By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv wrapped up a perfect month in the Israeli Winner Sal League with an 85-75 victory over Hapoel Gilboa Galil at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Jake Cohen and Brian Randle led five players scoring in double figures with 15 points each. Sofo Schortsanitis and Jeremy Pargo had the night off.
Jake Cohen, Brian Randle, Devin Smith, MarQuez Haynes, and Yogev Ohayon started the game for Maccabi. After a close start to the game, Cohen put together a string of buckets that put Maccabi up 8-4 after three minutes. A trey and a coast to coast layup by MarQuez Haynes made it 13-6 halfway through the period. Gilboa's offense started to run, and they tied the score in the following minutes, before Joe Alexander made it 21-19 to Maccabi as the period came to an end.
Gilboa continued to play well as the second quarter got underway, running to 31-25 halfway through the period. A dunk by Sylven Landesberg and points from downtown by Ohayon put Maccabi within three a minute later, but the visitors kept that lead until a reverse layup and one by Smith made it 37-35 with just under three minutes left in the half. Two straight threes by Landesberg on the right side put Maccabi on top 41-39, but the visitors quickly tied things up. Haynes scored to close out the half with Maccabi holding a 43-41 lead.
Two straight buckets by Cohen extended Maccabi's lead to 47-41in the early minutes of the second half, but the visitors showed no signs of quitting. With two and a half minutes left in the period they had retaken the lead, 54-52. Another triple by Landesberg at the top of the arc, a dunk by Joe Alexander, and a steal plus dunk by Haynes made it 59-54 Maccabi at the end of the third quarter.
Points by Alexander and Ohayon extended Maccabi's lead to nine, 63-54 after a minute and a half, and points from Randle and Haynes kept it there over the next few minutes. Gilboa continued to battle, and closed to 69-66 just past the halfway mark. Randle responded with seven straight points that put Maccabi up 76-70 with less than three minutes left in the game. The visitors still weren't ready to give up, and pulled within two, 77-75 with just under two minutes on the clock, but Maccabi wasn't about to let this one get away from them. Points by Cohen and Landesberg opened things up, and two massive slams by Randle and Smith put the finishing touches on Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv's 85-75 victory over Hapoel Gilboa Galil, and a perfect 5 - 0 record for the month of January in the Israeli Winner Sal League.