Basketball (W ) / Semifinals / Ashdod, Ramle claim Game 1 wins
Maccabi Ashdod crushes Habikaa 81-56 in Game 1 of their best-of-five semifinal series.
Maccabi Ashdod looked very much the basketball team which dominated the women's Premier League Sunday night, crushing Habikaa 81-56 in Game 1 of their best-of-five semifinal series. In the other semifinal, Elitzur Ramle recovered from a disastrous second quarter to rally past Ramat Hasharon 66-60.
Ashdod dominated wire-to-wire, opening a 20-point first-half lead as it clearly demonstrated the composure of its seasoned players. Habikaa, newly promoted this season, made numerous mental errors without which they would have not have won the game, but at least would have made it more competitive.
Ashdod held Habikaa to 28.4 percent shooting from the field, while its starters shot better than 50 percent from two-point range. Meirav Dori, coming back from injury, had a splendid game, scoring 13 points. Thompson scored 13 for Habikaa, while Jenna Smith added 10.
The Ramat Hasharon-Ramle affair was much closer, with the momentum swinging back and forth. Ramle held a 14-11 lead going into the second quarter but found itself 13 points down after an 18-2 blitz by Ramat Hasharon, which lived - and died - by Jia Perkins.
Tanisha Wright, who finished with 17 points but went almost unheard during the final frame, helped Ramle catch up along with Le'Coe Willingham - who finished with 21 points. Wright missed a potential tying shot at the end of the third quarter, which left the score at 46-44 to Ramat Hasharon.
Ramle quickly fell down by six again, but Laine Selwyn - who had four three-pointers - buried a trey, followed by a three-point play by Willingham to tie the game at 54-all. Alana Beard then sunk her first basket from behind the arc to give Ramle the lead for good.
Beard also made two big defensive plays down the stretch, wrestling the ball for a rebound with Ramle up 66-59, and then stealing the inbound ball with 21 seconds left.
Jia Perkins finished with 27 points for Ramat Hasharon.