By Cort Reynolds
Ada Herald writer
ADA - For 27 minutes the Ada girls basketball team hung close to perennial power New Riegel in a non-league battle Saturday afternoon.
The talented Blue Jackets then held the Lady Bulldogs without a basket over the final 5:24, and ended the game on a 10-1 run to pull away and post a 48-32 victory.
Ada dropped below .500 for the first time this season at 3-4 after their fourth straight loss, while the Jackets improved to 7-1 with the win.
"I am very pleased with our effort," said Ada head coach Neal Dumbaugh. "We definitely competed with a physical team on the boards and defensively."
The Bulldogs trailed only 38-31 with 4:55 to play after three points by Tori Wyss and a foul line jumper by Alexis Amburgey.
But then six-foot NR post Lauren Ladd scored inside, and three Jacket foul shots built the lead to 43-31 with 3:26 remaining.
Two free throws by Taylor Kirian capped a 7-0 run and made it 45-32. Wyss stopped the flurry with one free toss, but only 90 seconds remained.
A pair of foul shots by Ladd and one more by Arbogast closed the scoring as Ada missed its last several shots from the field.
"Our shot selection wasn't bad," said Dumbaugh. "We had a few three's rattle in and out that might have changed how the game went down the stretch. We had some great looks."
NR jumped ahead 7-2 before Amburgey canned a 12-foot pull-up shot halfway through the first quarter. The Jackets edged ahead 13-4 on a pair of baskets by Taylor Arbogast and two Ladd foul shots.
Ada senior Alexis Gonzaga banked in a left side 17-footer to get the hosts within seven after one stanza.
Ada picked up its densive intensity and limited the visitors to only five points in the second quarter. Morgan Noftz scored a putback but Wyss swished a left side trifecta to open the period. Arbogast canned a short banker yet Amburgey responded by draining a right wing triple with 3:22 left in the half.
Neither team made a field goal the rest of the defense-oriented period and NR took an 18-12 lead to intermission.
"I told the girls at halftime we had only scored 12 points but were still in the game against a good team because we played defense and rebounded," recalled Dumbaugh.
Ladd started half two with a layup off a nice Kara Scherger drive and dish feed. Amburgey came right back with a right wing triple.
Scherger drilled an 18-footer yet Gonzaga grabbed an offensive rebound, gathered herelf and scored a putback inside to get Ada within 22-17 with 5:58 to go in the third quarter.
The powerful Ladd muscled inside for a basket. Amburgey split a pair of foul shots, Wyss canned a follow and sister Haley Wyss splashed two free throws as Ada closed to 24-22 at the 5:01 mark.
The Jackets went to Arbogast and she scored a banker inside, as well as a foul shot. Two Kirian foul shots built the margin to 29-22 with 1:40 left.
Bulldog sophomore Rachel Wildman buried a left baseline jumper to cut the deficit to 29-24 just 10 seconds later.
Ladd answered with a short bank shot and Hailey Theis drilled a key 13-footer from the left side as NR garnered a nine-point cushion.
A pair of Tori Wyss foul shots made it 33-26 as the third period came to a close.
Scherger buried a 17-footer and Morgan Noftz drained a backbreaking trey to start the fourth quarter as NR seized a 38-26 advantage.
Ada called a timeout to quell the 9-2 run and prepare for a last-ditch effort. Tori Wyss scored a basket, Amburgey hit from 15 feet and Wyss sank one of two foul shots as the 5-0 Bulldog splurge inched the hosts within 38-31.
But then Ada ran out of gas and went ice cold from the floor. The Jackets scored the next seven points to seal the verdict.
The Bulldogs shot just 22 percent from the field (11-50). NR converted 16 of 27 at the charity stripe (59 percent) while Ada made seven of 11 (64 percent).
"We got killed at the foul line," Dumabugh noted. "We have been giving up about a 20 free throw (attempts) deficit per game."
Ladd led the balanced victors with a dozen points. Scherger and Arbogast each added 11 markers.
Wyss topped all players with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Amburgey contributed 11 points and six caroms. Lindsay Walden added five boards.
"I was pleased with the way Walden battled today," offered Dumbaugh. But he agreed that it was very difficult to beat a decent team, let alone a good team, when shooting just 22 percent from the floor.
The Lady Bulldog reserves dropped to 4-3 with a 32-23 defeat. Haley Wyss and Tessa Coulson led the Bulldog reserves with eight points apiece.
Ada 32 (3-4)
Gonzaga 2 0-0 4, Amburgey 4 1-2 11, Faine 0, Walden 0, H. Wyss 0 2-2 2, Wildman 1 0-0 2, 4 4-7 13. Totals: 11/7-11/32.
3-pointers: Amburgey 2, T. Wyss 1.
New Riegel 48 (7-1)
Bouillon 0 1-2 1, Arbogast 4 3-6 11, Kirian 0 6-9 6, Scherger 4 2-4 11, Ladd 4 4-4 12, Theis 1 0-0 2, Noftz 2 0-2 5. Totals: 15/16-27/48. 3-pointers: Scherger 1, Noftz 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 6 6 14 6 32
NR 13 5 15 15 48
JV score: NR 32, Ada 23.
Ada, which has lost three home games in a five-day span, looks to right the ship when they visit struggling county rival Hardin Northern Saturday, December 28 at 6 p.m.