Ramat Hasharon Holds
Lior Klinger ,03/23/2009
Ramat Hasharon made things a lot tougher than they should've been. Raanana Hertzeliya used a great effort by its front line to stay in it and came back to tied the game with three to play. Ramat Hasharon made two good plays on their next possessions and Raanana Hertzeliya's two critical errors sealed the deal.

Electra Ramat Hasharon 68 – Raanana Hertzelia 65

A win is the only thing that matters in a playoff series, no matter how ugly it was. That's why Ramat Hasharon was pleased despite a weak performance tonight. "We're not in great shape offensively, we took good shots that didn't fall, I assume it will get better as we go" said Orna Ostfeld. "We showed a lot of heart and hustle on defense which you have to have in the playoffs, and Ebony showed she's definitely here. We had a problem with their posts under the basket, Kelly was excellent and we have a mismatch there. We made some errors down the stretch but got the win which was extremely important", she said.

Raanana Hertzeliya did what you're supposed to do in their situation. They hung around all game long despite some very frustrating minutes, and made their run in the 4th to put themselves in a position to win. "We lost the game on two possessions, they got a 3 and a basket inside and we missed on the break", said Shiki Falach. "We dug ourselves a big hole in the 1st half which was difficult to come out of. We're positive after tonight's game and very determined for Thursday", he added.

The main reasons for optimism are Raanana Hertzeliya's posts, Kelly Shumacher and Charde Houston. Houston returned to form after a long period and Shumacher had one of her best games of the season. The main problem was a weak game for Temeka Johnson. "Kelly is a very experienced player, she knows how to step up in the money time. We're aware of the problem with Temeka, she gets to the closing minutes very fatigue. We'll have to find a way to get her in the game earlier and have the ball in her hands less", he finished.

Ramat Hasharon got off to a good start and led 15-8. Raanana Hertzeliya went inside to Houston, Abramzon and Shumacher and managed to stop the local momentum, thanks in part to a few Ramat Hasharon substitutions resulting of some foul trouble. A 7-0 visitors run gave them their first lead at 17-15, the score was tied at 19 after 1.

The game stayed close early in the 2nd but 3 minutes in to it Raanana Hertzeliya's offense got stuck. Johnson left for a rest and without her things looked worse. Troina hit a 3 to make it 31-25 with 5 minute till halftime. Johnson came back with a nice dish to Shumacher but Laine Selwyn with assists to Merav Dori for 3 and Jia Perkins for 2 (her first basket of the night) pushed the lead to 38-29. Raanana Hertzeliya's 2nd timeout did no good either, Dori and Liad Suez Karni made it 42-29 at the half.

Ramat Hasharon came out sluggish in the 3rd, and scored just 11 points. Dori's 3 made it 49-39 but Raanana Hertzeliya got back in it with a good pass from Gigi to Shumacher and a basket by Nusel, just 43-49. Perkins with the final shot of the quarter made it 53-46.

Perkins with four straight points made it 59-48 with 7 minutes to play but Raanana Hertzeliya didn't give up and slowly got back in it. Shumacher with 5 straight points and Mustafina with a 3 from the corner along with 4 points by Abramzon made it a 2-point game as Ramat Hasharon turned the ball over and settled for tough shots. Houston with a steal and layup tied the game at 62 with 3 minutes to play. Both teams made a lot of mistakes in the following minute, before Ramat Hasharon with 2 good plays closed the game. Selwyn hit a 3, her only basket of the game, and on the other side Abramzon missed the fastbreak layup. Troina then found Hoffman alone under the basket to make it 67 – 62 with 56 seconds left. Raanana Hertzeliya got it down to 65-67 with 14 seconds left but Ramat Hasharon held on.

For Ramat Hasharon:
Ebony Hoffman 16 pts, 14 rebs
Jia Perkins 14 pts
Tatyana Troina 11 pts, 9 rebs
Merav Dori 10 pts
Liad Suez Karni 7 pts
Nomi Kolodny 6 pts
Laine Selwyn 4 pts, 5 ast

For Raanana Hertzelia:
Charde Houston 22 pts, 9 rebs
Kelly Schumacher 21 pts, 9 rebs
Katia Abramzon 11 pts, 7 rebs
Temeka Johnson 4 pts, 7 ast
Shimrit Gigi & Chen Nusel 2 pts each

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