but a last second triple by Josh Duncan tied the score at 68 as time ran out.
The overtime period started off with a free throw giving Jerusalem a one point lead, but Logan scored to make it a one point Maccabi lead 70-69 after twenty seconds. Duncan, Samuels and Steele combined to put Jerusalem up 77-70 with just under three minutes left in the extra period. James added two from the charity stripe, but Jerusalem wasn't fazed; a three by Steele from the corner made it a ten point lead for the visitors with 1:50 on the clock, 82-72. Maccabi continued to battle, but threes from Logan and Smith were only enough to make it close, 83-82 Jerusalem with :26 remaining. In the end Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv was defeated by Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem 84-82 in overtime.