Bethel Acres — The Class 4A sixth-ranked Ada Lady Cougars avoided pushing the panic button and were rewarded with a championship Wednesday night at Bethel High School’s B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.
Ada, behind a tournament most valuable player performance from Aailiyah Blakley, overcame a 13-point second-quarter deficit to knock off host Bethel in pulsating fashion, 63-60, in double overtime of the weather-delayed event, which began in mid-December, but wasn’t completed then due to icy traveling conditions.
“Everybody stuck together and never gave up,” said Lady Cougar Head Coach Christie Jennings.
Blakley finished with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor and was 9-of-10 from the line to go with three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Joining Blakley in double-figure scoring were Olivia Wells, off the bench, with 15 points, five boards and an assist and starter Meneé Thomsen, who tallied 11 points, three boards and three assists. Thomsen was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor and connected on her only free-throw attempt.
“Blakley had three really strong games in the tournament,” Jennings said. “Every kid who hit the floor for us put in quality minutes. Menee made some big plays and handled the basketball well all night long.”
Blakley and Thomsen were joined on the 10-member all-tournament team by Markeisha Black, who tossed in eight points, snatched four rebounds and had an assist in Wednesday’s title game.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field for the game. Ada was 21-of-40, while the Lady Wildcats were 16-of-30. The squads were also efficient from the free-throw stripe as the Lady Cougars were 19-of-22 while Bethel was 22-of-26.
However, the Lady Wildcats maintained the lead most of the game, thanks to the 3-point sharpshooting of Meghan Tade, who fired in 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and was 8-of-9 from the charity line.