The Ada High girls basketball team dug in defensively Saturday night against Westmoore in the finals of the 2021 East Central Oklahoma Classic.

The Lady Cougars limited Westmoore to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters en route to a 38-29 victory over the Lady Jaguars.

Coach Christie Jennings, ranked No. 12 in Class 4A, saw her squad improve to 8-5 while Class 6A Westmoore dropped to 3-6. Westmoore had defeated Ada 53-47 in overtime in last month's 2020 Cougar Christmas Classic.

"It was a great three days of basketball for us. We faced some adversity going into this tournament," Jennings said.

Adversity indeed. The Lady Cougars lost half their roster the week of the tournament due to COVID-19 exposure and played with seven total players on Thursday and eight on Friday and Saturday. 

"We made some adjustments to what we do, and I feel like it worked for us. I'm so proud of each of these kids. They all contributed to winning this championship," Jennings said. "It would've been really easy to go into this tournament with a negative attitude after half of our team got quarantined, but they refused to do it. We saw it as an opportunity instead."

Westmoore was clinging to a 7-6 lead after the first quarter but the Lady Cougars outscored the Lady Jaguars 19-9 over the middle two periods to grab a 25-16 lead heading to the fourth frame.

Shayla Wofford finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots for the Lady Cougars, while Amaya Frizell hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12. Landyn Owens just missed double figures with eight points to go with six rebounds and three steals. Alexus Hamilton scored Ada's remaining three points.

Owens was named the ECOC's Most Valuable Player, while Wofford and Frizell landed on the all-tournament team.

"It's a year of being overcomers and learning to persevere. It's been tough no doubt, but it will only help prepare these young ladies for life," Jennings said.

Ryan Franklin paced the Westmoore offense with 10 points and Albony Bryles and Jaiden Smith chipped in eight points apiece.

Rival Ardmore claws past Cougars

Ada sophomore Jack Morris scored a game-high 20 points but it wasn't enough as the Cougars dropped a 64-57 to old rival Ardmore Saturday in the third-place contest at the East Central Oklahoma Classic.

The Cougars, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, lost two games in a row for the first time all season, falling to 7-3. Ardmore, the No. 19 team in Class 5A, improved to 3-4.

Ardmore jumped out to leads of 21-16 after the first quarter and 41-34 by halftime.

Ada closed within 51-46 heading into the fourth period but couldn't complete the comeback.

Morris hit a trio of 3-pointers for Ada. David Johnson also hit double figures with 14, while Kaden Cooper, Camryn Reed and Josh Hughes all chipped in seven points apiece.

The Tigers got 19 points from Dagaryan Coleman and 17 from Jordyn Brown.

Both Ada teams are now off until Seminole visits the Cougar Activity Center on Friday.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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