By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv lost to Hapoel Eilat in Game 3 of the Israeli Winner Sal League semifinal series, 104-98. Nate Linhart contributed 22 points and 11 rebounds, Brian Randle added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Alex Tyus also had a double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Game 4 of the best of five series will be played on Sunday in Eilat.
Maccabi's starters were Yogev Ohayon, Brian Randle, Jeremy Pargo, Jake Cohen, and Sofo Schortsanitis. The start of the game was close, with Sofo and Randle lighting up the scoreboard for Maccabi the score stood at 10-10 after four minutes. Randle and Pargo combined for five to put Maccabi up 15-10 halfway through the period, but Eilat responded by closing to one, 25-24 with :12 on the clock. Pargo connected with Tyus for a slam at the buzzer to make it 27-24.
Eilat's Wyatt tied the score at the start of the second quarter, but Nate Linhart and Ohayon drained back to back triples to put Maccabi back on top. Tyus made a huge block, then hustled downcourt in time for another huge dunk to make it 35-30 after two and a half minutes. Thrilling plays by Linhart and Pargo (to Tyus for the points) put Maccabi's lead in double digits, 43-32, but once again Eilat came back, and the half ended with Maccabi up by four, 49-45.
Linhart continued to dominate as the second half got underway, scoring five straight to make it 54-50 after two minutes. Tyus, Pargo, and Linhart extended Maccabi's lead to ten, and a putback slam by Randle made it 66-54 halfway through the period. Eilat managed to cut their deficit in half, and the period ended with Maccabi holding a 71-65 lead.
The final period opened with points by Jake Cohen, but the visitors came back, with points by Palmer cutting Maccabi's lead to only one, 73-72. Randle responded with points from the paint and the foul line to make it 79-74 with four and a half minutes on the clock, but Eilat tied the score at 79 a minute later. Cohen from the left corner made it 84-81 Maccabi with two minutes left, but at the end of regulation the score was tied 87-87, and the game went into overtime.
Maccabi played catch up for much of the extra period, and despite points by Pargo, Randle, and Linhart, Hapoel Eilat came away with a 104-98 victory over Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, whose record drops to 2-1 in the series. Game 4 will be played in Eilat on Sunday.