The Ada News
Fourth quarter dooms Ada boys
No. 13-ranked Harrah found itself trailing the upset-minded and unranked Ada Cougars in the third period here Friday night.
By the time it was over, though, the Panthers had overcome Ada leads of 21-16 at the half and 38-31 after three.
The killer was a 27-point fourth-quarter explosion by the Panthers to earn a 58-48 decision.
The Cougars scored just 10 points in the final eight minutes while giving up 17 more than that.
"We played so well in the first three quarters," Ada coach Ron Anderson said. "Then we just simply abandoned our game plan in the fourth.
"Our goal was to eliminate touches from their best player," he continued. "It was working. He had two points in the first half and only two in the third quarter."
But Collin Jennings scored 12 more points in the final period, while Ada sophomore center Cory Kilby, who went into the final quarter with 16 points, was held scoreless.
The Cougars dropped to 7-6 and face Durant at home Tuesday. Harrah improved to 10-3.
"We started gambling, leaving Jennings and other players open," Anderson said. "That resulted in them scoring a ridiculous 27 points in the fourth."
Anderson said the combination of fourth-quarter turnovers and Kilby's cold streak in the final eight minutes proved too much to overcome.
"We didn't get the normal game from Walker (Whitworth)," Anderson said. "Every shot he took was right in the mouth, but they just didn't fall."
John Stout and Easton Pingleton scored 11 and 10 points respectively for the Cougars, but Whitworth had just four points and David Forbes six.
"We are a good team, but the obvious must be corrected for us to become a very good team," Anderson said. "I really love this team, and we are just an inch from being very good, but that inch sometimes feels like a mile."
Harrah had balanced scoring with four players scoring in double figures, led by Jennings' 14 after he had been held to two through three quarters.
Anderson said his team is improving daily, but so are all the other teams. Anderson said after the team watches the game film on Monday, it will become obvious why Ada lost.
Ada girls can't solve Harrah defense
A disastrous second period and an aggressive defensive strategy helped the Lady Panthers, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A, to a convincing 55-33 win over the 19th-ranked Ada Lady Cougars Friday night.
"We have seen all kinds of double and triple teams on Aaliyah this year," said Ada Coach Christie Jennings, talking about star post player Aliyah Blakely.
"This was the first team that doubled and tripled us with two 6-footers and a 5-11 girl," she said. "It caused us problems all night.
"The defense gave us fits and their offense got hot," Jennings said, whose team dropped to 8-5 for the season.
The Lady Cougar coach did feel that Sami Jewett and Kyndel Carter did a good job penetrating the Lady Panthers defense and trying to make things happen.
Jewett led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, but she was the only Ada player able to score in double figures. Blakely was held to six points.
On the other end of the court, Bailey Mack burned the Lady Cougars for 21 points, while Darien Hill added 14 and Blake Blessington 10 to give Harrah three players in double figures.
For a quarter the two teams fought on near-even terms, with Ada owning a narrow 8-7 lead after the opening eight minutes. But the Lady Panthers established their dominance by outscoring Ada 20-4 in the second quarter.
It didn't get much better in the third (a 15-7 Harrah advantage, and Ada could only cut the deficit by a point in the final eight minutes.
Despite the double- and triple-teaming by Harrah to deny Blakely the ball, she still had 11 rebounds during the game. Jewett added six boards and Menee Thomsen 5.
But overall, Jennings said her team was lethargic and a step slow.
"We have to get better to win next week's games," she said.
The Lady Cougars get that chance at home Tuesday night against Durant.