ADA — In a game where both teams played relentless defense, it was only fitting that a huge defensive play ultimately decided the outcome.

With the Ada Cougars clinging to a two-point lead, freshman Colton Richardson took a charge from Idabel playmaker George Threadgill with just 7.5 seconds left in double overtime that helped the host hang on for a heart-pounding 48-44 win Tuesday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.

Coach Scott Lowrance watched his team snap a seven-game losing streak in impressive fashion with the thrilling victory over the defending Class 4A state champions.

“As hard as these kids work in practice and with the record they have, they deserve a win like this at home to finish off our home season,” he said of the Cougars’ Senior Night victory.

Ada improved to 7-14 while Idabel left town at 12-10.

In the girls contest, the Lady Cougars got off to a strong start before sleepwalking to a 34-24 win over an Idabel team they had destroyed 51-12 on Jan. 28.

The Ada girls improved to 16-5 while the Lady Warriors fell to 9-12.

BOYS

Ada 48, Idabel 44 (2 OT)

After a lackluster, scoreless first overtime period, things heated up in the second extra period. That four minutes featured a combined 22 points and three technical fouls.

The last 15.8 seconds were breathtaking enough, beginning with two free throws by Threadgill — for the last of his game-high 18 points — that trimmed the Cougars’ lead to 45-44.

Ada’s Chaz Daniels caught the ensuing inbounds pass, was fouled immediately and hit the first of two free throws with :15 showing to put Ada on top 46-44.

Threadgill then hurried down the floor and drove down the left side of the lane but not before Richardson slid over to absorb the charge. Threadgill fouled out on the play.

“We preach taking a charge. We talk about it in practice and (Colton) stepped over at the right time. It was a big, big play in a big part of the game,” Lowrance said.

Veteran Idabel head coach Jeff “Slim” Coleman had seen enough at that point and headed to the locker room after the charging call. And then Idabel’s Shamond Faulks — who had already fouled out — was whistled for a technical foul from his spot on the bench.

Cody Hibbard then iced the game with two free throws and Ada ran out the clock from there.

“It was one of those games we believed we were going to win ... and nothing was going to stop us from winning that ballgame,” Lowrance said. “The kids answered the call ever time we needed it. It was a big win for us and puts us on the right pace.”

The second overtime session got crazy even before it got started. Just before the tip-off, Coleman was whistled for a technical foul after visiting with a game official.

Hibbard would hit one of these free throws and then Richardson scored on a nice drive to the basket to put Ada on top 38-35 at the 3:16 mark.

Daniels then tipped an errant pass by Idabel’s Damon Hankins into the hands of Hibbard and the Cougars tried to run some time off the clock.

Idabel used its defensive pressure to force an Ada turnover just before Lowrance could save the Cougars with a time out. Unfortunately, one of the two referees turned only to see Lowrance a few feet on the court and charged him with a technical foul.

“He just saw me on the floor. He didn’t hear me calling time out. It was my fault. It was a young mistake that I made and I’m glad we survived it,” Lowrance said.

Two more Threadgill free throws cut Ada’s lead back to one, but Daniels converted on a huge 3-point play with 1:42 left after knifing his way through traffic for a layup and getting hacked in the act.

Trailing by four, Idabel’s Tony Daniels took his first 3-point attempt of the game and buried it to again get the Warriors close at 43-42 with 26.3 ticks left.

Hibbard answered with two more free throws to put the hosts back on top by three and set the stage for the dramatic ending.

Richardson — who would finish with 17 points and nine rebounds — hit a free throw with 1:51 left in regulation to knot the score at 35-35.

Idabel appeared to be going for a last shot, but a steal by Michael Roberts with 23.9 ticks left gave Ada an opportunity to go for the win. But Roberts misfired on a game-winning 3-point try at the buzzer.

Ada led by seven at 34-27 early in the fourth period before Idabel rallied with eight straight points to take the lead with 4:57 left. But Richardson’s free throw was the only point scored during the remainder of regulation.

Hibbard finished with 11 points for AHS, sinking 7-of-8 free throws. Daniels scored eight points while three other Ada players — Roberts, Patrick Maloy and Steffan Jones — all had four points apiece.

The Cougars dominated the boards, out-rebounding Idabel 32-15.

“We beat a good team,” Lowrance said. “Idabel has been playing really well. They played Broken Bow (No. 1 in Class 4A) within five points they beat Durant, they beat McAlester, they handled us down there pretty well. I think they had won five out of six coming in.”

GIRLS

Ada 34, Idabel 24

After the two teams traded buckets to start the game, Ada scored nine unanswered points to finish the opening period and go on top 11-2.

The Lady Cougar offense began to lag in the second quarter. In fact, the Lady Cougars would score until Megan Foley scored on an assist by Taylor Howard just 1:36 before halftime.

Idabel got with 13-8 and it looked like it would stay that way, but AHS freshman Jordan Clark hit a 27-footer as time was running out to give the Lady Cougars a 16-8 lead at the break.

A putback by Lauren Whitworth and a 3-pointer from Molly Maloy (her only one of the night) finally gave Ada its first double-digit lead of the game.

Megan Foley’s jumper from the free throw line with 6:03 left gave the Lady Cougs their biggest lead of the game at 32-18. Minutes later, Ada would slow down the tempo of the game dramatically and run most of the remaining time of the clock. And Idabel refused to send Ada to the free throw line in the final minutes, instead letting the hosts milk away the final two-plus minutes off the clock.

“I really thought we had it in control the whole time. I just wanted to control the tempo late. I knew they were capable of throwing in a couple of threes. I didn’t mind if we won by 10. If they want to let us do that, we’ll stand out there and let the clock run off and go home,” Maloy said.

Whitworth was again a strong presence inside for Ada, finishing with a game-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Molly Maloy and Clark added five points each while Foley had a solid all-around game with four points, three rebounds, six blocks and five assists.

Reserve Elisha French hit a trio of 3-pointers — including two in the fourth quarter — to lead Idabel with nine points. Katie Hamilton added seven points and six rebounds to help the Lady Warriors to a 27-13 rebounding edge.

Ada shot just two free throws in the game.

Both Cougar teams return to action Monday, traveling to Durant.

This Week's Circulars