By Amy Samin
In a game for the ages, David Logan with 24 points on 6/10 shooting from three point range led Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv to a 75-65 win in the Israeli League Winner-Sal Cup tournament over Maccabi Ashdod. Lior Eliyahu (6 rebounds) and Moran Roth contributed 9 points each. Nik Caner-Medley was close to a double-double with 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Starters for Maccabi were team captain Guy Pnini, Shawn James, Lior Eliyahu, Ricky Hickman and Yogev Ohayon. The shots weren't dropping for Maccabi in the early minutes, while Kenny Gabriel and Diamon Simpson scored for Ashdod. A tip in by James after two and a half minutes put Maccabi on the scoreboard, 4-2 but a couple of trips to the foul line and a long three by Chris Allen soon put Ashdod up 13-2. A hook shot in the paint by Nik Caner-Medley seemed to turn the tide for Maccabi, who also began playing tighter defense. More points by Caner-Medley and a steal/layup and points from downtown by David Logan put Maccabi within two, 15-13 with less than a minute and a half left in the period. Ashdod managed to keep Maccabi in check while adding points to their side of the scoreboard, and the period ended with Ashdod leading 17-13.
The two teams traded points at the start of the second quarter, then two steals ending in points for Maccabi narrowed the gap, 24-22 after two and a half minutes. Ashdod continued to play strong defense, but James dropped in his own put-back to tie the score at 26 just past the halfway mark in the period. The lead changed hands repeatedly in the second half of the quarter, with Pnini and Moran Roth adding layups for Maccabi and Caner-Medley battling at both ends of the court. A long three by Logan from the top of the arc gave Maccabi a 40-39 lead at the buzzer.
Ashdod came out strong at the start of the third quarter, but points along the baseline from Logan and Eliyahu cut Maccabi's deficit to two, 46-44. Maccabi had some trouble finding the basket until Logan scored from downtown and Giorgi Shermadini added two buckets in the paint, making it 53-51, Ashdod, with two and a half minutes left in the quarter. Eliyahu tied the score at 53, but Ashdod managed to score at the end of the period to reclaim the lead, 55-53.
Ashdod scored first also in the fourth quarter, but Logan delivered yet another three to close within one, 57-56. Once again Maccabi had trouble getting their shots to drop, but a three by Hickman at the top of the arc put Maccabi in the lead, 59-57 after two and a half minutes in the period. A steal by Ashdod could have turned the lead over, but an epic fail by Gabriel on a slam dunk marked the beginning of the end for Ashdod. Two straight treys by Logan gave Maccabi a double-digit lead, 69-59 with three minutes left in the game. The teams traded free throws until a steal by Logan went to Eliyahu and on to Pnini for the layup that wrapped things up, giving Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv a 75-65 win over Maccabi Ashdod in the Winner-Sal Cup tournament final.
Maccabi: Logan 24 points (6 of 10 from three); Eliyahu 9 points, 6 rebounds; Roth 9 points; Caner-Medley 8 points, 8 rebounds; Hickman 6 points; Shermadini 6 points, 7 rebounds; James and Pnini 4 points each; Landesberg 3 points; Ohayon 2 points.