Back To The Finals
Roy Rubinstein ,03/30/2009
Ramat Hasharon led by just 4 after a tough to watch first half but broke away in the 2nd half to a convincing win. Ramat Hasharon returns to the finals after a year absence.

Electra Ramat Hasharon 90 – Raanana Hertzeliya 71
As they have done for much of the season, Ramat Hasharon won this game on defense despite allowing a relatively high 71 points. It wasn't a very good game for Ramat Hasharon, they were just that much better than Raanana Hertzeliya in this series. "We know we have to stop teams defensively because any team can have a bad offensive night", said Orna Ostfeld. Ramat Hasharon's offense was indeed MIA in the first half which ended with a slight 34-30 lead.

The first quarter was really something else, and not in a positive way. Ramat Hasharon shot 7 for 20 while Raanana Hertzeliya posted 4 for 18. The less we write about it the better, 19-10 was the score after 1.

In the 2nd Raanana Hertzeliya tried to fight back and cut the lead to 3 after one minute with good minutes for Charde Houston. That was enough to wake Laine Selwyn and Tatyana Troina up and they pushed the lead to 25-17. Katia Abramzon with free throws and Temeka Johnson with a basket cut it back to four but Jia Perkins answered with 4 straight points of her own. Chen Nussel hit a 3 to give her team hope for the 2nd half, down just 30-34.

Raanana Hertzeliya lost Lena Mustafina to injury, she suffered a blow to the head in the 1st half and didn’t return. They held on for five more minutes before Ramat Hasharon used an 11-5 run to end the 3rd quarter with a 60-46 lead.

The 4th quarter was pretty much for the record. Ramat Hasharon's defense remained strong and on offense Liad Suez Karni and Merav Dori finished fastbreaks. Raanana Hertzeliya was able to get it back down to 10, but Perkins made sure to keep them at arm's length.

Shiki Falach sat on the bench at the end, trying to take in the series his team as been through and the early playoff exit. "I guess the loss to Ramat Hen and Ramla's surprising win at Ramat Hasharon that got us into 4th place wasn’t in the plans. What decided this series was Ramat Hasharon's huge advantage on the offensive glass, as well as the fact Temeka wasn’t really in any of the games. Once she was sick and twice we couldn't get her involved. Obviously Ramat Hasharon deserves credit. We didn't think and didn’t want it to end this way, but Ramat Hasharon wanted it more than us".

On the other side Ostfeld was pleased. "We won this game with a team effort. No player played more than 25 minutes which shows we have a strong and stable lineup. We won this game with 53 rebounds and the fact 3 different players had 10 or more rebounds. It wasn't easy, no game in this series ended in the 1st of 2nd quarter, but we had an advantage as far as our depth and that was the key. We haven't swept a series in a while, now we can rest a little and prepare for the finals".

For Ramat Hasharon:
Jia Perkins 21 pts, 11 rebs, 5 ast
Ebony Hoffman 20 pts, 11 rebs
Tatyana Troina 12 pts
Liad Suez Karni 9 pts
Elizaveta Kityzina 8 pts, 11 rebs
Laine Selwyn 7 pts
Merav Dori 6 pts
Nomi Kolodny 5 pts
Ayelet Cohen 2 pts

For Raanana Hertzeliya:
Charde Houston 21 pts
Katia Abramzon & Chen Nusse 12 pts each
Shimrit Gigi 11 pts
Temeka Johnson 10 pts
Kelly Shumacher 3 pts
Inbal Yaari 2 pts

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