Who'll Stop Ramat Hasharon?
Lior Klinger ,03/12/2009
Probably no one. In a battle for 1st place, Ramat Hasharon was head and shoulders above Raanana Hertzeliya on their way to a 79 – 60 win which secured home court advantage through out the playoffs. Tatyana Troina led the red with 24 points.
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Raanana Hertzeliya 60 - Electra Ramat Hasharon 79
"We're a good defensive team, our girls are winners and we have good chemistry", said Orna Ostfeld as she tried to explain the way her team is breezing through the playoffs so far. "We're just a team, and recently Ebony [Hoffman] has been able to bring more offense to the table, in addition to the heart and hustle she always brings", Ostfeld continued. Hoffman finished with 18 points, the most she has scored since way back in December. Right now it seems that only complacency could hurt Ramat Hasharon on their way to the title, but Ostfeld isn't worried. "There's no complacency, we're under pressure all the time. We had unfinished business to handle today".

"All the credit goes to Ramat Hasharon, they played great and beat us on every category" said Shiki Falach. "We didn’t show up today, we didn’t even get good shots since we didn’t play our basketball", he continued. "I don't remember the last time we scored 60 points, but our problem started on defense. We talked about aggressiveness and being physical and we brought none of it to the court. Troina killed us", he concluded.

Troina did hit from everywhere but Ramat Hasharon was very balanced in a great game for them on both ends of the court. Right from the first minute Ramat Hasharon's defense set the tone and they went up 11-4 as Raanana Hertzeliya settled for tough outside shots. Shimrit Gigi's 3 somehow went through (4/19 from downtown for Raanana Hertzeliya in the game) but their offense still looked nothing like basketball and Falach called timeout down 7-15. Nomi Kolony did a great job running the offense and found Troina for 3, Jia Perkins with a typical 3-pt play made it 21-10. Even a steal and a coast to coast layup by Hoffman worked for the visitors, who led 26-14 after 1.

Raanana Hertzeliya cut the lead to 10 with points by Temeka Johnson and Lena Mustafina but Troina came back from a short rest on the bench to score eight points and push the lead to 40-20. Raanana Hertzeliya turned the ball over a lot and trailed 26-44 at the half.

Charde Houston with 6 points and Kelly Shumacher with 4 under the basket tried to bring Raanana Hertzeliya back in it as the lead was down to 12 three minutes into the 3rd. Raanana Hertzeliya's run continued to 14-4 and it was only 40-48 with 5 minutes to go before Troina re-entered the game and immediately hit a 3, which was Ramat Hasharon's 2nd field goal of the quarter. Gigi's missed 3 turned into a full court pass by Kolodny to Perkins who made the layup to end Raanana Hertzeliya's momentum. Ramat Hasharon led 61-45 after 3.

Ramat Hasharon maintained the lead early in the 4th before Raanana Hertzeliya scored 5 in a row, but it was too little too late. Nothing Raanana Hertzeliya tried worked, not even strange short lineups that tried to pressure the ball. Perkins ended a 2-minute drought on both sides with a basket that sealed the deal, 72-56 with 2 minutes left.

For Ramat Hasharon:
Tatyana Troina 24 pts (5/8 3s)
Ebony Hoffman 18 pts, 11 rebs
Jia Perkins 16 pts
Nomi Kolodny 8 pts
Liad Suez Karni 6 pts
Elizbetha Kitizina 3 pts
Merav Dori & Ayelet Cohen 2 pts each

For Raanana Hertzeliya:
Charde Houston 22 pts, 13 rebs
Kelly Schumacher 10 pts
Temeka Johnson & Shimrit Gigi 8 pts each
Katya Abramzon 4 pts

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