By Cort Reynolds

Ada Herald Writer

ADA - Big and talented Wapakoneta ruined the home boys hoop opener for Ada by handing the Bulldogs a 74-26 defeat Friday night in a non-league mismatch.

Ada fell to 0-2 with the loss while the Div. II Redskins improved to 3-1.

The visitors boasted 10 players between six feet and 6-8 as they scored effectively inside and outside with fine guard and post play. Senior guard Alex Greve and 6-3 Travis Bertram led all scorers with 19 points apiece, while 6-5 Jake Buzzard tallied a dozen inside.

"We had to shoot what, about eight percent from the floor," lamented Bulldog veteran coach Chris Sautter rhetorically. "We had a good week of practice. We can coach a lot of things, but we can't get any bigger. There are so many things to work on and we can't spend two hours just shooting the basketball in practice.

"Wapak has a really nice team," he added.

Seven players scored for Ada as they substituted liberally and tried to force an up-tempo pace, but none tallied more than five points. Wapakoneta handled the Bulldog pressure well, thriving in transition and in halfcourt offense behind fine passing and shooting. The physical visitors also played tough defense, preventing the Bulldogs from getting much penetration.

The dominating Redskins came out hot and never trailed. Bertram scored twice inside to shoot Wapak to a 6-0 lead before senior Kellen Decker drained the first Ada basket on a short right side bank shot three minutes into the fray.

Wapak then went on a 12-2 run to end the period ahead 18-4 as Bertram added four more points. The other first period basket for the cold-shooting Bulldogs came on a nice backdoor layup by Micah Roberson off a fine Austin Dumbaugh pass.

Two foul shots and a jump hook by Bertram, followed by a Greve right corner trey, extended the run to 13-0 to begin the second stanza. Roberson stopped the spurt with a pair of free throws, and Dumbaugh then made the best Ada move of the night for a conventional three-point play.

He spun hard into the post, knocked down a bank shot and added the free throw to bring the Bulldogs within 25-9 with 5:43 left in the half.

But the Redskins answered with consecutive left corner trifectas to stem the only Ada run of the night. Junior Dumbaugh nailed a 13-footer from the right baseline, followed by a pair of free tosses each by freshman Brayden Sautter and senior Mason Acheson.

Bertram's step through move and free throw built the lead to 36-15. Two baskets by the speedy Greve offset an Acheson basket as the visitors ended the half on a 9-2 flurry to lead 42-17 at intermission.

The lanky Bertram proved to be a tough matchup as he scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, equaling the Ada output. Meanwhile, the quick but under control Greve contributed 14 of his 19 markers in the opening half.

Greve hit three free throws to start the second half, and then Buzzard took over inside to net six consecutive points as Wapak reeled off 11 straight to lead by 36.

Sautter ended the run by canning a one-handed runner high off glass for the first Ada points of the half with 3:44 left in the third stanza. The Redskins netted eight of the next 10 points, with Eli Roberson scoring the two Ada markers from the charity stripe as the visitors took a 61-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

Alec Temple, a 6-8 junior backup center, scored three inside baskets over the final nine minutes as Wapak won the fourth stanza, 13-5. Ada junior Spencer Archer scored the last five Bulldog markers on a short banker, a pretty reverse layup and a foul shot.

Dumbaugh and Archer each scored five points to lead Ada. The Redskins canned 25 field goals, including three treys, to just eight baskets by the Bulldogs. Wapak sank 21 of 27 at the foul line (78 percent) while Ada hit 10 of 16 (63 percent) from the stripe and made no three-pointers.

"We have a lot of different people playing a lot of different roles than they are used to at the varsity level," said Sautter. "It's going to take a while to adjust."

Wapak also won the reserve game, 46-32. Freshman Blake Willeke led the Bulldogs (1-1) with 13 points.

Ada 26 (0-2)

Sautter 1 2-2 4, Szippl 0 0-1 0, M. Roberson 1 2-3 4, E. Roberson 0 2-2 2, Decker 1 0-0 2, Acheson 1 2-5 4, Sutton 0, Cobb 0, Dumbaugh 2 1-1 5, Waller 0, Archer 2 1-2 5, Chen 0. Totals: 8/10-16/26 3-pointers: none.

Wapak 74 (3-1)

Bertram 6 7-9 19, Buzzard 5 2-2 12, Greve 6 6-6 19, Erb 1 4-4 7, Morgan 2 0-0 5, Huffman 0 1-2 1, B. Miller 1 1-2 3, K. Miller 1 0-0 2, Temple 3 0-2 6. Totals: 25/21-27/74. 3-pointers: Greve 1, Erb 1, Morgan 1.

1 2 3 4 F

Ada 4 13 4 5 26

Wapak 18 24 19 13 74

JV: Wapakoneta 46, Ada 32.

Ada visits Pandora-Gilboa Saturday night in another non-league contest. "I'm not worried about Pandora," said Sautter when asked about the Rockets. "I'm just worried about us, to be honest. We are trying to find our way, find our roles."

P-G beat Allen East in their season opener last Saturday.