By Cort Reynolds
Ada Herald writer
DOLA - The Ada girls basketball team took out its recent frustrations on county rival Hardin Northern in their annual non-league battle Saturday night.
The visiting Lady Bulldogs raced to a big early lead and cruised to a 48-23 victory over the local rival Lady Polar Bears.
Ada snapped a four-game losing streak and evened their record at 4-4 with the win, while the Lady Bears fell to 1-10 with their 10th straight defeat.
The Bulldogs put on a 16-0 run over an eight-minute stretch in the first half to seize a 22-4 cushion, and never were headed.
"The good start was the big thing," agreed Ada head coach Neal Dumbaugh.
Bulldog sophomore Sidney Faine scored all nine of her points in the first period, many in transition, to propel Ada to the big lead before being sidelined by foul trouble.
"That was her type of game," noted Dumbaugh of her early outburst. "She got a lot of energy points in transition, on putbacks and with hustle plays."
The Bulldogs helped force HN into eight first quarter turnovers with a zone press, and turned many of the miscues into easy points.
"We knew what they would do but the turnovers in the first quarter hurt us," said Polar Bear head coach Brady Mast. "We were prepared, we just made some bad decisions with the ball."
HN took its only lead of the night at 2-0 when Shelby Schlatter made a layup just over a minute into the fray.
Ada standout Tori Wyss tied it moments later on a driving shot in the lane. Faine tallied a fast break layup at the 6:07 mark to break the tie for good.
Wyss converted a pair of foul shots and Holly Wilson buried a right side 19-footer to pull the hosts within 6-4 midway through the opening stanza.
But then Ada went on its game-breaking flurry. Versatile junior Alexis Amburgey ignited the run with a pull-up shot in the lane. Faine penetrated the left side and banked in a runner.
Faine then stole the ball in the backcourt and converted a layin that built the lead to 12-4 at the 2:50 mark. Amburgey split a pair of foul shots.
Faine grabbed her miss on the second shot, laid it in while getting fouled and finished an old-fashioned three-point play for a 16-4 cushion.
A pair of free throws by junior post Lindsay Walden gave Ada an 18-4 bulge after one period.
The Bulldogs carried the decisive spurt into the second stanza on a pair of Wyss foul shots and a stickback by Haley Wyss. Northern missed four free tosses in a row before senior guard Kylee Hooker ended the run with a right corner triple 5:52 before intermission.
HN's only triple of the game ended a scoreless drought of 6:41.
"Missed free throws also hurt us," offered Mast. "We just struggle to score."
Tori Wyss responded with a pull-up jumper to make it 24-7. The powerful junior followed that up with a putback off of a missed foul shot.
Sophomore Michaela Curtis canned two free throws for HN, while speedy senior Brittney Archer came off the bench to drain three of four charity stripers for Ada.
"Archer absolutely played well," Dumbaugh agreed.
Molly Wilson split a pair and Tori Wyss drove the left baseline and sank a tough scoop shot to put the visitors comfortably ahead at the break, 31-10.
Amburgey drained the lone Ada trifecta to open the second half. Holly Wilson canned a runner, yet Tori Wyss answered with a basket.
Molly Wilson converted a putback and Walden scored inside for the Bulldogs.
A driving leaner by Tori Wyss built the lead to 28 late in the third period. Lady Bear sophomore Morgan Madison knocked down a layup shortly before the horn to bring HN within 40-14.
Alana Roth banked in a short shot early in the final stanza for Northern. Walden split two foul shots, then converted a traditional three-point play inside to make it 44-18.
Molly Wilson and Brooklyn Watts combined to splash three of foul free throws for HN. The hustling Archer netted a putback, then tallied a fast break layup for the last Ada points.
Junior Kearston Schlatter bounced in a field goal for Northern in the final minute to close the final margin to 25.
Tori Wyss led all scorers with 16 points. "She is so solid and unselfish," said Dumbaugh. "It was good to get a double win. I am thankful for the good group of kids we have."
Faine scored nine, Walden tallied eight and Archer added a career-high seven points.
Molly Wilson scored five points and Holly Wilson added four to lead HN. Northern made just six of 15 free throws (40 percent) while Ada canned 13 of 22 (59 percent).
"When you don't score you can't get into any kind of pressure defense," explained Mast. "I thought we played hard the second half; we did a pretty good job defensively against the flex."
Ada outscored HN 17-13 after intermission.
The Lady Bulldog reserves improved to 5-3 with a 42-24 win. Haley Wyss topped Ada with a dozen points. Polar Bear Kamryn Dye led all players with 13 points.
Ada 48 (4-4)
Gonzaga 0, Amburgey 2 1-5 6, Faine 4 1-2 9, Walden 2 4-5 8, H. Wyss 1 0-0 2, Wildman 0 0-2 0, T. Wyss 6 4-4 16, Archer 2 3-4 7. Totals: 17/13-22/48. 3-pointer: Amburgey 1.
HN 23 (1-10)
Hooker 1 0-0 3, Campbell 0 0-5 0, Curtis 0 2-2 2, S. Schlatter 1 0-2 2, M. Wilson 1 3-4 5, Watts 0 1-2 1, Madison 1 0-0 2, Roth 1 0-0 2, H. Wilson 2 0-0 4, K. Schlatter 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 8/6-15/23. 3-pointer: Hooker 1.
1 2 3 4 F
Ada 18 13 9 8 48
HN 4 6 6 7 23
JV score: Ada 42, HN 24.
Ada opens the 2014 portion of its schedule Thursday, January 2 at talented BVC foe Arcadia.
"I am thankful to have preparation time before Arcadia," Dumbaugh noted. "That will be a good test for us over there."
Struggling HN next plays on Saturday, Jan. 6 at another Hardin County foe, Kenton.