theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

March 3, 2014

Ada squads sweep Bethel in 4A Regional


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CHECOTAH — When the Ada Lady Cougars beat Bethel on Jan. 15, Ada found itself down 13 points in the first half and had to scratch-and-claw back to win in double overtime. In the rematch Thursday night in the first round of the Class 4A Regional Tournament, things proved to be a lot different.

   Powered by the inside tandem of Olivia Wells and Aaliyah Blakley, and a balanced scoring attack from the guards, Ada dominated the second half and cruised to a 59-35 win.

   In the boys winner's bracket contest, the Cougars bounced Bethel 52-34.

GIRLS

Ada 59, Bethel 35

   Unlike the previous game, when Bethel shot 100 from the field in the first quarter, Thursday night Ada held Bethel to six points in the opening frame. Bethel (13-11) opened all scoring two and a half minutes into the game when Mikayla Whitten got open inside and hit an easy lay up. Ada answered when Blakley got open near the low block and her turn-around jumper fell. Wells and Blakley scored all eight of Ada's first-quarter points.

   “We always talk about winning every quarter, and we did that tonight,” an elated head coach Christie Jennings said following the win.

   Ada would widen the margin in the second quarter. The Lady Cougars (19-5) forced Bethel into five turnovers in the quarter, using a pressure defense while surrendering no second shot opportunities. Ada out-rebounded Bethel 5-1 in the quarter. Sami Jewett's 3-pointer put Ada up by 10 with just over a minute to play in the half, but Bethel answered 15 seconds later with a 3-pointer when Shelby Miller was left wide open in the corner on a defensive breakdown by Ada.

   Ada took an eight-point lead into the halftime locker room at 26-18.

   “We started out a little nervous, I thought,” said Jennings. “But then we controlled the game. We created a lot of turnovers, but we created ones on ourselves also. We got going too fast or were trying to force things sometimes.”

   The second half proved to be all Cougars. Ada outscored Bethel 16-8 in the third quarter, and 17-9 in the final frame to cruise to the 24 point win.

   “I didn’t feel like Bethel made an adjustment to our inside game,” Jennings said. “We hit enough perimeter shots to keep them honest. We were a little passive in the first half, but very aggressive in the second half and I thought that was the difference.”  

   Ada finished 15-of-19 from the charity stripe, while only connecting on 2-of-6 3-point goals. The Lady Cougars won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Bethel 22-11.

   Ada was led in scoring by Wells with 17 (who also had seven rebounds). Blakley was the only other player in double figures with 14, while grabbing eight boards. Blakley also added  three steals and an assist.

   Markeisha Black had seven points, while Sami Jewett and Meneé Thomsen chipped in six and five respectively. Black had four rebounds for Ada.  

    Rhyleigh Cooper and Devanee Simmons had three points each, while Haley Dean and Payton Taylor finished with two points each. Dean had the assists, two steals and a rebound in the game while playing a big part of holding Bethel sharpshooter Meghan Tade scoreless. Tade scorched Ada for 23 points in the previous meeting between the two teams.

   Genna Robinson led Bethel with nine points. Bry Flanagan had eight, Whitten six, and Shelby Miller five for the Lady Wildcats

   Ada, which improved to 19-5 on the season, was scheduled to meet No. 14 Victory Christian Saturday night for the regional championship in Checotah. The winner advances to the Area Championship game next Friday in Wilburton. Victory Christian beat Catoosa in district play, and advanced to play Ada with a regional win over Glenpool on Thursday.

BOYS

Ada 52, Bethel 34

   Junior forward Cory Kilby fired in a game-high 24 points as the 19th-ranked Ada Cougars upended the Bethel Wildcats.

   Kilby connected on four 3-point jumpers in the contest while scoring big in the first and fourth quarters. He tallied all nine of the Ada points in the opening quarter off one trey and three-short range buckets and totaled eight in the fourth off two 3-pointers and a pair of two-point baskets.

   The Cougars doubled Bethel’s field-goal total, 20-10. Ada also totaled eight 3-pointers on the night.

   Joining Kilby in double figures was Jamal Henderson with 13, including three treys. David Forbe followed with seven points, Walker Whitworth tossed in five and Tryce Prince chipped in three.

   Trailing 14-9 through one quarter, the Couagrs outscored the Wildcats, 14-2, in the second on the way to a 23-16 halftime advantage. Ada then outscored Bethel 13-10 in the third to lead, 36-26, after three periods.

   The Cougars then pulled away by doubling up the Wildcats, 16-8, in the fourth quarter.

   Clint Simmons paced Bethel with 15 points, including one 3-pointer, and Garrett Fitzgerald added 10, including two treys.

   Ada played No. 1 Victory Christian in the regional finals on Saturday night.