MCALESTER — A double technical foul with .2 seconds left in the game actually helped the Ada Cougars knock off archrival McAlester 60-57 in an overtime thriller Tuesday night inside the Bob Brumley Gymnasium.

Ada, ranked No. 13 in Class 5A, improved to 6-3 on the year, while McAlester dropped to 1-8.

In the girls contest, Ada missed a free throw and a putback in the closing seconds and dropped a 39-38 decision to McAlester.

McAlester, ranked No. 16 in Class 5A, improved to 6-3, while No. 6 Ada fell to an identical 6-3 mark.


Ada 60, McAlester 57 (OT)

McAlester’s Zach Lerblance and Ada’s Tanner Gilliam got chest to chest after the MHS player caught an inbounds pass. Gilliam slapped at the ball, and things escalated from there.

Technical fouls were called on Gilliam (his fifth foul) and McAlester’s Hayden Souther with .2 seconds showing on the clock.

Lerblance made 1-of-2 free throws to put McAlester ahead 51-49. Trey Havens then made two free throws for Ada to tie the game at 51-51 and force overtime.

The Cougars scored the first five points in the extra period, but McAlester knotted the game at 56-56 on a 3-pointer by Jacob Lane.

Ada’s Cody Smith followed with a basket and a free throw to put Ada ahead 59-56 with 27.1 seconds left in OT.

Jake Shannon added a free throw of his own with 17.6 seconds remaining that put the visitors on top 60-56.

Lerblance was fouled behind the 3-point line with 9.5 seconds left. However, he made only one of his three shots to account for McAlester’s final point.

Jaxson Robinson led the Cougar offense with 13 points, while Gilliam followed with 12. David Johnson scored 11 points for Ada, including three triples. Smith also reached double figures with 10 in the balanced AHS effort. Havens scored eight points, including two threes, for Ada.

Lerblance erupted for a game-high 24 points for the Buffaloes in a losing effort. Lane added 11 points and hit three 3-pointers for the hosts.

The Cougars play Durant at 8:30 p.m. tonight in the first round of the 2019 East Central Oklahoma Classic.


McAlester 39 Ada 38

The Lady Cougars missed nine free throws and committed 17 turnovers in the loss to McAlester. Ada had defeated its rivals 50-41 to open the season in a Nov. 30 home contest.

“We did not play well offensively. We came out flat and never got going,” said Ada head coach Christie Jennings.

“Our defense was good enough to win, but when you aren’t putting the ball in the hole, you have to make free throws and limit turnovers,” she continued. “We weren’t able to do either of those. We have to bounce back and play a good program on Thursday.”

Ada still had its chances down the stretch.

McAlester’s Brenae Rhone hit one of two free throws with 8.2 seconds left to put the hosts on top 39-37.

Ada’s Amaya Frizell was fouled and went to the free-throw line with 3.5 ticks remaining. She sank the first free throw but missed the second. Landyn Owens grabbed the rebound and tried to a putback attempt, but it was blocked as time ran out.

“(McAlester’s locker room) was ecstatic,” MHS head coach Jarrod Owen told the McAlester News-Capital. “We had girls hollering, jumping up and down and just high-fiving each other. It was a lot of fun.”

The Lady Cougars used a 10-0 run to take a 36-29 lead with 4:43 left in the game before McAlester rallied. The Lady Buffs outscored Ada 10-2 the rest of the way.

Dewzy Selman hit two of three free throws with 1:19 left for the Lady Buffs to knot the score at 36-36.

McAlester’s Erin Kelley then hit two clutch free shots to put McAlester on top 38-36 and set up the frantic finish.

Ada’s Tatum Havens hit three 3-point shots and scored 11 points to lead her team. Frizell scored 10 points, while Shakyla Wofford followed with eight.

Selman scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Lady Buffs.

The Ada girls face Broken Bow at 7 p.m. tonight in the first round of the 2019 East Central Oklahoma Classic.

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.