DURANT — The Ada Lady Cougars didn’t shoot as well as they had of late against Durant on the road Monday night.

But thanks to their always stingy defense, coach Jeff Maloy’s team was able to turn back the upset-minded Lady Lions 39-35.

Ada led 16-6 at the break and still held a 30-19 advantage heading into the final period. The Lady Cougars went without a field goal in the fourth quarter, but hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final eight minutes to keep Durant at bay.

“(Durant) came out with some intensity and I don’t think our intensity was quite there. But we just hung on,” Maloy said.

The 12-ranked Lady Cougars improved to 17-5 on the year heading into Thursday’s Class 5A Regional Tournament in Duncan. Ada will meet Western Heights at 6:30 p.m. in an elimination game.

Ada welcomed Joy Barrick back to the lineup. She came off the bench and scored three points — all from the free throw line — to help the Lady Cougars stay just ahead of Durant.

“We just wanted to see if she could play or not,” Maloy said. “She was able to slow them down and hit some big free throws at the end of the game.”

Ada hit 17-of-21 free throws in the contest.

“Free throws proved to be the difference,” Maloy said.

Lauren Whitworth continued her solid play with 15 points and went 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Molly Maloy was close behind with 14 and hit 4-of-4 free throws.

Alysse Morgan scored 12 points to lead Durant.

The Ada boys dropped a 50-44 decision to the Lions but no information was reported from that contest.

The Cougars, now 7-15, will meet host Chickasha in Class 5A Regional Tournament action Friday night at 8 p.m.

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