Elitzur Ramle silenced critics who said it cannot compete without the large budgets it once enjoyed, defeating Ramat Hen 79-69 to move into second place with Petah Tikva, which lost to Gilboa/Galil 71-66 last night.
Ramle head coach Adan Inbar said after the game that his team is just getting to know each other and expected it to continue to improve.
Ramle owned the first quarter of its home game, stifling Jenna Smith, who went to the bench late in the period with two fouls and no points. Unable to decipher Ramle's zone, Ramat Hen relied on the perimeter game but only made one of six shots from beyond the arc. Ramle also turned six Ramat Hen turnovers into transition baskets and ended the first 10 minutes with its largest lead of the game at 26-9.
The second quarter was nearly the opposite. Ramle forward Allison Hightower committed her third foul early in the period, and Ramat Hen took advantage of the new matchups. Ramat Hen closed the holds in its defense, offense stopped turning the ball over and Karima Christmas got a hot hand to fire a 22-7 run that closed Ramle's lead to a mere two points.
To make matters worse for Ramle, Kaayla Chones committed her third foul and also went to the bench.
Ramat Hen's run continued into the second half, when the team took its first lead of the game, at 40-39. But with its starting line back up Katia Levitsky, Chones and Hightower fueled a 9-0 run to reestablish the lead, which Ramle never relinquished.
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