ADA — Mike Anderson is no longer the boys basketball coach at Ada High School, but he is still having an influence on the basketball program.

The Cougar Classic, a tournament that faded from the local sports scene a decade ago, will return this week at the Cougar Activity Center, largely due to Anderson’s efforts in his last season as head coach.

“It was something that Mike wanted to do because of our new facility,” Ada athletic director Mark Kedy said of the Classic, which will be held Thursday through Saturday and will feature a round-robin among boys and girls teams from Ada, Ponca City, Durant and Madill. “He was the driving force in getting it back.”

Ada’s boys and girls teams will play the final two games (7 and 8:30 p.m.) each day of the Classic, which opens with a contest between the Madill and Ponca City girls at 4 p.m. Thursday. Madill will face Ponca City in a boys game at 5:30, then the Lady Cougars and Cougars will face teams from Durant in the last two games of the evening.

Friday’s action has Madill and Durant meeting in the early games and Ada facing Ponca City later in the evening, and Ada will face Madill Saturday after the Ponca City teams meet Durant earlier in the day.

“It’s more of a round robin than a true tournament, but I think next year it will evolve into a boys-only tournament,” Kedy said, adding that Ada girls coach Jeff Maloy wanted to keep his tournament options option — especially next season, when the Lady Cougars are expected to be in the field for the prestigious Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Tournament the week after Christmas.

Ada’s Lady Cougars (7-2) and the Ponca City boys (7-6) are the only teams who will come into the Cougar Classic with winning records, but all of the teams in the field have played tough schedules this season.

The Ada girls and boys are coming off a rare sweep at Ardmore Saturday, with the girls beating the Lady Tigers, 42-35, behind Molly Maloy’s 14 points and the Cougars (4-5) upsetting the 15th-ranked Tigers, 48-45, in a game that was easily the best of the season for first-year coach Scott Lowrance’s young club.

Ponca City (the only 6A school in the Classic field) was swept by highly-ranked teams from Jenks Tuesday night, but the Ponca boys scored an easy 56-44 victory last Friday over a Sand Springs club that handed Ada its worst defeat of the season (56-43) in the first round of the East Central Oklahoma Basketball Classic two weeks ago. The Ponca City girls are 4-10 after Tuesday’s loss.

Durant’s girls improved to 6-7 with a 56-47 victory last Friday over a Broken Bow team the Lady Cougars handled early in the season, while the Durant boys — who boast victories over McAlester (a 34-31 winner over Ada Friday) and Byng this season — dropped a 57-43 decision to Broken Bow (which edged Ada last month).

Madill’s boys scored quality wins over Coalgate and Tishomingo early in the season, but they lost earlier this month, 79-58, to a Dickson team that Ada beat in a thriller on Dec. 9, and the Madill girls — who beat a good Tishomingo team early in the season — also lost to Dickson (one of the Lady Cougars’ seven victims this season), 59-50.