Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ada News
Ada super sophomore Cory Kilby didn’t score for nearly 27 minutes of the Cougars’ Class 2A Regional Tournament showdown with Tecumseh Thursday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.
In fact, Kilby finished with just five points, all from the free-throw line. No worries, though. He had plenty of help from his friends.
John Stout scored 19 points and couldn’t be stopped on drives to the basket and sharpshooter Walker Whitworth added 18 as the Cougars proved the fourth time was the charm in a 57-46 win over the high-powered Savages.
It was No. 17 Ada’s first win over fifth-ranked Tecumseh in four tries this season. The Cougars improved to 16-9 on the year and played No. 11 Harrah in a 4A Regional title game Saturday night in Newcastle. Tecumseh slipped into the 4A loser’s bracket at 21-4.
What was different this time around? Ada head coach Ron Anderson said it was his team’s mindset.
“Our effort. We played from start to finish. You never saw hardly any lulls in the game on our part,” Anderson said. “It’s my biggest win since I’ve been in Ada.”
The game was tight for one and a half quarters.
After Tecumseh big man Colton Owen converted on an old fashioned three-point play that got the Savages to within 24-20 at the 2:26 mark of the second quarter, the Cougars went on a 12-1 run that stretched into the third period.
Whitworth drained a 3-pointer, and Stout followed a Tecumseh free throw by scoring on one of his many drives to the basket that put Ada ahead 29-21 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Easton Pingleton scored on a quick basket to start things off, David Forbes hit his only field goal from around the free throw line on a nice pass by Stout, who then made a layup that put Ada on top 36-21 with just under five minutes to play in the period.
Tecumseh rallied when Julio Hukill scored six points in an 11-2 run that saw the Savages close the gap to 38-32 at the 1:52 mark of the third.
Pingleton hit two big buckets to open the fourth quarter, and Kilby followed with two free throws (his first two points of the game) at the 5:25 mark that extended the Ada cushion back to 46-34.
The Savages attempted one final comeback, getting within five at 46-41, but Stout scored again and then got a steal that led to a momentum-changing play by Pingleton. The quick Ada senior made good on a three-point play after racing down the court to get under a length-of-the-court pass by Stout and hitting a layup while being fouled. Pingleton gave the hosts a 50-41 edge with two minutes to play.
Tecumseh didn’t threaten after that.
Stout would finish 9-of-11 from the field to lead the Ada offense.
“He was on a mission. That’s a John Stout that we have seen in spurts throughout the year, but tonight he sustained it, but not only offense but on defense,” Anderson said. “His overall attitude on both offense and defense was outstanding.”
Whitworth’s 18 points included a 7-of-8 shooting night. Pingleton also reached double digits with 10.
“We were just able to out-athlete them tonight. We attacked on offense. Our overall effort was really great,” Anderson said.
Kilby’s point total was the least of Anderson’s worries after the game. Kilby suffered a shoulder injury with 5:07 to play, went to the bench and iced it down for a few minutes, but was able to return and hit three late free throws.
“We knew Cory would have some difficulty because they push him around all the time. If he doesn’t get the call, we have to rely on some other things,” Anderson said.
Tecumseh got 13 points from Hukill and 11 points and eight rebounds from Owen off the bench. Davis added nine points, 10 rebounds and three steals in a losing cause for the Savages. Alan Brewer, who torched Ada for 31 points in a previous meeting, finished with six on 2-of-15 shooting from the field thanks to a box-and-one defense led by Stout and Pingleton.
“We ran a junk defense for the first time since I’ve been at Ada. That pushed him out a lot so he couldn’t get the shots off he got against us in the past,” Anderson said.