By Cort Reynolds

Ada Herald Writer

ADA - Visiting power Lima Central Catholic used depth, transition offense and balanced scoring to defeat Ada 75-43 in a boys Northwest Conference hardwood contest Friday night.

The trio of speedy starting Thunderbird guards combined to tally 43 points to lead the defending league champions to the win.

The Bulldogs fell to 5-8 overall and 1-3 in the NWC and had their modest two-game win streak snapped with the defeat. LCC, ranked second in the latest state AP Div. III poll, stayed atop the league at 4-0 and improved to 12-1 overall.

"We had to hold them in the 50's to be able to compete," said Bulldog coach Chris Sautter. "We don't have quite the firepower they do. The kids played hard, they battled for 32 minutes. I was happy with the effort they gave."

Utilizing a fullcourt press that forced a helter-skelter tempo, the Thunderbirds ran out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed. After the slow start however, Ada played pretty well the rest of the first half.

Freshman Brayden Sautter canned a high-arching floater for the first Bulldog basket three minutes into the contest. He followed that with a left-handed layup to pull within 8-4.

LCC senior Sam Huffman banked in a short double-pump shot to spark a 12-2 run that ended the opening period. Junior guard Martyce Kimbrough buried consecutive trifectas from out top to stretch the lead to 14.

Tre'on Johnson netted a layin off a steal to start the second quarter. Ada junior Spencer Archer canned a hard-driving layup and Sautter added a right wing trey to cut the deficit to 24-11. After two Huffman foul shots, Archer converted a fast break layin off a nice Sautter feed.

Austin Dumbaugh then grabbed a defensive rebound and drove coast to coast for a layup to reduce the margin to 25-15.

Sophomore T-Bird post Jake Williams answered by canning back-to-back inside baskets. Dumbaugh drained a left corner trey and a pair of foul shots, and Archer split a pair to pull the hosts within 11, which was as close as it would get.

Kimbrough canned a floater late in the half to send the T-Birds to intermission with a 34-21 cushion. Ada outscored LCC 15-14 in the period as Dumbaugh tallied seven points.

Things got away from the purple and gold in the third quarter. Johnson netted nine points in the stanza as they out-pointed Ada 26-14 to decide the outcome. Seven different T-Birds scored in the period.

Freshman Xavier Simpson drained a trey, Darius West canned a nice southpaw tip-in, Kimbrough sank two short shots and Williams converted a traditional three-point play inside.

Meanwhile for Ada, the spunky Sautter scored their first six points out of the locker room. He hit a lane runner, made two free throws and added another basket. Senior Gabe Sutton came off the bench to splash two foul shots and a tough driving runner that sliced the margin to 47-31.

"Gabe took the ball to the hole," Sautter noted.

Yet LCC then went on a 13-2 run to extend the lead to 60-33. Bulldog senior Kellen Decker ended the splurge with a fine driving left-handed bank shot with 30 seconds left.

Simpson opened the final quarter with a layin and a triple from the top of the key. Archer splashed a pair of foul shots and senior Austin Cobb drilled a right side trey to make it 65-40 at the 6:10 mark.

But that would be Ada's last basket. Quick LCC kept scoring in transition and reeled off a 10-3 flurry to finish the contest. Cobb closed the scoring with two free throws in the final minute.

"I thought in the second half defensively, rebounding hurt us more than anything," said Sautter. "They got too many offensive rebounds. Some of the times we had position and they just jumped over us."

Sautter led Ada with 13 points, while Dumbaugh contributed nine markers. The improving 6-2 Archer added seven points. "Spencer is getting more aggressive going to the basket," said Sautter. "He has a lot of ability."

Johnson topped all scorers with 17 points. Kimbrough scored 14 and Simpson added 12. The deep T-Bird bench also tallied 15 points.

Ada hit on 16 of 25 foul shots (64 percent) while LCC sank 10 of 16 (63 percent).

Ada lost the reserve game 56-39 to fall to 10-3 and 3-1 in the NWC. Blake Willeke led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

Ada 43 (5-8, 1-3 NWC)

Szippl 0, Sautter 5 2-2 13, Acheson 0 3-6 3, Dumbaugh 2 4-4 9, Decker 1 0-1 2, Sutton 1 2-2 4, Cobb 1 2-3 5, Archer 2 3-6 7. Totals: 9-3/16-25/43. 3-pointers: Sautter 1, Dumbaugh 1, Cobb 1.

LCC 75 (12-1, 4-0 NWC)

Simpson 5 0-0 12, Crawford 0 0-2 0, Huffman 2 2-2 6, Johnson 6 4-4 17, Kimbrough 6 0-0 14, Cobbs 1 2-2 4, West 2 0-0 4, Stechschulte 1 0-1 2, Rogers 3 1-2 7, Williams 3 1-3 7, Judy 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25-5/10-16/75. 3-pointers: Kimbrough 2, Simpson 2, Johnson 1.

1 2 3 4 F

Ada 6 15 14 8 43

LCC 20 14 26 15 75

JV: LCC 56, Ada 39.

Ada is idle Saturday and returns to conference play next Friday at Bluffton (5-7, 1-3 NWC). The Pirates beat Allen East 62-56 Friday to post their first league victory. "It will be a good test to go on the road to play at Bluffton," Sautter noted.