ADA - Visiting Arlington rallied from a halftime deficit with a 21-6 third period and then held off a late Ada rally to win their hard-fought non-league boys makeup game 50-45 Monday night.
The Red Devils trailed 22-17 at intermission but came out firing in the third period to the tune of an 18-2 flurry.
After falling behind by a dozen late in the third quarter, the feisty Bulldogs rallied within 44-43 with 1:12 remaining.
But then burly Arlington 6-4 senior Michael Blunk muscled his way inside to put in his own miss, and later canned two big foul shots to stave off the Ada upset bid.
The Red Devils improved to 14-2 with the win, while the Bulldogs fell to 5-12.
"The third quarter killed us," said Ada 12th-year head coach Chris Sautter. "Two things cost us the game, rebounding and the third quarter. But the kids battled back and never quit."
Blunk netted three inside baskets in the first period, but Austin Dumbaugh countered with seven points of his own to more than negate him.
His three-point post-up move broke a tie and gave Ada a 12-9 lead. Blake Willeke snaked down the lane for a pretty left-handed layin that built the lead to five.
Yet Devil Ryan McDowell nailed a right corner triple and Andrew Hunter knocked down a pull-up shot to tie it 14-14 after one quarter.
The spunky Bulldogs spurted back on top as Levi Bass sank an acrobatic layup to start the second stanza. Spencer Archer nailed a driving bank shot.
Then Willeke swiped the ball and went in for a breakaway bunny to make it 20-14 with 6:12 left in the half.
Jordan Freed splashed a left wing trey but Willeke cut along the baseline, took a nice feed from Dumbaugh and put in a reverse layup to give Ada a 22-17 halftime bulge.
Arlington charged out for the second half on a mission as Blunk sank a power layup and Freed banked in his own missed trey. A trifecta from the top of the key by Hunter gave the visitors their first lead since it was 7-5.
Grant McBride knotted it on a pair of foul shots, but Blunk answered with another layup. After a steal by the pressing Devils, Hunter converted a layin.
A driving backhanded shot by Hunter and a traditional three-point play by Freed extended the Arlington lead to 33-24. Two free throws by Matt Glick capped the game-changing 18-2 splurge.
Bass canned a pair of free tosses at the 1:17 mark to stop the bleeding, but Hunter drained a trey from straightaway out top. A nice drive by Bass cut the deficit to 38-28 after three periods.
A fine hanging drive by Bass and a left wing triple by McBride started the fourth quarter on a hopeful note for the hosts.
Dumbaugh canned a driving shot off glass to cut the lead to 38-35 with 5:40 remaining. Blunk answered with a key turnaround bank shot at the 4:00 minute mark, and a minute later Aaron Starr canned a stickback to push the lead back to seven.
But again Ada refused to fold. Bass sank two charity stripers to offset a pair by Blunk. Dumbaugh then drained a triple from the top of the key. Brayden Sautter drilled a nice 11-foot pull-up jumper to inch Ada within 44-42 with 2:02 remaining.
Dumbaugh then split a pair of free throws to get the hosts within 44-43 with 72 ticks to go. Yet Blunk followed his own miss with a key basket inside with 49 seconds left.
Hunter then canned a clutch pair at the line 20 seconds later. Willeke kept Ada alive with a driving southpaw layin with 19.4 seconds left.
But Blunk nailed two free throws, the Bulldogs missed and Arlington ran out the clock to narrowly avoid the upset.
"Grant, Austin and Levi all hit big shots," noted Sautter of the late comeback. "We battled back and like all year, the kids never gave up. We just have to get over that hump."
Dumbaugh paced the Bulldogs with 13 points while Bass and Willeke added 10 apiece.
Blunk topped all scorers with 18 markers. Hunter tallied 15 markers and Freed added 10.
The Bulldogs sank nine of 13 from the charity stripe (69 percent) while the Devils converted 10 of 16 (63 percent).
Arlington also won the junior varsity game, 34-24. Owen Conley led Ada (9-7) with 14 points.
Ada 45 (5-12)
Sautter 1 0-0 2, Willeke 5 0-0 10, McBride 2 2-3 7, Dumbaugh 5 2-3 13, Bass 3 4-5 10, Archer 1 0-0 2, Lehsten 0 1-2 1, Ansley 0, Conley 0. Totals: 17/9-13/45. 3-pointers: Dumbaugh 1, McBride 1.
Arlington 50 (14-2)
Freed 4 1-2 10, McDowell 1 0-0 3, Blunk 7 4-5 18, Glick 0 2-2 2, Hunter 5 3-7 15, Starr 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18/10-16/50. 3-pointers: Hunter 2, Freed 1, McDowell 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 14 8 6 17 45
Arl 14 3 21 12 50
JV: Arlington 34, Ada 24.
Ada (0-6 NWC) hosts tough league foe Columbus Grove (12-7, 5-2 NWC) Friday. Ada is 3-6 at home this season.
"The Vorhees kid is big and is very good, he averages about 20 points and eight rebounds a game," warned Sautter. "He has shooters around him to pass out to. They will be good."