The Ada Lady Cougars were just like a Timex watch during a Friday night home game with Duncan — they took lickin’ after lickin’ and kept on tickin’.
Ada players were thrown to the floor, one was knocked out of bounds and another was clipped in the nose by a nasty flying elbow. But the Lady Cougars persevered and doused the Lady Demons 46-35.
The battered Ada club improved to 1-1 on the young season while Duncan — No. 13 in Class 5A — suffered its first loss, falling to 2-1.
In the boys contest, Ada trailed by as many as 17 in the third quarter but cut the Duncan lead to nine two different times in the fourth before running out of steam in a 66-56 loss.
The Ada boys fell to 0-2 while Duncan — ranked No. 18 in Class 5A — stayed unbeaten at 3-0.
Ada 46, Duncan 35
The Lady Cougars held the Duncan offense to 25 percent shooting (14-of-56) and raced to a 14-3 lead last in the first quarter and were never really threatened after that.
The Lady Demons, who seemed content to toss up 3-pointers at any time, fired up eight shots from beyond the arc before even attempting to shoot from anywhere inside the line. Meanwhile, Ada went 4-of-8 from the field to start the game and playmaker Erin Walling scored 10 of her 19 points during the early Lady Cougar streak.
Duncan got within 14-9 early in the second period, but Ada held the Lady Demons to just three points over the final six and a half minutes and built a 25-12 lead at the break.
“They live and die a lot by the three. That’s why we played zone (defense) a lot. And I sent two people back every time because they shoot the three even in transition,” Ada head coach Michelle Shannon said. “Defense makes an offense. If you hustle around on defense, then offense gets easier. We’re getting better defensively.”
The bigger story of the game was its physical nature. But the Lady Cougars, who were battered throughout most of the first half, didn’t let the Demons throw them off their game.
“It was very physical and physical both ways. I knew they were very aggressive with their defense,” Shannon said.
Shannon was visibly upset on the sideline during one point in the first half when Duncan post player Jamesia Milton — who could easily be confused as Shaquille O’Neal’s daughter — grabbed a rebound and started wildly swinging her elbows back and forth. She clipped Ada senior Charlesey YoungWolfe in the nose, but fortunately it was just a glancing blow. The elbow shot knocked YoungWolfe to the floor but she bounced up and stayed in the game.
“She’s a tough kid,” Shannon said
Milton, no doubt a load in the paint for the Lady Demons, was limited to just five point on 2-of-6 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 shooting from the line to go with nine rebounds.
“The big girl can hurt you, but we controlled her a little bit by our zone. We didn’t stick anybody down there by themselves too often,” Shannon said.
Andie Jewett scored inside to open the third period and Brooke Butler drained a 3-pointer to push the Ada lead to 30-12.
Duncan scored nine straight points early in the fourth quarter to get within 38-30, but the visitors got no closer.
Walling finished with a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with her game-high 19 points. YoungWolfe and Butler added nine points each for the hosts.
Brooklyn Scott scored 13 points for the Lady Demons before fouling out.
Duncan 66, Ada 56
Austin Peteet, who made his first start of his career for Ada, scored after a nice pump fake to get Ada within 14-10 early in the second quarter but the Demons used a 13-3 run over the next 2:41 to take control.
Ada committed 12 first-half turnovers (and finished with 18) thanks to a relentless trapping zone defense employed by Duncan.
“Part of this tonight was my fault. I didn’t do my homework well enough to anticipate the halfcourt defense they ran against us,” Ada head coach Ron Anderson said. “I saw them run it a little bit the other night at Madill, but they ran it a lot tonight. We did very little, if any, to prepare for that, and we had a whole week. I’ve got to do a little better job of doing my homework. (Duncan coach Mikel Davison) didn’t do it very much last year, and kind of tricked me on that.”
Duncan still led 39-23 at halftime before Ada made it a game in the final period thank to getting hot from beyond the 3-point arc.
Peteet hit a jumper, Nick Anderson swished home a 3-pointer and Paxton Kilby added a free throw in a 6-0 spurt that trimmed the Duncan lead to 54-45 with 5:21 left. But the Demons used a 12-6 run (Ada’s six came on 3-pointers from Peteet and Zach Garcia) to finally pull away.
Ada would finish 10-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line.
“We played hard again. I felt really good about our effort,” Anderson said. “(Duncan’s) a very good team and he does a great job with them. The big difference is they made plays and we didn’t make as many plays. We’ve got to get tougher. We play hard but we have to get a little tougher.”
Despite being slowed a bit with a shoulder injury, Nick Anderson still scored a team-high 15 points for the Cougars while Peteet followed closely with 14. Kilby also hit double digits with 11 points to go with his team-high six boards.
Daniel McCoy led Duncan with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three of Duncan’s 13 steals. The Demons outrebounded Ada 41-30.
The Cougars won’t get much of a breather Tuesday night, traveling to Ardmore to take on Class 5A’s second-ranked squad. It will the Ada boys’ third straight ranked opponent.
“Ardmore is Ardmore — great athletes, transition and really good shooters,” Anderson said. “We never back down against anybody. That’s not the Ada Cougar way. We’re just going to have to keep playing hard.”