By Cort Reynolds

Ada Herald Writer

DOLA - Visiting Ada jumped ahead early and never trailed to post a convincing 55-33 non-league win over county rival Hardin Northern in their annual local rivalry match Saturday night at Dola.

The trio of Austin Dumbaugh, Mason Acheson and Spencer Archer combined for 36 points as the entire Bulldog front line hit double figures against the 2-3 Polar Bear zone to spearhead the victory.

Both teams entered the game on five-game losing skids. The Bulldogs snapped their streak to improve to 6-12 while HN fell to 3-15.

"We wanted to be disciplined and patient with the ball, play sound fundamentally," said Ada coach Chris Sautter. "We found the seams in the zone and I thought we did a good job attacking the boards in the second half."

Undersized HN utilized good ball movement but couldn't overcome a lack of size and cold shooting.

"I thought we gave a good effort," said Polar Bear head coach Jeff Hunt. "We had good shots in the first half but they just didn't fall. Our lack of size has been a big problem all year long."

Dumbaugh scored the first basket of the night on a putback and Bear Kyle Hispher tied it for the last time on a right baseline jumper with six minutes left in the opening period. But the hosts would not make another basket in the quarter.

Archer netted a layin off a nice Dumbaugh feed, then Brayden Sautter found Archer for another short basket. Two Hipsher foul shots made it 6-4 at the 4:20 mark, yet Ada ran off the next six points.

The Bulldogs broke the press as Acheson dished nicely to Archer for his third layup. Dumbaugh then bounced in a lane 13-footer and canned a 12-foot shot from the right baseline as the visitors picked apart the zone with good passing.

A runner off glass by Bear guard Jacob Gossard and a fast break layup by Hayden Bradley started the second stanza strongly for Northern, pulling the hosts within 12-8.

But Acheson penetrated the zone and banked in a 10-footer from the right side to ignite a half-ending 15-2 Bulldog flurry. Dumbaugh buried an open left wing triple halfway through the second period. Kellen Decker then stole the ball and sped in for a double-pump layin off glass and a 19-8 margin.

Kyle Lamb stopped the spurt with a two-handed follow tip at the 2:14 mark, yet Ada would then reel off the final eight points of the period to seize complete command.

Sautter drained a left wing trifecta and Dumbaugh banked in a 12-footer to go up 14 with 54 seconds left in the half. Brenden Szippl drained a left side triple and Ada took a 27-10 cushion to intermission.

"We fell in love a little too much with the three-point line, so we told the players at halftime not to take an outside shot until we got touches inside," Sautter recalled.

Sautter began half two by nailing an open shot from the left elbow. Hipsher and Lamb answered by splashing consecutive left corner treys to pull within 29-16 at the 6:16 mark.

Archer stopped the run with a layin via a fine Acheson pass. Acheson drained a nice one-handed floater in the lane, then tallied a layup from Dumbaugh to build the margin to 35-16 at the 3:00 mark.

Gossard responded by hitting a line drive shot from the foul line yet Archer canned a nine-footer from the right side off a nice Sautter pass. Dumbaugh added a pair of foul shots to make it 39-19 heading to the final stanza.

Lamb scored an uncontested layin off a fine in-bounds lob pass to open the fourth quarter. Dumbaugh split a pair at the line and Szippl banked in a fast break runner. Another Dumbaugh stickback and a transition layup by Austin Cobb made it 46-21 with 5:55 remaining.

Storm Drumm canned a top of the key triple to stop the 7-0 Ada splurge. Gossard knocked in a floating finger roll off the left baseline, then drilled a trey from out top to cap an 8-0 HN outburst with four minutes to go.

Acheson answered with a tip-in and a layup via a nice Gabe Sutton bounce pass for a 50-30 bulge. Levi Bass canned two foul shots as coach Sautter emptied his bench.

Michael Chen elicited the biggest roar of the night when the senior backup guard drained a left corner trifecta with 75 seconds left to play, bringing the Ada student section to its feet. Gossard converted a fine drive and conventional three-point play to close out the scoring moments later.

The bigger Bulldogs took advantage of their size to pull down 15 offensive rebounds. "Sheer size has been a problem for us," admitted Hunt. "We also were missing one of our leading scorers, Rylie Drumm, who is out sick."

Ada sank five of its nine foul shots (56 percent) while HN converted only five of 14 at the charity stripe (36 percent). Both teams canned four treys but Ada hit 19 two-point goals to just eight by Northern.

Dumbaugh led all scorers with 16 points. Acheson and Archer each netted 10 points. Gossard was the lone Bear in double digits with 13 markers.

"We had all three bigs in double figures," Sautter pointed out. "It's nice to be on the other side of a size mismatch for one of the few times this year."

The Bulldog reserves won by 25 to improve to 14-4. Levi Bass led the winners with 13 points and Grant McBride tallied 11. Darrian Lease led HN with eight points.

Ada 55 (6-12)

Szippl 2 0-0 5, Sautter 2 0-0 5, Acheson 5 0-0 10, Dumbaugh 6 3-4 16, Decker 1 0-0 2, Sutton 0, Cobb 1 0-0 2, Archer 5 0-2 10, Chen 1 0-1 3, Willeke 0, Bass 0 2-2 2, Waller 0. Totals: 19-4/5-9/55. 3-pointers: Szippl 1, Sautter 1, Chen 1, Dumbaugh 1.

HN 33 (3-15)

Hipsher 2 2-3 7, Lamb 3 0-0 7, Gossard 5 2-3 13, S. Drumm 1 1-2 4, Bradley 1 0-2 2, Rall 0 0-4 0.

Totals: 8-4/5-14/33. 3-pointers: Gossard 1, Hipsher 1, Drumm 1, Lamb 1.

1 2 3 4 F

Ada 12 15 12 16 55

HN 4 6 9 14 33

JV: Ada 54, HN 29.

Ada (1-6 NWC, ninth place) returns to conference action Friday, Feb. 15 when it hosts tough Paulding (14-5, 4-3 NWC) in the last home game of the campaign. The Panthers are tied for fifth in the 10-team league with Lincolnview after losing last Friday to the Lancers, 63-50.

The Bulldogs then visit non-league perennial power Wayne Trace (15-2) Saturday, Feb. 16.

"Paulding is good and Wayne Trace is very good," said Sautter. "Then we finish at Crestview (16-3). The rest of our schedule is tough."

The Bulldogs are 4-5 on the road and 2-7 at home this season.

HN (1-7 BVC) plays at Blanchard Valley Conference foe McComb (10-9, 6-2 BVC) Friday in their league finale, and then visits Hardin County rival USV (14-4) next Saturday evening.

The Div. IV sectional draw at Kenton is Sunday, Feb. 10.