Ramat Hasharon returns to the Cup final
Lior Klinger ,03/19/2012
Despite losing a 4th quarter lead and ending up in overtime, Ramat Hasharon held on to beat Ramla in the cup semi finals, 69-64.

Ramla 64 - Ramat Hasharon 69 (OT)
The EuroCup is long gone, so is the Israeli Cup, and to be honest the championship title hopes don't seem too promising for Ramla right now. The reason - you can't expect a team to jell in one month, and it may be that the hunger for sucess isn't as it used to be. Ramat Hasharon was first to every loose ball tonight, dictated the pace and stayed composed despite losing a promising 4th quarter advantage.

Ramat Hasharon led by 11 with under 6 minutes to play before Ramla made a 13-3 run to send the game to overtime, after Tanisha Wright missed a potential game winning shot. Ramat Hasharon dominated the offensive glass in the extra 5 minutes and held on to a justifed win.

"We just didn’t have enough. They made big plays, we didn’t, they deseved to win in the bottom line", said Tanisha Wright at the end. "I think we had a spurt early in the 3rd quarter when we weren’t as focused and they took advantage of it. The 1st half was back. After the first 4-5 minutes of the 3rd we tried to chase them, you lose energy trying to fight back and climb up like that and we didn't have enough", she concluded.

"We knew they are a great team and they weren’t goning to lay down, we knew we had to keep fighting", said Alysha Clark who was excellent with 15 points and 11 rebounds. "Tthey made some realy good plays and caused a momentum swing. We had to regroup, pull ourselves together and get back to what got us the lead in the first place", she added.

"Basketball is a game of momentum, that's nothing new" said Orna Ostfeld regarding the run that nearly cost her the game. "In the 3rd we had a chance to break away but we had some terrible misses and Ramla, being a great team, came back. The pressure increased as they cut down the lead", she continued. "They had serious foul trouble in overtime and once we settled down I knew we could win the game. We've been a great defensive team all season, it's not new for us to hold opponents to low scores", added Ostfeld.

"It feels really good. I told the girls I have a bad feeling about this gym. I still remember Ivory Latta's shot [2009 cup finals] like it was yesterday. I feel like we have a chance to redeem ourselves", said Jia Perkins at the end. "Today was a game of runs, we made ours, they made theirs, but we knew how to keep our compusre in overtime to get the win", she added.

"We didn't execute our game plan, this was not how we wanted to play", said Adan Inbar. Ramla received only 10 points from it's starting posts, Amber Haris managed just 4 and Le'Coe Willingham suffered from serious foul trouble through out the game, which is very unusual for her. "In the first half both teams played excellent defense, and both offenses were affected by it. The 3rd quarter was all Ramat Hasharon, especially the start. We went away from our game plan and Ramat Hasharon punished", he explained. "We did get back in the game in the end and had a chance to win it, but I agree this wasn't our type of game. This isn't the score we wanted, I'm willing to take the blame but you have to credit Ramat Hasharon", Inbar summerized.

Ramat Hasharon led 13-12 after a tough to watch first quarter, and 28-27 at the half as Amber Holt hit a late 3. Perkins, who was scoreless in the first 20 minutes, had 4 quick points during a 10-2 run for Ramat Hasharon to open the 3rd quarter. Ramat Hasharon had many chances to push the lead even further but didn't take advantage, Perkins hit a 3 to end the 3rd and set the score at 47-38.

Ramat Hasharon led 53-42 with under 6 minutes to play before Wright & Selwyn led the Ramla charge to tie the game at 56 with 2 minutes to play, neither team managed to score and we went into OT. Ramat Hasharon dominated the offenisve glass in the extra period, they had possession for nearly 4 minutes and made the clutch free throws to hold on.

For Elizur Ramla:
Tanisha Wright 19 pts
Alana Beard 11 pts
Michal Epstein 10 pts
Laine Selwyn 8 pts, 10 rebs
Katia Levitsky 6 pts
Le'Coe Willingham 6 pts
Amber Harris 4 pts

For Ramat Hasharon:
Amber Holt 20 pts
Alysha Clark 15 pts, 11 rebs
Jia Perkins 15 pts
Maurita Reid 8 pts, 8 ast
Nicky Anosike 5 pts, 14 rebs, 7 ast
Ayelet Cohen 2 pts
Yael Aharonov 2 pts
Jennifer Fleischer 2 pts

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Clark vs. Wright
Photo by: Motti Klinger

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