ADA — Visiting league co-leader Bluffton outscored Ada by 22 points over the middle quarters to post a convincing 69-41 girls basketball win over the Lady Bulldogs in Northwest Conference action Thursday evening.

The purple and gold fell to 7-13 and 1-6 in the NWC after their fourth straight defeat, while the visitors improved to 15-4 and 7-0 in the league with the victory.

Bluffton will face co-league unbeaten Columbus Grove (6-0 NWC) in the conference finale to decide the championship.

Pirate sophomore point guard Alivia Koening poured in a game-high 32 points, including seven three-point field goals, to lead the red and white over Ada.

"Koenig does everything well, we had no answer for her; even if she did not score a point she would still be a good player," said Bulldog head coach Bill Taflinger.

"We were hoping to be able to play with Bluffton and upset them, but it wasn't meant to be."

Bluffton ran out to an early 8-0 lead, but then Ada rallied behind triples from Teara Coulson and Haley Wyss. Another Wyss trifecta tied it 11-11.

Junior Maddie Gossard gave the hosts their lone lead of the night on a right wing trey with 33 seconds to go in the opening stanza, 14-13. A left-handed layup by Pirate freshman Libby Schoodt gave Bluffton a 15-14 lead after one period.

Koenig then took over by burying three consecutive triples over the first 1:46 of the second quarter. Coulson stopped the 11-0 run by hitting a left wing trey, but Pirate soph Katie Prater drained a left corner triple.

Bulldog sophomore Rilan Conley sank a short shot off glass and junior Anney Archer split two foul shots. Wyss drained a left wing trey to inch within 29-23 at the 3:11 mark.

Averey Rumer sank a transition layup yet Ada got even closer at 31-26 with 2:19 left in the first half on a three-point goal from out top by Alyssa Vore.

But then Koenig stole the ball off a Bulldog defensive rebound and laid it in to reverse the momentum. Vore canned a fast break layup to cut the deficit back to five. Yet Pirate freshman Kayla White buried a trifecta to rebuild the margin to eight.

Then Bluffton sophomore Rumer splashed an extremely high-arching trey just four seconds before intermission that gave Bluffton a 39-28 cushion at halftime.

"We got it down to five late in the half, then they hit two big three's to go up 11," said Taflinger. "That made a big difference."

Bluffton then put the game away be starting the second half on an 8-0 flurry. Koenig made a lefty layup on the fast break to ignite the spurt. Prater sank a lean-in banker and Koenig bounced in a triple off the rim and glass.

Lone Pirate senior Abbie Parkins sank a foul shot to extend the lead to 47-28 before Gossard stopped the run with a pair of charity stripers.

"The 8-0 run they had to begin the third period kind of sealed it," said Taflinger.

However, Koenig responded by nailing back-to-back treys from each wing for a 53-30 cushion.

Archer completed a conventional three-point play, and Gossard banked in a 16-footer to cut the deficit to 53-35. Prater answered by hitting a driving layup, and Parkins buried a triple from the top of the key to end the period.

Koenig tallied 11 points to lead Bluffton to a 19-7 quarter and a commanding 58-35 advantage.

A Parkins layup put the Pirates on top 61-37 before Coulson nailed a trifecta. Koening canned three free throws down the final stretch to surpass the 30-point plateau.

Wyss was the lone Bulldog in double figures with 11 points on the strength of three triples. Coulson added nine points on three treys.

Parkins added 11 points to support Koenig's 32-point outburst.

Bluffton canned 12 three-point goals and 10 two-pointers. They also converted 13 of 18 at the charity stripe. Ada sank five deuces and eight triples, as well as seven of 13 at the foul line.

The Pirates outscored Ada 30-13 in the second half and 54-27 after the opening stanza.

Bluffton also won a two-quarter reserve contest, 20-2.


Ada 41 (7-13, 1-6 NWC)
M. Gossard 2 2-2 7, Coulson 3 0-0 9, Wyss 3 2-5 11, Vore 2 1-2 6, Archer 2 2-4 6, Newland 0, Conley 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 13/7-13/41. 3-pointers: Coulson 3, Wyss 3, M. Gossard 1, Vore 1.

Bluffton 69 (15-4, 7-0 NWC)
Koenig 10 5-7 32, Parkins 3 3-4 11, Garmatter 0 2-2 2, White 1 0-0 3, Prater 3 1-2 8, Rumer 3 2-3 9, Schoodt 2 0-0 4.
Totals: 22/13-18/69. 3-pointers: Koenig 7, Parkins 1, Rumer 1, Burner 1, White 1, Prater 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Ada    14    14    7    6    41    
Blu    15    24    19    11    69
JV: Bluffton 20, Ada 2.


Ada (4-6 home) hosts tough non-league foe Arcadia (16-4) Tuesday, February 14 in a makeup contest that marks the final home game of the season. "Arcadia is very good," warned Taflinger.

The Bulldogs then visit Lincolnview (11-8, 3-4 NWC) Thursday, Feb. 16 in the league and regular seaon finale. "We have two good teams left to play in the regular season," said Taflinger.

"This is a tough stretch for our girls; we have to keep our heads up and keep playing hard."