The dynasty is dead. Long live the dynasty.
Elitzur Ramle has won numerous titles over the past decade, but Maccabi Ashdod thoroughly dominated its once supreme opponent to demonstrate its claim to be the new powerhouse of the women's basketball Premier League.
Ashdod went up by as much as 33 points before allowing Ramle to close the gap in the second half to a more respectable 87-69 finish in the defending double titlist's favor.
Elsewhere in the league yesterday, visiting Ramat Hasharon - the other predominant team in recent memory - rebounded to knock off Hapoel Rishon Letzion 66-60. Host Hapoel Petah Tikva defeated Elitzur Netanya 83-75, and Maccabi Ramat Hen thumped Elitzur Holon 69-56.
In Ashdod, the hosts led wire to wire but didn't really take off until the second quarter, when they outscored Ramle 21-7 to take a 53-28 lead into the halftime break.
Center Danielle Adams was virtually unstoppable under the basket, clearing the boards after every failed shot Ramle managed to get off. She finished with 26 points. Ashley Shields and Charde Houston also outhustled Ramle, scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The more Ramle fell behind, the more its players looked desperate. After falling behind 33 points, Tamar James helped the team cut Ashdod's lead to under 20. However, considering that Ashdod let up completely in the final quarter, her 26 points were not nearly as meaningful as the total she matched by Adams.
Thanks to Adams, Ashdod held a 38-23 rebound advantage for the game, a gap that was even bigger in the first half.