ADA - Wayne Trace staved off a game Ada rally to post a 73-65 victory in a non-league boys hoop contest Saturday night that concluded the home portion of the Bulldog schedule.
WT led 52-34 midway through the third period, but the purple and gold would not go away. Ada chipped away and eventually pulled within six points after a three-point play by Austin Dumbaugh and a reverse layup by Blake Willeke with 24 seconds left.
But Raider junior sharpshooter Corbin Linder canned six consecutive foul shots in the final minute to keep the Bulldog rally at bay.
Ada fell to 5-14 with the tough defeat in their home finale, while WT improved to 16-3.
"For being 5-14, the kids keep showing up to battle and compete," said Ada head coach Chris Sautter. "You can't ask for anything more. If they stick with it, we will eventually get over the hump."
The Bulldogs fell behind 14-4 as the length of the Raider zone press bothered them. Two Dumbaugh baskets inside and a baseline pull-up jumper by Grant McBride cut the deficit to 16-10. 
Yet Jake Arend converted a three-point banker inside just before the buzzer to build the lead to nine.
A lane shot by Dumbaugh and a layup from Brayden Sautter brought Ada within 20-14. But then Linder went on a tear. He drilled a short bank shot, then splashed consecutive left wing triples to shoot WT to a 28-14 cushion.
Levi Bass scored inside and so did Spencer Archer on a nice penetrating pass from Sautter. However, Linder nailed yet another left wing trifecta.
Willeke anwered by swishing a left corner trey, and a transition layin by Bass made it 31-23. Arend responded with a layin, followed by an Archer bunny from Sautter. 
T.J. Blackmore, 6-5 senior post, netted a follow shot. Sautter then splashed a trey from out top, and Archer canned an 11-foot baseline shot to inch within 35-30 with 1:40 to go in the half.
Blackmore then scored inside off a nice snap pass from Linder, and then Ethan Linder converted two foul shots for a 39-30 bulge at intermission.
Ethan Linder started half two by nailing a left wing trifecta. Sautter splashed a lane floater, and then WT put on a 10-2 flurry. 
Two baskets inside by 6-6 David Sinn and a double pump scoop by Ethan Linder helped the Raiders gain their biggest lead, 52-34. 
Yet Ada did not fold. Owen Conley sank a putback and Sautter tallied a left wing trey. 
Another Conley putback and a McBride 19-footer brought the Bulldogs within 54-43 heading to the final stanza.
Arend started the fourth by hitting a pull-up jumper. Willeke and McBride drilled consecutive treys to slice the lead to 56-49. Sinn converted a reverse layin, answered by a short banker from Dumbaugh.
Corbin Linder then drained a 17-footer and Blackmore notched a pair of layups. McBride kept Ada alive with another triple, and Willeke powered in a traditional three-point play over Blackmore to edge within 64-58 at the 2:32 mark.
WT ran off clock and Colby Speice missed a free throw, but the Raiders snared a key offensive rebound off his misfire. This time when fouled, Speice canned both charity stripers with 57 ticks remaining.
Ada missed and Linder converted two at the line. Dumbaugh powered in a conventional three-point play and Willeke banked in a reverse layup off a nice Sautter lead pass. 
But WT sank nine of its last 10 foul shots to end any thoughts of a Bulldog comeback.
Corbin Linder led all scorers with 21 points. Blackmore tallied 13 points and Ethan Linder added a dozen, while Sinn contributed 10 and Speice nine.
Ada placed four in double figures, led by McBride with 16 points. Sautter and Dumbaugh each netted 12 points while Willeke added 11.
"We haven't had everybody play well the same night yet, but to have four guys in double figures is a step in the right direction, especially at the offensive end," Sautter offered.
The Bulldogs sank 27 baskets, including six treys, to 26 by the Raiders. But WT canned 15 of 19 at the foul line (79 percent), whereas Ada converted just five of nine (56 percent).
It was the last home game for seniors Dumbaugh, Archer, Josh Lehsten and the injured Hunter Waller. Ada ended up 3-8 at home, with wins over New Knoxville, Pandora-Gilboa and Hardin Northern.
The Bulldog reserves won 50-47 to improve to 10-8. Conley scored 14 points and Seth Evans added 13. Alec Vest topped WT (17-4) with 13 markers. 

Ada 65 (5-14)
Sautter 5 0-1 12, Willeke 4 1-3 11, McBride 6 2-2 16, Dumbaugh 5 2-3 12, Bass 2 0-0 4, Archer 3 0-0 6, Ansley 0, Lehsten 0, Conley 2 0-0 4, Evans 0. 
Totals: 27/5-9/65. 3-pointers: McBride 2, Sautter 2, Willeke 2.
Wayne Trace 73 (16-3)
Speice 3 2-3 9, Miller 0 1-2 1, E. Linder 4 2-2 12, Aend 3 1-2 7, C. Linder 6 6-6 21, Sinn 4 2-2 10, Blackmore 6 1-2 13.
Totals: 26/15-19/73. 3-pointers: C. Linder 3, E. Linder 2, Seice 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 10 20 13 22 65
WT 19 20 15 19 73
JV: Ada 50, WT 47.

The Bulldogs visit non-league foe Lima Temple Christian (4-15) Tuesday, February 18. The Pioneers lost 49-46 in overtime to Cory-Rawson Saturday night. Ada (2-6 away) beat the Hornets 57-36 on the road Dec. 21.
The Ada boys(0-7 NWC) then visit tough Paulding (15-5, 4-3 NWC) Friday, Feb. 21 in the regular season and league finale.