ADA — By his own admission, the Ada Lady Cougars left head coach Jeff Maloy at a loss of words after their first-half performance against the Durant Lady Lions Tuesday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.

What a work of art it was.

By halftime, Ada had hit 13-of-18 field goals —including 4-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc — to grab an 18-point lead and went on to demolish Durant 53-34 in a game that really wasn’t that close.

The Lady Cougars, who climbed back into the Class 5A rankings this week at No. 15, improved to 10-4 on the year while Durant left town at 7-8.

“That was probably the best basketball we’ve played,” said Maloy, whose team ventured into the locker room with a 33-15 lead. “I was speechless at halftime. I thought that was as good as we could play.”

Durant head coach Barry Hudson had to be impressed too.

While the Lady Lions began the game with an 0-for-7 drought, Ada bolted to a 13-0 lead after just under six minutes of action. Freshman Jourdan Clark scored seven points during the opening surge — four coming on steals and layups. Molly Maloy contributed the other half-dozen points on the strength of two 3-pointers.

Durant climbed back in it momentarily, using a 13-6 run to whittle the Ada lead down to 19-13.

But Maloy drilled another 3-pointer to start a 14-2 Ada run that ended the first half. Megan Foley, Ada’s 6-1 post player, had seven points in the pivotal stretch — including ... gasp! — a 3-pointer of her own.

It was Foley’s first career 3-point make in a varsity game.

“To be honest with you, she is sometimes a better 3-point shooter than she is in the low post. And we fight about that every day. I need her in the low post and she wants to shoot the three. But when you’re 6-1, we need her down low to draw the double team,” Maloy said. “But I thought we really broke it open when we stuck Foley at the high post tonight. It got her in the offense and she was able to find our shooters.”

The Lady Lions would get no closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Clark would end up leading a balanced Ada offensive attack with 16 points. She hit 5-of-7 field goals, had five rebounds and seven steals in a superb, all-round effort.

Maloy would end up draining 5-of-7 3-point tries for 15 points, while Foley followed with 11 points, eight rebounds and a handful of assists.

The decisive victory left Jeff Maloy beaming about his five starters.

“Foley had a heckuva game offensively, Jourdan Clark just gave them fits handling the ball, you had Molly shooting the ball and you had Bolin and (Joy) Barrick filling their roles and doing exactly what they needed to be doing,” he said.

The game also featured the varsity debut of freshman Taylor Howard, who scored five points and had a steal and a rebound in quality minutes as the first player off the bench.

“I’ve been looking at more girls off the bench this year than I ever have. I felt Taylor was really coming on in practice and in the ninth grade and JV games. I thought she could give us another offensive threat,” Maloy said. “She’s able to handle the ball and she can defend and she can give us more offense.”

Maloy did notice that Ada finished with 17 turnovers.

“We turned it over a few times that we shouldn’t have. But every coach wants to cut back turnovers. But shooting the ball, defense, overall I am really happy,” he said.

No Durant player scored more than six points.

Ada travels to Broken Bow and Idabel Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Maloy said if his team’s success continues, the Lady Cougars could put themselves in a position to host a Class 5A Regional Tournament.

“If we can have a good two weeks, you could possible have two home games in the playoffs. But we just have to take one game at a time and take care of business,” he said.