ADA — After swimming with sharks all season, the Choctaw Lady Jackets were the big fish at this week’s East Central Oklahoma Basketball Classic.

Choctaw, 1-5 when the tournament began after facing such elite teams as Mustang and Edmond Santa Fe earlier in the season, breezed through three games and capped its dominant run with a convincing 51-36 victory over Ada in Saturday’s championship game.

The loss snapped the Lady Cougars’ five-game winning streak, while Choctaw improved to 4-5.

“I thought we got a little tired,” Ada coach Jeff Maloy said after watching his team — a 30-27 winner over Edmond North in Friday’s second semifinal — struggle on offense for the second straight night against a Class 6A club from the Oklahoma City area. “I think that second game took a little bit out of us.

“But we’ve got our heads up,” he added. “We won two out of three. We’ve just got to find a way to score more points in our half-court offense.”

Ada (5-2) kept the game close in the first half, leading for the last time at 15-14 after a pair of Jourdan Clark free throws 48.6 seconds before intermission, and the Lady Cougars trailed just 18-16 at halftime before the Lady Jackets flexed their muscle in the third quarter.

Bridget Reynolds — who had 10 of her 12 points in the second half — put back an offensive rebound just 1:45 into the third quarter for the first basket in a 10-2 Choctaw run that gave the Lady Jackets a 28-18 lead with three minutes left in the period. Reynolds and tournament MVP Kaitie Parrish had four points apiece during that span, with Parrish following Reynolds’ putback with one of her own at the 4:50 mark and capping the Choctaw burst with a pair of free throws.

The Lady Jackets led, 32-24, after three quarters, then they scored the first seven points of the final period (including five by Parrish) to put the game away. Ada center Megan Foley fouled with 5:57 left in the game, and Maloy, after using four of his five allotted timeouts (including two called when the Lady Cougars couldn’t inbound the ball) in just over two quarters, had no way to stem the tide.

“I thought our defense was pretty good,” said Maloy, whose team faces its toughest week of the season with road games Tuesday at Hugo and Saturday at Ardmore and a home date Friday with McAlester. “Any time you hold a 6A school to 18 points in a half, you have to be happy, but we have to get better on offense.”

Molly Maloy, Ada’s only representative on the all-tournament team, hit three 3-pointers in the game to finish with nine points, and Clark — the Lady Cougars’ 5-5 point guard — had a solid all-around game with nine points, six rebounds and two steals. Foley hit all three of her shots Saturday and finished with eight points to cap a solid tournament performance, but Ada hit only 10-of-27 shots in the game.

Choctaw, meanwhile, managed just seven field goals in 20 attempts in the first half but connected on 9-of-17 after intermission.

Parrish scored 11 of her game-high 14 points in the second half, and all three of her baskets in the final two period came on putbacks of offensive rebounds. Bridget Reynolds had 13 points (11 in the second half), and Shanna Orr went 3-of-4 from the field to finish with seven points and also earned all-tournament honors.

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