ADA - Visiting Columbus Grove outscored Ada 31-11 in the second half to post a 53-36 comeback victory in a Northwest Conference battle of the Bulldogs Friday night.
The hosts methodically built a 25-22 halftime lead. But Grove stormed out of the locker room to score the first 11 points of the second half, including eight in a row by 6-3 sophomore Logan Diller, to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Ada rallied within 33-32 after a corner trifecta and a pull-up jumper by Blake Willeke. Yet Grove answered with a triple from Tanner Neu, and then Neu canned a short baseline stickback just before the buzzer to regain the momentum and put CG on top, 38-32.
Grove then reeled off the first 13 points of the fourth period to cap an 18-0 spurt that sealed the outcome.
Ada fell to 5-13 and 0-7 in the NWC with the loss, while Grove improved to 13-7 and 5-2 in the league.
"We had a bad start to the third quarter," admitted Ada veteran head coach Chris Sautter. "We got back within one, but that putback on the last play of the third period was big. They had four guys going after the rebound and we had one.
"We didn't get any points in transition," Sautter continued. "We can't get five guys on the floor committed to pushing the ball, so that makes it tough. We can't put together two good halves."
Grove switched to a 1-3-1 zone halfcourt defense in the third quarter and the move helped hold Ada without a point until 2:48 was left in the period.
Joey Warnecke scored on a stickback as did Diller moments later to put CG ahead, 26-25. Diller then converted inside off a nice drive and dish by Darbyshire.
Diller continued his personal barrage by drilling a right wing trey and adding a transition layup at the three-minute mark to put CG ahead, 33-25.
"Instead of attacking the zone, we were on our heels," Sautter explained. "You can't sit on your heels and pass the ball around 40 feet from the basket. We were too passive and not aggressive enough attacking.
"Then when we did attack, we didn't finish," he continued. "Vorhees (6-7 center Will) blocked a few and changed a lot of our shots around the basket."
Ada junior Grant McBride began the game with a right corner triple. Darbyshire tallied four quick points, and then Willeke posted up on the right block and scored two consecutive baskets.
Austin Dumbaugh canned a right wing trifecta, and McBride then converted a traditional three-point play with a pretty left-handed drive down the lane.
A pair of foul shots by Levi Bass put Ada ahead after one period, 15-11.
Dumbaugh sank a driving layin, followed by a spin move and layup by Bass that gave Ada its biggest lead with 6:52 left in the half, 19-11.
Diller then sank a layup and left wing triple, but Spencer Archer hit a fast break layup for a 23-18 lead.
Warnecke scored inside, followed by a Diller layup with 33 seconds left in the half. Ada then held for the last shot, and executed well.
Sautter drove, drew the defense and dished to Dumbaugh for a layup with two seconds remaining to make it 25-22 in favor of the purple and gold at the break.
But then Grove scored 29 of the first 36 points of the second half. When Owen Conley drained a 19-footer to stop the 18-0 CG flurry, less than four minutes remained and Ada was down by 17.
McBride splashed a left baseline 15-footer to provide the final points.
Diller topped all scorers with 20 points. Darbyshire netted 13 and Neu added 10 off the bench. Vorhees, playing with a toe injury, was held to two.
"When you hold a kid averaging 21 points a game to two, you like your chances to win," said Sautter. "But Diller killed us."
McBride led Ada with 10 points while Willeke added nine.
The teams combined to shoot just 10 foul shots in the fast game. Darbyshire shot all six Grove free throws in the first half and made each one. Ada made three of its four charity stripers.
Ada committed 14 turnovers and CG was guilty of 13 miscues.
CG also won the junior varsity game, 58-38. Jordan Bailey led the Ada reserves with 10 points.
Ada 36 (5-13, 0-7 NWC)
Sautter 1 0-0 2, Willeke 4 0-0 9, McBride 4 1-1 10, Dumbaugh 3 0-0 7, Bass 1 2-2 4, Archer 1 0-1 2, Ansley 0, Conley 1 0-0 2, Lehsten 0, Evans 0.
Totals: 15/3-4/36. 3-pointer: Dumbaugh 1, Willeke 1, McBride 1.
Col. Grove 53 (13-7, 5-2 NWC)
Vorhees 1 0-0 2, Darbyshire 3 6-6 13, Warnecke 3 0-0 6, Diller 9 0-0 20, Clement 1 0-0 2, Neu 4 0-0 10.
Totals: 21/6-6/53. 3-pointers: Diller 2, Neu 2, Darbyshire 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 15 10 7 4 36
CG 11 11 16 15 53
JV: Grove 58, Ada 38.