Friday, March 6, 2009
From what I can understand, the ten teams of Israel's women's league all participate in the postseason - the top six teams fight for the championship and the bottom four fight for survival. Thus the "upper round" designation that Maccabi Ramat Hen finds itself in.
I waited all of yesterday for a box score but didn't get one. The best I can do is this nice writeup from Orli Klinger at safsal.co.il.
I'll try to hit the high points. First, Tamara James was released from Ramat Hen after their final regular season game. Why? Because LaToya Pringle is out with a knee injury and Ramat Hen realized just how weak they were in the post. Ayana Walker, a forward who last played for the Detroit Shock in 2007, took James's place.
In a rematch with Maccabi Ashdod - the team that beat Ramat Hen in the last game in the regular season and knocked them out of first place - Ashdod started out strong in the first half (just like the previous game) but this time, Ramat Hen found their way back.
Ramat Hen had a bad first half. According to Ivory Latta, "The first half things didn’t go our way, we couldn’t even hit the ocean out there." Ramat Hen was 1-for-13 in 3-point shooting and Ashdod led 48-41 in the third quarter.
Suddenly, Ramat Hen relocated their 3-point shooting. Latta hit back-to-back threes and Shay Doron hit a three to cut Ashdod's lead to one. From there, it was a seesaw battle until the fourth quarter when Noa Ganor broke a 72-72 tie with four minutes to go with a three pointer. Two more quick baskets by Ramat Hen, and they took a 79-72 lead that Ashdod wasn't able to overcome.
Ivory Latta: 22 points
Shay Doron: 21 points
Ayana Walker: 10 points
Natasha Lacy: 18 points from the former UTEP player who graduate in 2008.
Sherill Baker: 16 points from the Indiana Fever player.
Tasha Humphrey: 15 points from the Washington Mystics center.