Kobe Burgess did his best Kobe Bryant imitation, and the Ada High boys basketball team used a smothering second-half defense in a 60-50 come-from-behind win over Seminole on Senior Night Saturday inside the Cougar Activity Center.
Ada, ranked No. 19 in Class 4A, improved to 16-6 on the year, while No. 15 Seminole dropped to 16-4. The Cougars avenged a 65-53 loss to Seminole on Dec. 19.
Ada had trailed 38-30 at halftime but surrendered just 12 total points in the second half to the talented Seminole squad.
“It’s a really good win for us heading into the playoffs. We needed it,” said first-year Ada head coach Garland Parks. “They’re a really good team. We played them earlier in the season and just didn’t play well. We knew it was going to be tough.”
Burgess exploded for a game-high 34 points and also had six rebounds, seven steals and three assists. The Ada junior said he wanted to see his team win on Senior Night and even the season series with the Chieftains at 1-1.
“It’s a big win. They beat us last time at their place. We wanted revenge,” Burgess said. “It was senior night and Kylen Cooper is our only senior, and I wanted to do it for him.”
Parks wasn’t surprised to see Burgess’ lofty stat line following the game.
“He’s just that kind of player. The team goes as he goes. He doesn’t have to score for us to be successful, but when he does we’re that much better,” he said. “He usually steps up in big games, and he really stepped up tonight.”
Ada outscored Seminole 30-12 over the final two quarters.
“It was something we talked about at halftime — not taking plays off. I thought a couple of times in the first half, we had three kids defending and the other two watching. You just can’t have that. Everyone has to be involved the entire possession,” Parks said.
“Our kids responded. Even though we got down, they kept fighting,” he continued. “We kind of took away some of the things they were doing in the first half. It was a great effort.”
Seminole got off to a great start and had Ada behind the eight-ball in the first half. After SHS playmaker Shemmario Stephens worked his way inside the paint for a basket to start the second quarter, Ada trailed 19-11.
Two Burgess free throws at the 3:51 mark got the Cougars within 27-23, and a putback by Cody Smith with less than a minute left in the period trimmed the Seminole advantage to 32-27.
Things then got wacko in the closing seconds of the first half.
Seminole’s Deyton Jackson was fouled and sent to the free-throw line with 37.3 seconds left. Ada’s Jake Shannon then hurried off the bench to the scorer’s table to check into the ballgame. Ironically, Michelle Shannon, Jake’s mother, was running the clock for the game and sounded the buzzer when Jake arrived at the table. Shannon then started to enter the game when one of the three game officials blew his whistle.
The three officials then met for a discussion. After the meeting, the referee who blew the whistle charged Jake Shannon with a technical foul.
The Ada High sophomore told The Ada News after the game that the official underneath the basket motioned for him to enter the game. The other official said Shannon entered the game illegally and accessed the technical foul.
It proved to be a huge momentum swing for the Chieftains. Jackson made his two free throws, Kason Clark sank the two technical free shots and then Stephens hit a jumper that gave the visitors a six-point possession and put Ada in a 38-27 hole.
But with time running out, Jaxson Robinson launched a shot from just after he stepped across half court — from about 40 feet away — that hit nothing but net for a 3-pointer that closed the gap to 38-30 at the break.
Ada scored the first eight points of the third quarter to knot the score at 38-all. Burgess converted a three-point play, Smith drilled a 3-pointer and Robinson scored on a baseline drive.
Trevor Brinker scored when he got free on a backdoor play to put Seminole on top 43-40 heading to the fourth quarter. Jackson drilled a 3-pointer to open the final period to push the Chieftains’ lead to 46-40.
Burgess scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to rally Ada, which outscored the visitors 20-4 the rest of the way.
Seminole’s Stephens — who scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the first half — hit a free throw that cut Ada’s lead to 51-50 with 3:41 left, but the Chieftains wouldn’t score again as the hosts went on a 9-0 run to end the game.
Smith and Robinson finished with seven points apiece for Ada, while Cooper scored just four points but grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals.
The Cougars host Blanchard Friday night in a Class 4A District Tournament game. The Cougars edged the Lions 53-47 in a hard-fought battle Jan. 18 at the Newcastle Tournament.
“Hopefully this can carry over into the playoffs. We know it’s going to be tough. We have to play our best basketball, and I think we are,” Parks said. “They’re a tough team. They have a really good guard and some big, physical forwards. We have to come be ready to play.”