By Amy Samin
When the fourth quarter started, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv was trailing by fifteen points but they staged a tremendous comeback, winning the period 25-4 and the game 78-72. Devin Smith was unstoppable, scoring 24 points and making 7 assists. Ricky Hickman contributed 17 points, and Shawn James pulled down 12 rebounds.
Maccabi's starters were Shawn James, Devin Smith, Ricky Hickman, team captain Lior Eliyahu and Yogev Ohayon. Although Jerusalem scored first Maccabi roared to life, going on a 9-2 run in the first half of the period, thanks to buckets by Hickman, Smith and Eliyahu. Smith drained a last-second trey from the top of the arc and Eliyahu dropped in a putback to make it 14-6. At that point, Jerusalem woke up and battled their way to 17-16, Maccabi, at the end of the period.
Jerusalem completed their comeback by grabbing a 20-17 lead in the first minute of the second quarter. Guy Pnini tied it, but once again Jerusalem forged ahead, reaching 27-21 three minutes into the period. Ohayon and Eliyahu helped Maccabi stay close, and Smith added a defensive rebound/coast to coast layup to put Maccabi within two, 34-32 with three and a half minutes left. Two straight three pointers by Hickman tied the game at 40 with thirty seconds left in the half, but points from the charity stripe gave Jerusalem a 42-40 lead going into the break.
James tied the score seconds into the third quarter and Hickman scored to out Maccabi back on top for the first time since the start of the second quarter. Jerusalem quickly tied things up again, and went on to grow a six point lead, 56-50 with four minutes left in the period. The momentum stayed with the visitors, whose advantage grew to fourteen, 64-50 with one minute on the clock. The period ended with Jerusalem leading 68-53.
Maccabi began chipping away at the deficit within ten seconds of the start of the fourth quarter, scoring fourteen unanswered points to reclaim the lead 69-68 thanks to James, Smith, Sylven Landesberg and Logan as well as strong defense and a key offensive rebound by James. Maccabi's defense kept Jerusalem to only four points in the period, and they wrapped up a 3-0 sweep of the Winner Sal League semifinals with a 78-72 victory over Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem.