- Ada, Oklahoma

Local Sports

November 25, 2013

Ada High girls ready to take next step in 2014

Ada —    The Ada High girls basketball team knocked on the Class 4A State Tournament door last season.

   But a tough Elgin club knocked them out of the playoffs on the second day of the area tournament.

   This year, the Lady Cougars plan on crashing right through the state tournament door and have high hopes of being a state title contender.

   Ada finished its first year under new head coach Christie Jennings with a rock-solid 19-9 record. That was all fine and well.

   “We felt like last year, we had a pretty good inaugural season with me as their coach,” Jennings said. “We feel like this year, the state tournament is the ultimate goal, and we’re working hard to achieve that. We’re going to be disappointed if we don’t reach that goal.”

   Ada has everybody back this year except graduate Kyndel Carter. That includes a group of five experienced seniors — starters Aaliyah Blakley, Sami Jewett, Haley Dean and Meneé Thomsen and key reserve Markeisha Black —who are hungry for more.

   Jennings said her team is ready to show fans and the rest of Class 4A what they can do with a year of a new system under their collective belt. In fact, they adopted the motto “Something To Prove” early in the preseason. Expectations for the Ada girls haven’t been this great in a number of seasons.

“Our motto all summer and all preseason was 'Something to prove.' We all wore bracelets that said that,” she said. “There is some pressure on us, but we probably put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else does.”

   Jennings said chemistry and confidence will be the biggest keys to Ada’s success during the 2013-14 season.

   “We lacked two things last year that I felt like would have pushed us over the top. One is chemistry, and part of that was playing in my system where everything was new. They had chemistry with each other but didn’t have chemistry within the program. That has really improved,” she explained.

   “The second thing is mental toughness and confidence,” Jennings continued. “Last year, we were playing a lot of games we didn’t really think we were supposed to win going in. I just couldn’t ever get that out of their heads that they didn’t belong with the Shawnees and Harrahs. I don’t think we’ll have any of those problems this year.”

   Jennings has been pleased with all five of her seniors' leadership and improvement during the preseason.

   “I couldn’t even tell you which one I think is most improved. Every day I could pick you a different player out of those five,” she said. “We’re really fortunate to have those five girls that have been together, I guess, since junior high.They’re the core of the team, but we also have some young kids that are going to have to play some vital minutes, too.”

   Blakley, who is listed at 5-11 but looks every bit of six foot, scored 15.6 points and grabbed over 10 rebounds per game a year ago. Jewett was Ada’s second leading scorers on most occasions, averaging 11.3 points per game. Jennings hopes those averages increase this year but also expects more offensive contributions from Dean and Thomsen, who both averaged under six points a contest.

   “Every one of them, through our scrimmage season, has had a game where they just filled it up. And the more weapons we have, the harder it’s going to be to play against us. Offensively, they’ve all got more confident in what they’re doing,” she said.

   Another thing that has helped this year’s group of Lady Cougars is the amount of time they’ve spent in the gym. Save a couple of tennis players, Jennings has had nearly everybody else on the team in the gym since last March.

   “I’ve never coached a team that’s been in the gym as much as this team has,” she said.

   Although the Lady Cougars started off the preseason with a lackluster performance in an early scrimmage or two, Jennings said everything appears to be coming together in time for their 2013-14 season opener against Chandler Dec. 5 at the Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bison Invitational in Shawnee.

   “They’ve been full steam ahead over the last two weeks. We feel like with our preseason work and our scrimmage schedule, we’ll be ready to play when Dec. 5 rolls around,” she said.

   And the Lady Cougars will still have something to prove.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Play at the plate Seminole slips by Ada on Senior Night

    While a questionable call or two certainly didn’t dictate the outcome of Ada’s 10-7 loss to Seminole on Senior Night Tuesday at Cougar Field, one could make a valid argument that it certainly changed the momentum of the game.


    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tough loss for AHS girls Newcastle takes pair from Ada High soccer teams

    The Ada High School girls soccer team, despite a great defensive effort, dropped a 1-0 district decision to host Newcastle on Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Konawa stuns Stonewall Local Softball & Baseball Capsules

    April 17, 2014

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New man on campus ECU hires Cole as new women's basketball coach

    The East Central University athletics department has announced the hiring of Matt Cole as the new head women’s basketball coach. The announcment came via e-mail Monday afternoon.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reed, Roff blank Sulphur Local Baseball & Softball Capsules

    April 16, 2014

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • East Central Spring Sports Roundup

    The East Central University baseball team gave its seniors a great memory for Senior Day, earning a 6-5 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State in the ninth inning to claim the Great American Conference series 2-1 Saturday at Tiger Field.

    April 16, 2014

  • Baseball and Softball Capsules

    April 12, 2014

    April 16, 2014

  • Cougs continue to win Ada stretches win streak to seven

    Gabe Simons jump-started the Ada offense with his three-run homer to left field in the bottom of the second before the Cougars pushed across six more runs in the bottom of the fourth, sending Sulphur packing 9-1 Thursday evening at Cougar Field.


    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Momma said there'd be days like this

    Sometimes you just have to chalk it up as one of those days. There are those moments — and in this case, games — that just don’t go your way.


    April 16, 2014

  • Whitworth resets Ada's 3-point record

    As senior Walker Whitworth was bombing in the final five 3-point shots of his remarkable Ada High career, he was resetting the school’s triples record at 151. Across the way at the A-Town Barber Shop, barber Erick Gray did not even know he owned the record of 146, much less that someone was breaking it. 


    April 16, 2014