|02/25/20 - |
The Ada High girls basketball team wasn’t razor-sharp against Blanchard during a Class 4A District championship contest Saturday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.
Coach Christie Jennings’ club was still plenty good enough to surge past the scrappy Lady Lions, 47-34.
The 15th-ranked Lady Cougars improved to 20-4 on the year and set up an epic Class 4A Regional Tournament showdown with No. 13 Sulphur (21-3). That contest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Ada. Blanchard fell to 13-11.
“We found a way to get it done. I’m telling you right now, Blanchard is a good basketball team and probably shouldn’t have been put in this position,” said Ada head coach Christie Jennings. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them over in the area tournament at some point.”
Jennings said nerves played a role in the Lady Cougars not getting much separation until late. Ada led just 26-20 at halftime and when Lauren Coffman scored early in the fourth period, the Lady Lions trailed 34-28.
This was the first playoff victory for all but two players on the Ada High roster.
“After the game, I was bragging on them for finishing. I told them to stand up if you just won your first playoff game, and three-fourths of the locker room stood up,” she said. “I think we were more nervous than we realized we were going to be. We let the moment be bigger than it needed to be, and our kids kind of played tight. They were tense at times. They forgot for a little while that it was supposed to be fun and to play relaxed.”
A 7-0 Ada run following the Coffman bucket helped Jennings and company breathe a little easier.
Shayla Wofford started things with a putback of her own miss, and Landyn Owens scored on a fast break set up by a Tatum Havens steal. The spurt was capped when Amaya Frizell made a tough shot in the paint, was fouled and completed a three-point play that pushed the AHS lead to 41-28 with 3:25 to play.
Blanchard never got closer than eight the rest of the way. The Lady Cougars hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 35.8 seconds to close out the contest.
“We did a good job of closing the door. We made free throws when we needed them,” Jennings said.
Ada finished 12-of-15 from the free-throw line, compared to a 7-of-14 showing by the Lady Lions.
Owens led the Ada offense with 19 points. Havens followed with 12 points — including a pair of 3-pointers — and was 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. She also had four rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots.
Frizell chipped in eight points to the Lady Cougar attack, and Wofford ended with six points and five rebounds. Jaiden Stevenson came off the bench and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Callie Hacker scored 13 points to pace Blanchard before fouling out. Reserve Haddy Huff scored nine points for the visitors, while Carly Craig followed with seven. Post player Addie Trent didn’t score but finished with a game-best nine rebounds for Blanchard.