Ada senior Taylor Willeke lines up 3 of her game-high 21 points vs.
By Cort Reynolds
Ada Herald Writer
ADA - Two days after losing to defending state champion Arlington, visiting McComb rebounded to dissect Ada 74-57 with strong post play, precise passing and accurate shooting in their non-league girls hoop meeting Saturday afternoon.
Balanced McComb placed four players in double figures while the Lady Bulldogs had only one player with more than 10 points. The Lady Panthers also used a fine transition game to break the game open in the third period, when they outscored the Bulldogs 23-13.
Ada senior guard Taylor Willeke led all scorers with 21 points. Panther senior guard Kristen Buck tossed in 15 points to pace the winners, while junior post Emily Clymer and junior playmaker Brenna Dee each netted 14 points. In addition, 6-2 freshman post Jenna Huffman came off the McComb bench to tally 14 big interior points.
Ada dropped to 9-7 with the loss, while McComb improved to 12-4 with the impressive win.
"We didn't guard anyone," said Bulldog assistant coach Mike Willeke. "We couldn't catch the ball cleanly. Their posts were impressive."
Ada had drawn within 30-29 late in the first half after two foul shots by sophomore Tori Wyss. But McComb netted the kast four points of the second stanza, then carried the momentum into half two.
Mobile 5-10 Clymer hit a foul line jumper to open the third period, and Ada sophomore Alexis Amburgey answered with a left wing triple to make it 36-32 with 7:04 to go.
McComb came back with an 8-2 spurt to take control. Buck and 6-2 senior post Briana Herr each tallied layups, and then Herr notched a putback to build the lead to 42-32 at the 5:37 mark.
Bulldog sophomore Lindsay Walden stopped the six-point spurt with a putback layin of her own, yet Buck splashed a pair of foul shots. Willeke buried a 15-footer from the right side and Buck answered with a fast break layup.
Amburgey nailed another trey from the right topside to slice the deficit to 46-39 with 2:42 to go. Huffman posted up well and scored inside, followed by a pair of Wyss foul shots.
Clymer then came up with big consecutive three-point plays. She scored a layup and free throw, then stole the ball, drove and did it again to put the Panthers ahead 54-41 at the 1:17 juncture.
Huffman then netted a layup off a nice pass from Dee and the teams traded foul shots to give McComb a commanding 57-42 bulge heading into the final quarter.
Walden drained an 11-footer to pull Ada within 13, but Buck nailed a left corner trifecta. Dee converted two foul shots, then stole the ball and scored an uncontested layup to build the lead to 20.
Willeke splashed a left wing trey and then bounced in a foul line jumper to cut the margin to 64-49.
But Dee again made two free tosses, then stole the ball at midcourt and converted another transition layup to put the game out of reach midway through the quarter.
A left wing trifecta by Amburgey moments later drew Ada within 70-52. Huffman answered with another layup after getting saccharine position inside, and Hailey Buck drained a 10-footer.
Bulldog freshman Sidney Faine netted a nice driving shot at the buzzer to make the final margin 17.
Willeke scored the first seven Ada points on two left-handed layins and a right corner triple. Two Wyss free throws put the hosts ahead 9-6, but McComb tied it on a trey by Alison Beverly.
After Willeke canned a 16-footer, the Panthers took the lead for good. Huffman tallied a short banker and added a foul shot to put them in front 12-11 after one period of play.
Two foul shots and a triple by Dee put the visitors in front 17-13. Willeke's driving left-hander off glass cut the deficit to two. Clymer canned a pair of charity stripers and Willeke then poste dup and scored in the lane to make it 19-17.
Beverly splashed her second trey yet Rachael Wildman tallied a follow shot. A short banker by Herr was again answered by Wildman, who splashed a trey from out top to inch Ada to within 24-22.
Huffman responded by canning a short shot from the right side with 4:36 to go in the half. Wyss scored on a fine backdoor play 20 ticks later. Faine later converted a transition layin to pull the hosts within a single point.
But then Clymer stole the ball and drove in for a layup. After two more Wys free throws, Clymer made another swipe and converted a pair at the line for a 32-27 edge. Buck then banked in a fast break shot 55 seconds before the break to give McComb a five-point halftime lead.
They then continued on a 12-2 run to take a 42-32 lead and never led by less than seven the rest of the way.
Wyss contributed 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds to support Willeke. Amburgey added nine markers on three triples.
Ada canned 10 of 15 at the charity stripe (67 percent), while McComb hit on 21 of 31 (68 percent).
"In two of the last three games, our opponents have shot over 30 free throws," Willeke pointed out.
The Lady Bulldog reserves fell 40-38. Morgan Sutton scored 10 points and Hannah Price added eight.
Ada 57 (9-7)
Willeke 9 1-3 21, Rouch 0, Walden 2 0-0 4, Wyss 1 8-10 10, Amburgey 3 0-0 9, Wildman 2 1-2 6, Gonzaga 0, Faine 2 0-0 4. Totals: 13-7/10-15/57. 3-pointers: Willeke 3, Amburgey 3, Wildman 1.
McComb 74 (12-4)
Beverly 2 0-0 6, H. Buck 1 0-0 2, K. Buck 5 3-4 15, Clymer 4 6-8 14, Dee 3 7-8 14, Herr 3 1-4 7, Huffman 6 2-5 14, Reed 0 2-2 2. Totals: 19-5/21-31/74. 3-pointers: Beverly 2, K. Buck 2, Dee 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 11 18 13 15 57
McC 12 22 23 17 74
JV: McComb 40, Ada 38.
Ada hosts Bluffton in an NWC showdown between second-place teams Thursday, Jan. 24. Both teams are 4-1 in league play and trail league leader Crestview (5-0) by a single game.
"We have to stay on track," said Willeke. "We have to come to play with intensity. We have a chane to stay in contention for the league title against Bluffton.
"It's a big week," he continued. "We play Waynesfield next Saturday and that may determine the number one seed at sectionals. So we have two big games coming up and both are at home, which is important."
The Bulldogs are 5-3 on the road and 4-4 at home this season.