Ada — Second-year Ada girls coach is a veteran of the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
Christie Jennings competed in the annual holiday girls tournament when she was a high school player at Byng. She was latter an assistant coach at Byng during a Lady Pirate appearance. In 2006, she was the head coach at Stonewall when the Lady Longhorns ironically beat Ada for seventh place.
Jennings will be making her first trip as head coach of the Lady Cougars tonight when Ada meets Lomega in an 8 p.m. first-round matchup.
“It’s really special, first of all, because I’m from Byng. If you’re from Byng, Bertha Frank Teague kind of holds a special place in your heart, especially when you’re involved in basketball. I’ve played in the Mid-America, I’ve been an assistant coach in the Mid-America and I got to take Stonewall to its first Mid-America in years. It’s a unique situation for me,” Jennings said. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to play in the Mid-America Tournament. We definitely think it’s a privilege and we’re going to try to show up and represent our area and Ada the best we can.”
Ada, ranked No. 7 in Class 4A, is off to a 3-1 start — its only loss a six-point setback to Class 5A No. 1 Shawnee on the road. The Lady Cougars won two games at the Bethel Tournament last week before the championship game was scrapped due to inclement weather.
That cancelation may have a blessing in disguise. Senior Sami Jewett suffered a hip injury during a first-round win over Little Axe and didn’t even play in a semifinal win over McLoud. Another senior, Haley Dean, was also bruised up.
“It’s been a really strange first month of basketball. We never could get in a flow because we would play and the next game would be iced out ... we didn’t get to play the OBU Tournament and then went to the Bethel Tournament (last week). We kind of got banged up. We didn’t really play with all our core players,” Jennings said. “We wanted to get to play that championship game Saturday night, but at the same time it worked out best for us that we could get a couple of days off heading into Mid-America.”