Ada's Sidney Faine drives to the basket for a shot attempt in the Bulldogs sectional final game against Waynesfield-Goshen.
Ada's Sidney Faine drives to the basket for a shot attempt in the Bulldogs sectional final game against Waynesfield-Goshen.
KENTON - Ada outscored Waynesfield-Goshen 12-1 over the final 3:20 to pull off a 54-49 comeback win in a hard-fought girls Div. IV sectional final battle at Kenton Saturday night.
W-G did not make a basket over the final 4:19 as the Lady Bulldog defense helped force several costly turnovers. The Tigers had taken a 48-42 edge after the last of four straight Abbie Van Horn foul shots with 3:32 remaining.
Ada junior Alexis Amburgey canned a crucial trifecta from the top of the key to ignite the late Bulldog comeback. Sophomore Rachel Wildman then buried a 19-footer from the right wing to slice the deficit to one at the 2:34 mark.
Freshman Haley Wyss banked in a back-breaking triple from out top to give Ada the lead for good, 50-48, with 1:55 to go. 
"That shot was huge," agreed Ada head coach Neal Dumbaugh.
After a Tiger miscue, Wildman splashed two key foul shots to build the lead to 52-48 with 1:26 left to play.
W-G freshman standout Emily Patton split a pair of free throws to end the 10-0 Ada flurry with 47 seconds left. But Tori Wyss answered by hitting two clutch charity stripers to build the lead back to five.
Patton, who had hit the right side of her head hard on the floor battling for a rebound with Bulldog Carlee Marshall with 4:43 to go, was not herself when she returned. 
She missed two more free throws with 41 ticks left and another shot just before the buzzer as W-G went stone cold down the stretch.
The win ended a three-game skid and upped the Lady Bulldog record to 9-13, while second seed Waynesfield finished 11-10. Ada advances to the Wapakoneta district next Thursday against powerhouse New Knoxville (18-4) in the first semifinal Feb. 27 at 6:15 p.m.
"We switched to a 1-3 zone with a chaser on Patton, and I thought it caused some confusion and turnovers when we changed defenses," said Dumbaugh of the late run.
"We lost a lot of close games down the stretch, so it was nice to get one go our way at the end," he added.
Ada led 28-25 at halftime, but Waynesfield took control with an 8-0 run out of the locker room. Lindsay Walden stopped the spurt with a big putback basket inside to make it 32-30 with 4:42 to go in the third period. 
But Patton hit a lane banker and a left-handed layin off a fast break to put W-G back on top, 36-30.
Amburgey then drained a triple to halve the deficit. Patton drove in for a traditional three-point play, and a pair of free throws by Sidney Faine cut it to 39-35 at the 1:41 juncture.
Patton then weaved her way through the defense on a coast to coast drive off glass that put the Tigers ahead 41-35 heading to the final quarter.
Pushing the ball upcourt, she scored 11 in the period while 11 of the Waynesfield points came in transition as they outscored Ada 16-7. 
Yet Ada turned the momentum back around in the fourth stanza, winning it 19-8. Amburgey nailed a pull-up 14-footer with 7:40 to go that started the Bulldog comeback trail.
Patton split a pair at the line, and Haley Wyss grabbed an offensive carom and banked in a short right side shot with six minutes left.
A Walden foul shot inched Ada within 42-40 with 5:06 left to play. Patton then got tangled up with Marshall on a rebound and went down hard. She left the game with 4:43 to go. 
Kenzie Jarnigan penetrated the Bulldog zone and netted a runner high off glass at the 4:19 mark. Walden mustered another key stickback basket, but then Van Horn hit four straight foul shots as Patton came back in.
Yet then Ada reeled off 12 of the last 13 points and the Tigers unraveled down the stretch.
"We hit some big shots," Dumbaugh said. "I thought we had some good looks on three's earlier, but they just were not going down."
The Bulldogs led 5-1 early after a Faine follow and a three-point goal by Haley Wyss. 
Patton then drained two long triples over the Bulldog zone, followed by two Tori Wyss foul shots. 
Patton drilled a 25-foot left wing trey, but Wildman came up with two free throws. The Ada sophomore then weaved through the left side of the Tiger zone for a short driving banker that tied the game 14-all after the first period.
Haley Wyss buried a left wing triple and Faine netted a putback to give Ada a 19-16 edge with 6:33 left in the half. Tori Wyss stretched the lead to six on a left wing trey moments later.
Waynesfield hit four foul shots in succession before Marshall tallied a breakaway layin. Patton drove the length of the floor for a transition layup, then missed two foul shots. 
Amburgey split a pair and Van Horn drained a 15-foot left baseline jumper. Tori Wyss splashed another trifecta from the right wing and Ada went to the break up by three.
"I thought 28 points was pretty good for a first half in tournament play, but I was disappointed in giving up 25," Dumbaugh noted.
The savvy Patton led all scorers with 25 points, but missed seven foul shots and did not sink a basket in the fourth quarter. Van Horn added 14 markers for the Tigers.
Ada was more balanced, with the Wyss sisters combining for five triples and 22 points, as Tori led the way with a dozen markers and two treys. 
Amburgey and Wildman each contributed nine points.
"Wildman came up big at the end," Dumbaugh agreed. 
Ada converted 13 of 20 at the foul line (65 percent) while Waynesfield canned 16 of 26 (62 percent). Patton made just four of 11 at the line. "Maybe it was meant to be for us at the end if someone that good missed seven," Dumbaugh observed.
The Bulldogs now face MAC power New Knoxville, who knocked off Ft. Recovery 47-32 in the first sectional final at Coldwater Saturday night. Play tips off at 6:15 p.m. Thursday evening.
"They have won a bunch in a row, so it will be quite a challenge," admitted Dumbaugh. "They run a lot of low and high flex, and pound the ball in to Lehman. They have one of the best guards in northwest Ohio in Horstman."

Ada 54 (9-13)
Gonzaga 0, Amburgey 3 1-4 9, Faine 2 2-2 6, Walden 3 0-0 6, H. Wyss 3 1-2 10, Wildman 2 5-8 9, T. Wyss 3 4-4 12, Archer 0, Marshall 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17/13-20/54. 
3-pointers: H. Wyss 3, Amburgey 2, T. Wyss 2.
Waynesfield 49 (11-10)
Patton 9 4-11 25, Van Horn 3 8-8 14, Turner 0, Buffenbarger 0, Jarnigan 3 1-3 7, Spencer 0 3-4 3. Totals: 15/16-26/49. 3-pointers: Patton 3.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 14 14 7 19 54
W-G 14 11 16 8 49

Top seed Upper Scioto Valley eliminated spunky county rival Hardin Northern 52-37 in the first sectional final Saturday night at Kenton as Shelby Spradlin scored 18 points and Shelby Carroll added 13. 
The win advanced the Lady Rams to the Wapakoneta district semis Thursday, Feb. 27. USV will face Minster (21-3), who nipped Marion Local 52-51 in the other Coldwater sectional final, at approximately 8 p.m. in the second semifinal Thursday at Wapak.