Bethel Acres — In a game which appeared to be severely beaten by an ugly stick, it was a downright gruesome ending for the Class 4A 13th-ranked Ada Cougars on Wednesday.
Ada suffered its third straight hard-luck defeat as Tecumseh survived for a 48-45 double-overtime win in the boys’ championship game of the weather-delayed Global Productions Tournament at Bethel High School’s B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.
The tournament originally started in mid-December, but the final day of competition was postponed due to icy, wintry and hazardous traveling conditions.
Ada, which fell to 6-4 with the loss, built a five-point lead (39-34) with 26 seconds to go in the first overtime, but saw Tecumseh pick up its first bucket of the period, 10 seconds later. The Cougars misfired on two free shots with 14 seconds left and the Savages’ Tanner Pitchford knocked down a 3-point jumper with five seconds remaining to force another extra period.
“It was another disappointing loss. We’ve got to contend shots and we didn’t go out far enough (on Pitchford),” said Ada head coach Ron Anderson.
The Cougars had the opportunity for the tie at the end of the second OT, but Tryce Prince’s 3-point try was off the mark as the horn sounded. Tecumseh came away with the victory, avenging two earlier losses to Ada. Anderson’s club whipped Tecumseh 63-39 in December and defeated the Savages 55-49 on Jan. 7.
It was a woeful shooting display by both teams as the Cougars hit just 29.2 percent of their tries while the Savages managed just 34.1. Ada, which hit just 2-of-11 three-point attempts, also committed 15 turnovers compared to Tecumseh’s nine. The Savages were 4-of-12 from long range.
The Cougars dominated the boards by a massive 44-25 margin and they proved to be critical in the third-quarter comeback and in the fourth as the Savages, routinely, were limited to one shot on each possession. Ada corralled 16 offensive boards on the night while the Savages totaled just six.Points were a premium for both squads as Ada had a 10-8 edge after one quarter, but was limited to a single bucket in the second as the Savages built a 20-12 advantage at the break. Thanks to a 14-6 run in the third, the Cougars drew even at 26, heading into the fourth.