Champs Dominate Game 1
Orli Klinger ,03/25/2010
Electra Ramat Hasharon started the game with excellent inside defense that frustrated Ashdod, and ended it with a great 2nd half en route to a 78 – 60 win. Ashdod has much work if they plan on getting their first ever finals win next week in game 2.
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Electra Ramat Hasharon 87 - Maccabi Ashdod 60
The fans packed the gym half an hour before tipoff and created a great atmosphere for this much anticipated finals series. The game started out real slow, something Ramat Hasharon is used to, as they led 33 – 27 at the half. Ramat Hasharon controlled the 3rd quarter as well but couldn't pull away till the 4th. Led by a great night from Laine Selwyn and hot outside shooting, the reds got a very convincing win.

"It wasn't easy but we're on a mission, we're very focused", Selwyn said after her 18 points and 6 assist performance. "We worked hard for this all season and the home court advantage really helped tonight. I feel like everyone contributed today, personally I'm always there doing the little things, as long as we win I'm happy".

"It's easy to say we didn’t show up today and it's also true", said Adan Inbar. "It's a combination of many things, you have to credit Ramat Hasharon. I felt like Laine took over the game and when that happens her team wins. We have to improve, we had plans to do some things but it didn’t work out",

Both teams started out really bad and couldn’t get the ball in the hole. Ashdod suffered from two early fouls by Christi Thomas and couldn’t get the ball inside to Ashley Walker. They settled for too many threes, only two went in. Ramat Hasharon eventually managed to get Kia Vaughn some touches as she was pretty much they're only working offensive option. With under two minutes to play in the 1st, Natasha Lacy got Ashdod's first bucket inside the arc as her team trailed 10 – 13 after one.

Yael Aharonov came in for Selwyn who picked up her 2nd foul and punished the defense with two threes, 18 – 12. Ashdod tied it with rare points from the bigs and a Rivi Grinboym three, 21 – 21, five minutes till halftime. Ashdod managed to run a little after some stops but not for long, and too often they didn’t capitalize on their chances (14 turnovers in the half). Vaughn's second foul forced Ramat Hasharon to switch to a tiny frontcourt with Anderson and Dori inside but Ashdod still couldn’t take advantage. Ramat Hasharon continued to play great help defense inside, Dori hit a three and Sam scored five quick ones off turnovers, 33 – 25. Following another Ashdod timeout they finally went to Walker who set the halftime score at 27 – 33.

In the 3rd we began to see some better basketball, especially from the local side. Ramat Hasharon ran out to a 9 point lead with threes by Dori & Sam who continued their team's hot night from deep, 41 -32. On the other end Ashdod suffered from an off night by Lacy, especially in terms of decision making, but stayed close thanks to threes from Grinboym and Zairy who cut it to 38 – 43. Thomas' questionable 3rd foul didn’t help the visitors and Selwyn's penetrations maintained the gap. Ashdod could've gotten closer if it wasn’t for some frustrating Lacy turnovers but down 45 -51 after three, there was enough time to play.

Ashdod had to generate some sort of run to put pressure on Ramat Hasharon who's lost a lead or two lately, but the opposite happened. Led by Selwyn, Ramat Hasharon made a 7 – 0 in two minutes, timeout Ashdod down 13. The game felt pretty over with a lead like that and a score that low and Ashdod wasn’t able to get back into single digits. Anderson made her traditional 4th quarter three to make it 14 as Ashdod could do no more than trade baskets. The real bad news for Ashdod was an ankle injury to Grinboym with five minutes to play. Selwyn hit another three to make it 75 – 58 with a minute to play as Ostfeld began the honor subs to a standing ovation.

For Ramat Hasharon:
Kia Vaughn 19 pts, 8 rebs
Laine Selwyn 18 pts, 6 ast
Sheri Sam 14 pts, 8 rebs
Ambrosia Anderson 10 pts, 9 rebs
Merav Dori 9 pts
Yael Aharonov 6 pts
Ayelet Cohen 2 pts

For Ashdod:
Ashley Walker 16 pts, 8 rebs
Natasha Lacy 12 pts, 13 rebs, 4 ast, 6 TOs
Rivi Grinboym 11 pts
Shiran Zairy 9 pts
Christi Thomas 8 pts
Ornit Shwartz 3 pts

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