By Amy Samin
In game 1 of the best of five semifinal series of the Israeli League championships, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Hapoel Eilat 91-82. Jeremy Pargo was outstanding with 32 points (6 of 10 from 3). Devin Smith added 14 points, Nate Linhart contributed 12 points, Alex Tyus scored 11 points, and Yogev Ohayon scored 7 points and made 8 assists.
Maccabi's starters were Jeremy Pargo, Devin Smith, Jake Cohen, Yogev Ohayon, and Sofo Schortsanitis. Points by Ohayon, Sofo, and Smith gave Maccabi a 7-3 lead after two and a half minutes. Eilat and Wyatt pulled to 11-10 at the four minute mark, but Alex Tyus in the paint and Nate Linhart from three reopened Maccabi's lead. The period ended with the hosts leading 20-16.
After a stuttering start to the second quarter, Ohayon from the foul line and Smith from the right wing made it 25-18 after three minutes. A string of threes by Eilat again closed the gap, and with three minutes left in the half the score was tied at 31. Cohen and Ohayon scored from the charity stripe to put Maccabi up by one, 36-35 going into the halftime break.
The second half got underway with a floater by Smith, followed by two straight buckets in the paint by Tyus that made it 42-38 after a minute and a half. Eilat again cut the deficit, making it 44-41 after two and a half minutes, but Pargo and Smith combined to reopen Maccabi's lead to 50-44 halfway through the period. Three straight triples by Pargo in the last three minutes made it 68-60 as the period came to an end.
Eilat closed to five early in the fourth quarter, but Smith from the right corner, a layup by Pargo, and a dunk by Brian Randle put Maccabi's lead at 77-68 after three minutes. Eilat closed to four once again near the halfway mark, but Pargo added a trey from the left wing (assist Randle) and Linhart added a reverse layup to make it 82-75 with two minutes left in the game. More points from Pargo, Cohen, Linhart, and Tyus wrapped up a 91-82 victory for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in game 1 of the best of five semifinal series against Hapoel Eilat. Game 2 will take place on Sunday, June 7th in Eilat.