No Drama: Ramla Takes Game 2
Lior Klinger ,04/23/2012
Tamera Young was named MVP of game 1, but tonight she'll probably have trouble sleeping. Ramla in a game they had to win got Alena Beard in her best game of the season and enjoyed another day at the office from Tanisha Wright to get a convincing 68-60 win.

Ramla 68 - Ashdod 60
Maybe Ashdod shouldn't have declared that Ramla's defense didn't surprise them in game 1. Surprised or not, ashdod couldn't really handle Ramla's pressure today. Ramla allowed just 25 points over the 2nd & 3rd quarters and took Ashdod completely out of their game plan by trapping the pick and roll. Ashdod couldn't move the ball fast enough, settled for outside shots (3/18 from 3) and trailed the entire 2nd half.

Tanisha Wright played a strong game with 15 points and 5 assists, but the major bonus was Alena Beard who finally used her athleticism to drive to the basket and finished with 15 points. Ashdod suffered from a very weak night for Young and foul trouble for Denson, 22 points from Kolodny & Elohim together weren't enough.

"Like in game 1, we played good defense today and offensively we were a little better and that's worth 10 points" said Adan Inbar. "It's true that when we score 70 you can say we exploded, that's the nature of this series. We played excellent defense, Beard deserves a lot of credit for defending Young, she was a lot better today than she has been recently. I'm sure she's still not satisfied with herself, but I'm happy with this win", Inbar added. By the way, this was Ramla's first win over Ashdod this season.

Even though Tanisha Wright was a key member of one of the lone teams to ever come back from a 0-2 deficit in a best of 5 series to advance, she had no desire in attempting that with Ramla this year. "That's true, but this was still a very important game. We played solid defense, and to win over there we gotta keep at it and translate the stops to easy baskets, and stop missing layups, and get more free throws, and less turnovers", she explained. "In the 2nd half we really didn't turn it over a lot, we were ready for their pressure. Beard was amazing and aggressive and took it to the hole every chance she got and it opened up our offense. Like we came prepared for their pressure, on Thursday they'll be ready for our trap. It's like a chess game", she concluded.

"We weren't good today, but the difference was Young vs. Beard. They switched roles", said Edni Dagan at the end. "Instead of 15 points Young scored 4 on terrible shooting, with terrible passes (8 turnovers), but it happens, it's part of the game. Once Young is out of it we're in serious trouble, that trap is something we expected and it's all about instinctive passes. If she was focues we'd make a fake and pass out, but she was a bit nervous, she's never been to the finals before, but you learn from every game", he continued. "Everything's fine, it's not the end of the world, nobody expected us to sweep Ramla. We're playing the defending champion who had to show character today, everyone stepped up and Tanisha carried them", he added.

Not much separated the two teams in the 1st half, which Ramla finished up 32-31. Ramla opened the game with a 9-0 run only to see Ashdod answer with a 14-0 run and a 19-15 lead at the end of the 1st. Ashdod lead by 6 early in the 2nd but Ramla responded with 9 straight points and got a 1-point lead at halftime, an outcome Adan Inbar would've signed for at the end of the 4th as well.

Ramla continued it's suffocating defense in the 3rd as Ashdod settled for outside shots and couldn't get steals in order to run. Ramla led by as many as 8 and finished the 3rd up 51-44. Ashdod couldn't generate a real momentum change in the 4th as Ramla kept them at arm's lenght, and even increased the lead to double figures at the end.

For Elizur Ramla:
Alana Beard 15 pts, 5 rebs
Tanisha Wright 15 pts, 5 ast
Le'Coe Willingham 11 pts
Katia Levitsky 8 pts, 6 rebs
Laine Selwyn 8 pts, 9 rebs
Amber Harris 7 pts, 7 rebs
Michal Epstein 4 pts

For Maccabi Ashdod:
Plenette Pierson 13 pts, 7 rebs
Ashley Shields 13 pts
Naomi Kolodny 12 pts
Brasheeda Elohim 10 pts
Brittany Denson 6 pts, 6 rebs
Tamera Young 4 pts, 7 rebs, 8 tos, 4 stls
Ortal Oren 2 pts

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