Preparation Tournament: Israelis come up short
Lior Klinger ,06/15/2007
On the 2nd day of the tournament, the under-20 Israeli national team lost to Italy's U-20 NT in overtime, 80-81. Israel's under 18 NT was beaten by Latvia's U-20 NT, 76-83.

Israel U-18 NT 76, Latvia U-20 NT 83
Dana Yahalomi scored 10 of Israel's first 12 points but Naama Shafir missed all 5 of her shots in the lane against Latvia's posts, and also picked up 3 fouls. Israel's defense was nowhere to be found as they trailed 18-30 after 1. Latvia kept pushing the ball inside and also hit some threes to stay in front in the 2nd quarter, it was 53-42 at the half which was the exact same score by which Latvia beat the U-20 team yesterday.

Marisa Goubty with a steal and a layup scored Israel's first basket of the 3rd nearly 4 minutes in, as Latvia led 59-45. Lior Nusel and Gobuty with 5 straight points each helped cut the lead to six before Latvia hit a 3 to make it 67-58 after 3. Latvia raced to a 75-61 lead again but Yahalomi with her 4th three and two free throws cut it to 70-79. Then Shafir hit a jumper for her first field goal of the day after 8 misses, she added two more beautiful drives to cut it to 76-81 before Latvia scored the final basket.

For Israel:
Dana Yahalomi 23 pts, 7 rebs
Marisa Gobuty 18 pts
Moran Shitrit 11 pts, 6 rebs
Naama Shafir and Lior Nusel 8 pts each
Shani Levin 4 pts
Maya Issarof and Ididt Orion 2 pts each

Israel U-20 NT 80 – Italy U-20 NT 81 (F/OT)
The U-20 team looked a lot better than they did yesterday and trailed 17-21 after 1. Italy pushed the lead to 28-19 early in the 2nd before Israel went on an 11-0 run. Katia Abramzon led the way with 13 first half points, Orit Farchi and Karin Agasi helped Israel take a 38-35 halftime lead.

Agasi, Liel Ochanon and Chen Segal got Israel a 57-47 lead but the Italians hit three straight threes and led 59-56 after 3. Lin Golan, Agasi and Abramzon made it 68-62 with 4 minutes to go but Italy wouldn't give up despite a very weak game for them. Yael Aharonov with a 3-point play made it 71-69 with 51 seconds to go, Italy turned it over and Ochanon made 1 free throw to make it a 3-point game. Italy had 10 seconds left and nailed the overtime forcing 3-point shot, 72-72.

Lin Golan drove to the basket and was fouled hard, she fell and banged her head on the floor. She couldn’t shoot the free throws but later returned and tried to play. Her layup rolled out, and the score was still tied at 78 with 2 minutes left. Segal got in the lane to make it 80-78 but Italy answered right back with 30 seconds left. The impact of the blow she took hit Golan and she leave and lay down, Nofar Shalom came in for her and missed the shot. The Italians were sent to the line with 2.8 seconds left, made the first and missed the second on purpose so Israel won't have a chance to call timeout.

For Israel:
Katia Abramzon 20 pts, 13 rebs, 4 steals
Karin Agasi 13 pts
Liel Ochanon 12 pts
Elinor Avni 8 pts
Yael Aharonov 7 pts
Lin Golan 6 pts
Orit Farchi & Nofar Shalom 4 pts each
Adi Lux, Noa Shor and Chen Segal 2 pts each

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Katia Abramzon
Photo: Motti Klinger

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