ADA — The third quarter was the charm for both Ada High School basketball teams Thursday night during the 2006 Ada Cougar Classic.

Both host teams were scheduled to face their counterparts from Durant, but due to a scheduling snafu, the visitors brought their junior varsity squads instead.

In the girls contest, Ada and Durant JV were tied at 15-15 after a low-scoring first half but the Lady Cougars used a 13-4 third-quarter surge en route to a 34-25 victory.

Coach Jeff Maloy’s team improved to 8-3 on the year.

The boy’s contest was almost a mirror image, as the Cougars led 23-21 at the half before scoring the first 13 points of the third quarter and eventually cruising to a 57-32 win.

Both Ada teams are sure to face much sterner tests tonight when they meet Ponca City in the round-robin event at 7 and 8:30 p.m.

In the early games on Thursday, the Ponca City girls thrashed Madill 52-23 while the Ponca City boys rolled by Madill 80-50.

Madill and Durant’s JV teams open today’s Cougar Classic schedule at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

BOYS

Ada 57, Durant JV 32

Ada’s turnaround was simple. The Cougars hit just 9-of-28 field goals in the first two-quarters but then sank 8-of-11 in a 20-8 third-quarter volley that effectively put the game away.

“We took a lot of shots we shouldn’t have,” said Ada head coach Scott Lowrance of his team’s first-half lull. “And we were rushing some shots.”

Lowrance said his team also realized Durant didn’t bring its best players.

“We looked across the floor and realized Durant didn’t send their varsity and no matter how well you prepare, in the back of your mind you say ‘no matter what we do, we can beat them’ We just had that mentality the first half,” he explained. “The second half we didn’t have that mentality. We discussed it thoroughly at halftime ... and we went out and executed in the second half. We played a lot better.”

Ada's big third-quarter run began with a putback by Michael Roberts, five straight points by Cody Hibbard, a bucket inside by Patrick Maloy and a three-point play from Steffan Jones. After a free throw by Maloy, Ada led 36-21 at the 4:02 mark.

Ian Webster fought off a rough shooting night to score five straight point to start the fourth, and after Colton Richardson got free inside for two more, Ada led 50-29 and the rout was on. The Cougars ended up with 11 players in the scoring column, including Tyler Jones, Caleb Dillard and Matthew Beasley, who got rare varsity action.

“I was happy. Matt Beasley got a bucket there toward the end, Caleb Dillard scored. I was really happy for those guys. They work hard every day in practice,” Lowrance said. “Before the game we talked about wanting to go out and execute where those guys would have an opportunity to play. My hope was that they would play a little more, but it was never really out of hand until there in the fourth quarter.

“That’s what it’s all about. We practice as a team, and we need to play as a team. The guys that start and play a lot were cheering them on. Those guys give everything they have in practice every day so it was good to get those guys out there and watch them have a little success.”

Hibbard was the only Ada player to reach double digits, scoring a game-high 16 points. Webster scored seven points but was just 3-of-10 from the field. But he led Ada to a 35-27 rebounding edge with nine boards.

Chaz Daniels had an all-around solid outing for Ada with six points, eight steals and six assists.

Mark Long scored 10 points to pace the Lions JV team.

Ada, now 5-6 on the year, will try to reach .500 against an athletic Ponca City 6A squad.

“Ponca City is good. They have too kids that have already committed to playing Division I football. Both of them are going to Iowa State. They’re big, they’re athletic and they’re fast,” Lowrance said. “They’re a good team. We’re going to have to come out and play four quarters. We can’t play just two.”

GIRLS

Ada 34, Durant JV 25

The Lady Cougars led 15-9 late in the second quarter but Durant JV got back-to-back 3-pointers from freshman Lauren Hughes in the final 1:41 to knot the score at 15-15 at the break.

And after Maleria Guilbeau scored to open the third quarter and give the Lady Lions a brief 17-15 lead, Joy Barrick scored four quick points to begin a 10-0 Ada run that saw the Lady Cougars build a 25-17 lead they would never relinquish. Ada forced seven Durant JV turnovers in the third period.

Barrick would finish with a game-high 12 points to go with four steals.

The Lady Cougars got six points and four rebounds from Molly Maloy, six more points from freshman Jourdan Clark and five from Lauren Whitworth.

Center Megan Foley had just four points but grabbed a game-high seven rebounds for AHS.

Ada was still without the services of sophomore starter Jenny Bolin, who is out with a sprained ankle.

Guilbeau and Hughes scored eight apiece to lead Durant JV.

Both Ada squads will host Durant again next Tuesday back inside the Cougar Activity Center.