Brian Johnson Special Correspondent
Plagued by 19 turnovers against Shawnee pressure, the Class 4A ninth-ranked Ada Cougars suffered a 60-49 loss at the hands of the 5A 18th-ranked Wolves on Monday night.
It was the first loss of the season for Ada, which opened the season last Friday with a home victory over Tecumseh.
“The turnovers hurt us and we played out of character. We didn’t play to our strengths,” said Ada head coach Ron Anderson. “We, as coaches, have got to get them to understand their roles and play to their strengths and avoid weaknesses.”
Shawnee, which evened its record at 1-1, placed three players in double figures, led by reserve Don Murphy with 13. Starters Luke Laster and Marquese Tramble added 12 and 10, respectively.
Junior Cory Kilby scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to pace the Cougars, as he also collected five rebounds and two steals while blocking three shots. Kilby was 6-of-12 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point land
Senior forward Garrett Bacon chipped in 11 points and pulled down six boards for Ada in a losing effort. Another senior, David Forbes, finished with eight points, including two treys, and nine rebounds.
The Cougars opened up an early 9-4 lead with a 3-pointer from Bacon, basket by sophomore guard Jermaine Lawson, two Kilby free throws and a Forbes buckett off an offensive rebound.
But the Wolves pulled within 15-13 at the end of the first quarter on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Laster.
That momentum surge continued into the second quarter off an Aaron Yount 3-pointer and Laster's bucket, off a pass from Hunter Hall to give Shawnee an 18-15 lead with 7:03 to go. Ada never held the lead again.
The Wolves staged a 13-5 run in the final four minutes of the half to take control with a 31-21 advantage.
Ada did manage to cut into that lead several times, including 42-41, late in the third after Kilby scored off back-to-back buckets. But a Tranble 3-pointer with four seconds left in the third pushed the Shawnee advantage to 45-41.
The Wolves then scored six straight points, all from Murphy, to open the fourth quarter as the Cougars were unable to recover.
Ada had a 33-25 advantage on the board, but Shawnee doubled the Cougars’ steal count, 8-4.
The next action for the Cougars will be Thursday against Little Axe at 5:30 p.m. in the Global Productions Tournament at McLoud High School. The tournament is being co-hosted by McLoud and Bethel. The Ada-Little Axe winner will face the McLoud-Newcastle winner on Friday at 6:15 p.m. in the semifinals. The Ada-Little Axe loser will take on the McLoud-Newcasle loser at 3:45 p.m. on Friday.