basketball - Ilan Assayag - November 23 2010
Ambrosia Anderson, left, played tough D to go with her 24 points. Photo by Ilan Assayag
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Maccabi Ashdod's women knocked Ramat Hen from the unbeaten ranks with a 97-84 victory in a crucial early season test for the Super League upstarts, while the men of Maccabi Ashdod shocked Bnei Hasharon, the favored host, with a 90-85 overtime win.

The upset in the women's league leaves favorite Ramat Hasharon as the only undefeated team left. Ramat Hasharon easily disposed of Elitzur Holon 78-65. Elitzur Ramle is now tied with Ramat Hen for second after blowing out Bnot Hasharon 85-54. Struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv was finally able to field a team after forfeiting two straight games but still lost 80-66.

On the men's side, Ashdod's second straight win puts it one game out of second place, just behind Bnei Hasharon and Hapoel Jerusalem.

The test of Ashdod's women's mettle arose when it fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter but immediately recovered to keep the contest tight throughout the remainder of the first half.

Renee Montgomery led the decisive second-half charge for Ashdod, finishing with 29 points. Ambrosia Anderson scored 24 points for Ashdod.

Ashdod struggled in the first half with its defensive assignments, but once the team settled down it was able to prevent Ramat Hen from penetrating as it took command of the game down the stretch.

In Ra'anana, Meir Tapiro's triple double (10 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds ) helped propel Ashdod's men to their surprise comeback victory over Bnei Hasharon. Ramel Bradley's caught fire in the second half, as he finished with 25 points for the visitors. The Ashdod bench also played a critical role, outscoring the Bnei Hasharon bench 42-22.

Tapiro and Bradley dominated on both ends of the court in a lopsided overtime to put the game away.

Playing at home, Bnei Hasharon looked like it was going to run away with the game when it jumped out to a 13-2 lead behind the sharpshooting of Ronald Steele and Lee Nailon, who both finished with 19 points.

However, Ashdod held the line through the rest of the half, eventaully using a 17-3 run to close out the third quarter and take a 60-57 lead. The two teams ran neck and neck through the end of regulation, as Steele forced overtime in the final minute and Ashdod was unable to get off a shot to end it at the buzzer.

Tapiro and Bradley then dominated overtime to finish the job.