ADA — Host Ada hung close with Fort Jennings until a late third period run helped lift the Musketeers to a 60-45 non-conference boys basketball win Tuesday night.  

The purple and gold fell to 2-8 with their sixth straight defeat, while the Musketeers improved to 6-3 with the victory.

Ada trailed just 31-26 midway through the third quarter, but FJ reeled off a 15-3 flurry to take control of the game. The visitors never led by less than 14 over the final seven minutes.

The Musketeers increased the margin to as many as 19 before scrappy Ada ended on a 6-2 spurt.



"Our effort was much better than last weekend, and I saw a lot of positives," said Bulldog second-year head coach Dre White. "Our energy was much better. Fort Jennings is a tough, physical team.

"We made a couple poor decisions late in the third quarter, and Fort Jennings did a good job capitalizing on them," he added.
 
FJ out-rebounded Ada 36-19, including 20 to six in the first half. "We didn't rebound well, that was the deciding factor," said White.

"We made a point of emphasis to try and control the boards in the second half, and I thought we did a better job."

Ada led 2-0 on a Connor Frazier power layup, but FJ senior guard Ian Finn ran off the next seven points and the visitors never trailed again.

A short hook and banker by Frazier, sandwiched around a Phillip Coulson transition layup, got the Bulldogs within 9-8 at the 3:20 mark of period one. Two inside baskets by 6-5 Musketeer senior Cole Horstman gave FJ a 13-8 edge after one quarter of play.

Senior guard Erik Klausing drained a right corner trifecta to open the second stanza. Coulson answered with a baseline drive, followed by an Ethan Hall layup.

Musketeer Jeff Hoersten splashed a left corner triple, and he then sank a third-effort follow shot to build a 23-12 lead. Coulson responded by canning a left wing trey that cut the deficit to eight.

A right wing triple from Cade Mullins inched Ada within 25-18. But the opportunistic Klausing tossed in a reverse stickback layin at the buzzer to give FJ momentum and a 27-18 edge at intermission.

A Frazier bank shot, Ethan Swaney's lane runner and two Coulson foul shots kept Ada within five points early in half two. A steal and coast to coast driving layup by Coulson sliced the margin to 31-26. But then FJ took command with its decisive run.

Horstman sank a layup and two charity stripers. Frazier split a pair at the line yet Klausing nailed a triple. Coulson splashed a 19-footer, but a Klausing layin made it 40-29 Musketeers heading to the fourth.

A trey by Finn to open the final period extended their lead to 14. Horstman then converted an old-fashioned three-point play inside to cap the 15-3 run, giving the black and orange an insurmountable 46-29 cushion.

Frazier ended the splurge with a layup, and Swaney later knocked down a trifecta to cut the margin to 48-34. Yet once again Klausing thwarted Ada with a layup and two foul shots to rebuild the lead to 18.

Mullins sank a layup off a nice Frazier feed, followed by an Ian Ricker right baseline nine-footer. Coulson converted a pair at the line, and Frazier later scored inside off a good Coulson dish.

A driving finish by Coulson and a Frazier putback ended the scoring with Ada down 15.

"We grinded out some good possessions against their zone," said White. "I thought we did a good job against Brandon Wehri."
Ada limited the 6-5, 245-pound senior post to four points.

Frazier connected on seven of 17 shots from the floor and grabbed 11 rebounds while adding two blocked shots. Coulson topped Ada with 17 points. "Phil played well, and so did Connor," said White.

Klausing and Finn each netted 16 points to pace the well-balanced victors. Horstman picked up the slack for Wehri by adding 14 markers on the interior.

Ada sank just three of 17 triples (18 percent) and made 15 of 36 two-point field goal tries (42 percent). Overall, they connected on 18 of 53 floor shots (34 percent).

The cold-shooting Bulldogs were successful on just six of 14 attempts from the charity stripe (43 percent).

"We have not shot it well all year," White noted. "We did the little things well, but it comes down to us making shots and rebounding."

FJ sank 19 of 36 from the field (52 percent), including five of 12 on treys (42 percent), and converted 17 of 19 foul shots (89 percent).

"Fort Jennings was very efficient on offense," White observed. "They scored 60 points on only 36 shots and they hit their free throws."

Ada committed just a dozen turnovers to 20 by the Musketeers. "Turnovers were another positive," White pointed out.

The Bulldog junior varsity won 58-47 to improve to 5-3. Freshman Brandon Hull scored 21 points and classmate Micah Cook added 11 for the Bulldogs.


Ada 45 (2-8)
E. Swaney 2 0-2 5, Mullins 2 1-2 6, Frazier 7 1-2 15, Conley 0, Hall 1 0-0 2, Coulson 6 4-5 17, Hull 0 0-3 0, Z. Swaney 0, Hollinger 0.
Totals: 18/6-14/45. 3-pointers: E. Swaney 1, Mullins 1, Coulson 1.

FJ 60 (6-3)
Klausing 6 2-2 16, Ricker 1 4-4 6, Hoersten 1 0-0 3, Finn 5 4-4 16, Trentman 0 1-2 1, Horstman 5 4-5 14, Wehri 1 2-2 4.
Totals: 19/17-19/60. 3-pointers: Klausing 2, Finn 2, Hoersten 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Ada    8    10    11    16    45    
FJ    13    14    13    20    60
JV: Ada 58, FJ 47.     


Ada (2-2 home) hosts New Knoxville (3-4) Saturday evening in another non-league tilt. "I am looking forward to Saturday's game; Knoxville is a good team," said White. "With no game Friday, we have some time to prepare for them."