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January 27, 2014

Ada boys throttle Blanchard in semis

NEWCASTLE —    Vin Diesel would be proud.

   The Ada High boys basketball did its best rendition of “The Fast and The Furious,", scoring 40 points in just over 10 minutes and eventually blowing past Blanchard 79-45 Friday during the semifinals of the 2014 Newcastle Invitational.

   Ada, ranked No. 15 in Class 4A heading into a Saturday night tournament championship matchup with Class 4A No. 11 Woodward, improved to 9-5 on the season while Blanchard slipped to 7-6.

   The Cougars sank a blistering 13 of their first 19 shots and, after the Lions cut an Ada lead to 16-12 with a basket by Parker Randels, Anderson’s club kicked its offense into another level.

   Ada would score 24 unanswered points — including the first 12 of the second period — during a near-flawless scoring spree that all but put the game away early.

   Cory Kilby scored seven of those early second-quarter points via a 3-pointer, a catch-and-shoot basket on an inbounds play and a thunderous dunk on a strong move to the basket. Sharpshooter Walker Whitworth hit a 3-pointer during the opening salvo that was capped by two free throws from Jamal Henderson at the 5:36 mark that put Ada on top 40-12.

   “We were hitting on all cylinders. Their coach asked me if we shoot that way all the time, and I said no. We would be undefeated if we did,” said Ada head coach Ron Anderson.

   “Boy, what we did tonight,” Anderson said, almost not believing it himself. “Tonight they followed our preparation to a T, too. Some nights they don’t always follow it. They followed directions and did what we wanted them to do, and we’re better for it.”

   Kilby was a scoring machine for the Cougars. He had 18 of Ada’s first 40 points and finished with 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting to go with eight rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. The small Ada contingent on hand got loud when Henderson grabbed a fast-break rebound and fed Kilby — who was trailing the play — a no-look, behind-the-back pass that he thundered home with two hands. That score put Ada on top 55-27 at the 4:35 mark of the third period.

   The Cougars led by 38 (79-41) on Kilby’s strong putback with 3:14 to play that gave Ada its final points of the game.

   Ada had forged a 48-19 halftime advantage. At that point, Ada had made 19-of-30 field goals compared to 9-of-20 for the Lions.

   “I’m proud of our defense, too. We held them to 19 points in the first half,” Anderson said. “I’m really proud of every single one of them.”

   Ada also had just one turnover through the first 16 minutes.

   During the recent ugly five-game stretch when Ada lost four straight, the Cougars scored 45 (in two OTs), 37 and 41 in three of those outings. Needless to say, Anderson was proud to see his offense nearly hit the 80-point mark against a quality opponent.

   “As a coach, when you lose four in a row and barely get by your next one, you question yourself as a coach and you question some of the things you are trying to do,” he said. “I think we grew up as a team. I think we now know we’re capable of playing this way. It’s going to be hard to score 70-something points every game, but we know we can now."

   Anderson said he never dreamed his squad would dominate the Lions in such an impressive fashion.

   “Blanchard is a better team than they started out. And they’re better than their record. (Thursday) night, they played very well (in a 61-46 first-round win over Noble). We felt like we had our work cut out, but we made baskets,” he said.

   Whitworth hit six 3-pointers — including his last four in a row — and added 23 points and three steals for Ada, while Tryce Prince and Henderson added seven points each.

   Randels scored 15 points to lead the Lions, while Coy Hacker followed with eight points and seven rebounds.

   Ada is at home Tuesday when Madill visits.

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