Props to Brown, Finals to Ramat Hen
Holon came in as a major underdog but played Ramat Hen equally in the first half. Ramat Hen opened a 14 point lead mid way through the 4th but Holon made a great comeback to take the game to the wire before finally surrendering, 72 – 78. LaToya Pringle led Ramat Hen with a mean 29 points and 21 boards. Edwina Brown's historic quadruple double wasn't enough for Holon.
Maccabi Ramat Hen 78 – Elizur Holon 72
Ramat Hen led 69 – 59 with four minutes to play, but Holon scored the game's next nine. "Little mental breakdowns", is howIvory Latta called those minutes at the end when her team nearly let it slip away. "We didn’t let it get to us though, as coach said I hit a big three which put us up and then they had mental breakdowns. We played a great team. I just got here so I don’t know the records, I know the players, and I gotta give credit where credit it due. They did a great job".
"I'm not gonna say I thought we'd lose, but I did get a little bit nervous. We just needed to calm down. We were playing too fast trying to get easy baskets when we were up and needed to slow it down", said LaToya Pringle who had a season high 29 points and 21 rebounds. "Tamara [James] and Ivory [Latta] hit big shots and I'm glad we won", she continued. "It's true it shouldn't have been this close but we didn’t take them for granted after they beat Ashdod, and by a large margin".
Edwina Brown did everything on the court tonight, everything but getting that W. 22 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in 40 minutes, and we can't think of anyone who ever did it before her in the top leagues in Israel. "The personal stats don’t matter to me when we lose", she said and admitted she's never had a quadruple double before, but she did have triples. "We had our chances at the end, one in and out, one turnover... but it didn’t fall and it was unfortunate".
There's no doubt nobody expected anything from Holon before the cup games, after they lost six of 10 and didn’t beat anyone in the top 5, but that's going to chance now. "If you don’t count last week in Ramat Hen, we lost every game by 4-5 points", said Brown. "It's the maturity to get us over that hump that we're missing. But we have to keep this up, the season is still wide open".
"After our previous two meetings it was obvious it wasn’t going to be easy. I'm just happy it ended up like it did, their pressure almost got us at the end", said Edni Dagan who didn’t take a single timeout in the 2nd half. "When Ivory is on the court I'm more relaxed, I trust the girls", he summed up.
"There were two parameters in which we were better today, possessions and turnovers, but we still lost the game", said Meir Elyaho whose team had 19 steals and forced 26 turnovers while committing just 12, but also hit 3 for 22 from downtown. "We didn't need much more to get this win. It's not easy to score inside on them so we shot from outside. Two days ago it worked, today it didn’t".
Ayana Walker started out great with her team's first nine points which made it9 – 4. Ivory Latta tried to answer with a three but Walker scored down low again and Shiran Zairy drove for two to keep Holon slightly ahead, 11 – 9. The game stayed close and had a nice pace, unlike the first semi. Brown woke up with six points and James hit two threes on the other end but Holon maintained the lead, 21 – 18 after one.
The 2nd quarter was all Pringle who had no less than 15 points, and gave Ramat Hen the lead in the early minutes of the 2nd. Holon couldn't get it to fall from outside and had no answer for Pringle inside, but Ramat Hen still wasn’t able to break away. Adi Lux hit a three and Walker added two to cut it to just 33 – 34, three minutes left in the half. Ramat Hen used some Holon mistakes to run and get easy points, including four in the final 30 seconds to take a 44 – 37 at the half.
Latta hit a three a Shiri Sharon drove for two to quickly open a 49 – 40 lead. Holon answered with six points thanks to steals and aggressive defense, but a few seconds of carelessness cost them dearly. Pringle scored four and Holon couldn't counter as Ramat Hen increased its lead to 57 – 49 to end the quarter.
Holon remained stuck against the zone as any team who shoots 3 for 22 from downtown, and watched Latta & Pringle make it 67 – 53. The game looked mighty over but Holon came back thanks to their defense, with steals that turned into points. A very strange technical foul against James resulted in two free throws for Zairy and a three from Lux that sparked an 11 – 0 run that got Holon within 68 – 69 with under four to play. Holon had some frustrating misses and couldn't take the lead and Latta buried a huge three on the other end to give her team some much needed breathing room. Lux tried to answer but it didn’t drop and James made a quick basket for a 74 – 68 lead with a minute to play. Holon had one more punch left as Walker & Brown scored quickly and Ramat Hen turned it over. But Curry missed a three and Holon didn’t get back on defense as James sealed the deal with an easy layup.
For Ramat Hen:
LaToya Pringle 29 pts, 21 rebs
Ivory Latta 23 pts, 6 ast, 7 TOs
Tamara James 13 pts, 8 rebs
Michal Epstein 9 pts
Shiri Sharon & Chen Shtain 2 pts each
Ayana Walker 26 pts, 13 rebs
Edwina Brown 22 pts, 10 rebs, 10 ast, 10 stl
Shiran Zairy 9 pts
Adi Lux 8 pts
Ednisha Curry 4 pts
Noa Schor 2 pts
Bar Gilinsky 1 pts