Finally, Natanya Gets a Big One
Orli Klinger ,12/07/2009
Natanya got a statement win in Ramla after coming back from double digits. Natanya had enough of the moral victories and played calm and determined en route to their biggest win ever.

Ramla 67 – Natanya 70
This game was a fork in the road for Natanya, said Capitan Liad Suez Karni. Last time she won in Ramla was over 6 months ago, when she raised the championship trophy for Ramat Hasharon. Tonight the reward was more modest, but almost just as sweet. "What this game was about is are we going to be a nice little mid-standings team, or do we want more", said Suez Karni who sealed the 3rd with a big buzzer beating momentum three that cut the lead to just four. Ramla didn't score a point in the first five minutes of the 4th and the game went to the wire. Natanya made all the big plays on both ends of the court.

Ashley Paris tied the game at 67, with 36 seconds to play. On the other end Suez Karni found Monique Coker slipping behind the zone for her easiest layup of the night, 20 seconds left. After a timeout Ramla turned it over as Gourevitch's pass went out of bounds, courtesy of Kolodny's deflection, six seconds left. It took Ramla 5.9 seconds to foul Kolodny, she only hit the 2nd free throw but Ramla could do nothing in the remaining tenth to prevent Natanya from celebrating their biggest win of the season.

"Finally. Finally we weren't suckers", said the happy Suez Karni, reffering of course to the two annoying losses to Ashdod & Ramat Hasharon. "After losing two games in crunch time, we won this one with our heart and will. Plays like Marshae's put back and 1, and Monique's steals and defense on Quinn", she added. Suez Karni finished a great game with 18 points and 5 assists, after missing the whole week with the flu. "I didn't even get one practice in, that has never happened to me. But the only way we were gonna win here was with heart".

Natanya started well especially on defense, something that lasted for most of the game. Dotson and Coker made it tough for Ramla to go inside and Suez hit a three to make it 7 – 0 three minutes in. Jackson broke the local drought and Gourevitch added two layups to wake her team up, but Natanya stayed infront. Okisha Howard's 3 point play and Taly Noy's runner made it 15 – 8. Quinn cut the lead with a nice dish to Gourevitch and Jackson added two more, but the last ball went to Noy who hit a three, 18 – 12.

Early in the 2nd quarter Ramla cranked up its defensive aggressiveness and got hands on anything orange, but that didn’t last in the 2nd half. Ramla made a 13 – 0 run to take a 31- 21 lead, mostly thanks to Jackson's fast breaks and a short hot streak by Ortal Oren. Natanya waited too long for the TV timeout but eventually Ramla stopped themselves. Despite grabbing only six rebounds in the entire first half, Natanya cut into the lead thanks to 14 Ramla turnovers. Coker & Kolodny cut it to five, Suez made a jumper as the offense got stuck, Kolodny added two more on the break and the gap disappeared, 34 – 36 at the half. Natanya should've been leading had they used their chances but being down two after Dotson goes scoreless and you're minus 14 on the boards, nothing to complain about.

Noelle Quinn hit a three and Jackson hit free throws to make it 41 – 36. Ramla finally managed to get the ball to Paris in the 3rd and she helped them go up 49 – 42, four to go in the 3rd. Natanya wouldn’t let Ramla get away again as Howard and Suez cut it to four. Natanya wanted the last shot but lost the ball and saw Jackson flying for a three point play, 57 – 50 with 6 secs on the clock. But the momentum quickly changed as Suez hit a three at the buzzer, firing up the Natanya bench.

Natanya kept playing great defense in the 4th and held Ramla scoreless for five whole minutes. They weren’t that brilliant on offense but it was enough for a 59 – 57 lead, after Ramla left Suez open on an out of bounds play. Quinn woke up and created 8 of Ramla's 10 4th quarter points. Two buckets by her tied it at 61, but Suez responded with a big three point play with under 4 minutes to play. Quinn created another basket and an assist to give Ramla a 65 – 64 lead with 1:30 to play. Following a timeout and a few painful images from recent losses flashing through the minds of the Natanya camp, Suez Karni had to settle for a tough three that got blocked. But Dotson picked up the ball and made a three point play, 67 – 65. Paris managed to tie but in the important possessions Coker wouldn’t let Quinn get close to a good look, and Ramla couldn’t find anyone else who could win the game.

"It's a big win in a tough place, I don't know how we did it but we did", said coach Zohar Rizman. "Monique stopped Quinn at the end, she killed her. She's an amazing stealer, she went to every ball and fought through screens. Her defense amazed me. Nomi and Liad were great too", he summed up.

For Natanya:
Liad Suez Karni 18 pts, 5 ast
Monique Coker 16 pts, 7 rebs
Okisha Howard 12 pts
Marshae Dotson 9 pts
Taly Noy 8 pts
Nomi Kolodny 7 pts

For Ramla:
Deanna Jackson 20 pts, 9 rebs
Noelle Quinn 17 pts
Ashley Paris 14 pts, 11 rebs
Ina Gourvitch 8 pts
Ortal Oren 7 pts
Shimrit Gigi 1 pt

Latest stories
Liad Suez Karni

©All rights reserved