Brian Johnson Special Correspondent
The Ada News
Ada’s Lady Cougars fell into a 12-0 hole against Class 3A top-ranked Perkins-Tryon and were unable to recover as the Lady Demons claimed the championship of the Oklahoma Baptist Bison Invitational with a 43-23 decision Saturday night at the Noble Complex.
Ada, which suffered its first loss under new head coach Christie Jennings, managed just six field goals the entire night and was 10-of-13 from the free-throw stripe.
Perkins-Tryon (ranked No. 1 in Class 3A) connected on six 3-pointers and used its size advantage to take a 23-22 edge on the boards.
“Perkins is one of the best teams I’ve seen. You can’t act scared and intimidated against a team of that caliber,” said Jennings. “We knew they had good shooters, but they struggled a bit in their first two games (of the tournament), so we decided to clog up the middle.”
Junior post Jordan Gorham tossed in 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and junior Jeri Adkism added 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and six rebounds for the Lady Demons. Bailey Wensler, who also sank a pair of treys, followed with eight points for the winners.
Ailiyah Blakely, a 5-11 junior forward, led the Lady Cougars with eight points, but was only 3-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the line. She did, however, lead Ada with seven rebounds and was solid defensively with a game-high four steals.
Teammate Sami Jewett, a 5-8 junior, added five points, despite 1-of-7 shooting from the field. She was 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Both Blakely and Jewett were named to the Bison Invitational All-Tournament Team, following the championship contest.
Back-to-back inside buckets by Gorham to start the game and two Wensler 3-pointers led Perkins-Tryon to the early 12-0 advantage.
Menee Thomsen’s 3-pointer, off an Olivia Wells pass, finally got the Lady Cougars on the scoreboards as the Lady Demons went on to a 13-3 lead after one quarter.
From there, Ada was unable to slice the deficit to single digits the rest of the way.
The closest the Lady Cougars got was 22-12 with 1:36 remaining before halftime when Blakely nailed a 12-foot shot off a Thomsen feed. But Perkins closed out the second quarter with a 5-0 run on a basket by Gorham and a 3-pointer by Lacey Shipp with nine seconds to go.
The Lady Demons went on to outscore Ada 9-4 in the third period to build their advantage to 20 points.
The Lady Cougars (No. 12 in Class 4A and 2-1 on the season) are home for the first time on Tuesday as they take on Madill. Ada then hosts Tecumseh on Friday.