By Cort Reynolds
Ada Herald Writer
NEW RIEGEL - Ada senior guard Taylor Willeke scored nine of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter points to force overtime Saturday at New Riegel, but the host Lady Blue Jackets ultimately prevailed 46-42 to win a non-league battle.The Lady Bulldogs fell to 5-3 with the tough defeat, while NR improved to 8-1.
The Blue Jackets return four starters from last year's 21-4 squad that reached the Div. IV regional finals before losing to eventual champion Arlington, so pushing them to OT on the road was no small feat.
Plagued by turnovers, Ada started out slowly on offense, scoring just four first-period points and trailing 16-13 at the half. The scrappy Bulldogs pulled into a 24-24 tie after three quarters in the hard-fought contest, and the defensive bout was knotted at 36-all heading to overtime.
Willeke added four points in the extra period to finish with 22. But NR sophomore Taylor Arbogast made all four of her foul shots in the overtime session to lead the hosts to a 10-6 edge and the win.
Jacket sophomore guard Kara Scherger scored 17 points, made nine steals and dished out three assists to pace the victors. Senior Abby Cassidy and Arbogast each added seven markers.
No Bulldog other than Willeke scored more than six. Sophomore Tori Wyss tallied six points before fouling out. Sophomore post Lindsay Walden also tallied six markers.
The Jackets managed to overcome poor 28 percent field goal shooting (15 of 53) to win. Ada fared a bit better from the floor, canning 13 of 36 from the floor (36 percent). But they committed 22 turnovers to just 11 by the Jackets and thus got off 17 less field attempts.
The Bulldogs canned 13 of 18 at the foul line (72 percent) while NR converted 14 of 19 (74 percent).
Six-foot Jacket post Lauren Ladd grabbed nine rebounds to lead the hosts to a 28-20 edge on the glass.
The Lady Bulldog reserves improved to 6-2 with a five-point win.
Ada 42 (5-3)
Willeke 6-7-22, Rouch 1-1-3, Walden 2-2-6, Wyss 2-2-6, Amburgey 1-1-3, Wildman 0, Gonzaga 1-0-2.
Totals: 13-36/13-18/42. 3-pointers: Willeke 3.
NR 46 (8-1)
Scherger 6-4-17, Arbogast 1-5-7, Cassidy 3-0-7, Ladd 2-0-4, Baynard 1-0-2, Kirian 0-3-3, Noftz 2-2-6.
Totals: 15-53/14-19/46. 3-pointers: Scherger 1, Cassidy 1.
1 2 3 4 OT F
Ada 4 9 11 12 6 42
NR 8 8 8 12 10 46
JV: Ada 41, NR 36.
It doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs, who continue to face high-caliber competition as they near the halfway point of a rugged first half schedule. In their next game Thursday, Dec. 27, Ada hosts undefeated state power Ottoville (7-0), which has lost only two regular season games over the past three seasons combined.
The Bulldogs are 3-2 on the road and 2-1 at home thus far.