ADA — Visiting Upper Scioto Valley used strong inside play and better foul shooting to hold off spunky Ada 48-36 in a hard-fought backyard girls basketball rivalry game Tuesday night.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to 1-16 with the defeat, while the Lady Rams improved to 2-12 with the win.

USV ran out to a nine-point lead, but Ada clawed back within 20-16 at halftime. The Rams earned a little breathing room with a 14-8 third period and basically held on to a double-digit margin the rest of the way.

"They made free throws and we didn't," said first-year Ada head coach Morgan Bass, whose team shot 38 percent from the line. "That and the second chance baskets by Moore were the difference.

"Every time we started to make a run we did something to hurt ourselves. It was a frustrating game for sure," she added.

USV sophomore post Allison Moore muscled her way inside for seven early points, and the Rams never trailed. A traditional three-point play by guard Briana Hurley helped the visitors race to an early 10-1 lead.

Freshman Kirsten Poling led a Bulldog comeback by nailing an elbow jumper, then scoring a layup off a steal. Sophomore Miranda Wills knocked down a basket and classmate Alexis Waugh made a free throw to cap a 7-0 Ada run to end the period down just 10-8.

Two foul shots by senior wing Avery Sanders and a short shot by playmaker Haylie Martin propelled USV to a 16-10 edge early in the second stanza.

But then speedy Ada freshman guard Timber Blankenship stole the ball twice in a row and scored a pair of layups in a 10-second span to pull the hosts within a basket.

Moore netted a basket inside, yet Poling knocked down a 12-footer. Sanders tallied a bucket 25 seconds before intermission to give USV a four-point advantage at halftime.

"I thought we took a lot of uncharacteristic shots in the first half," Bass noted.

After Moore canned a free toss, Sanders swished a left wing 17-footer with six minutes left in the third period. Poling swiped the ball and cruised in for a layup to inch within 23-19.

Moore powered in for a layup seconds later yet Wills buried a right wing triple to slice the deficit to 25-22 at the 4:11 mark.

The speedy Martin answered by banking in a one-footed runner. Moore notched a stickback layin to rebuild the lead to 29-22 with 3:22 left in the third.

Hurley then drained a big trey and Moore canned yet another putback to cap a 9-0 run that provided a 12-point margin USV never truly relinquished.

Wills sank a left elbow 14-footer with 44 seconds left in the quarter to end the flurry and pull Ada to 34-24 heading into the final period.

Hurley drilled a top of the key trifecta and banked in a backbreaking 17-footer from the circle to extend the lead to 39-24 with 6:11 remaining.

"The two three's and the bank shot by Hurley hurt us," admitted Bass.

After a Moore free throw, Poling converted two at the charity stripe and Megan Light split a pair for Ada.

Martin sank a right side 10-footer to make it 42-27. Blankenship netted a coast to coast driving layup to spark a last-ditch run by the scrambling Bulldogs. Wills knocked down four of six foul shots as the game got chippy.

Ram Miriam Lee splashed two foul shots to end the 7-0 Ada spurt and give USV a 44-34 lead with 67 ticks left. Mackenzie Grener hit two charity stripers and Moore added yet another layup to give the Rams a 14-point bulge.

Bulldog sophomore guard Brenna George canned a short bank shot with 10 seconds to go to provide the final margin.

Moore topped all players with 20 points, while Hurley contributed 11 markers and Martin six. Martin also blocked four shots.

Wills scored 15 points to lead Ada. Poling added 11 markers and five steals, while Blankenship scored six points.

The Rams sank 16 two-point goals, made two treys and converted 10 of 13 (77 percent) from the charity stripe. Ada canned 12 field goals including one trifecta, but hit on just 11 of 29 (38 percent) at the foul line.

There was no junior varsity game. USV won the first meeting in the semifinals of the Border Battle at Ada Dec. 27, 44-35.

Ada 36 (1-16)
Wills 4 6-12 15, Poling 4 3-6 11, Light 0 1-3 1, Waugh 0 1-4 1, George 1 0-1 2, Phillips 0, Blankenship 3 0-3 6, Acheson 0.
Totals: 12/11-29/36. 3-pointer: Wills 1.

USV 48 (2-12)
Martin 3 0-0 6, Evans 0, Grener 0 2-2 2, Sanders 2 3-4 7, Moore 9 2-3 20, Hurley 4 1-1 11, Lee 0 2-3 2.
Totals: 18/10-13/48. 3-pointers: Hurley 2.

    1    2    3    4    F
Ada    8    8    6    14    36    
USV    10    10    14    14    48
No JV game.

Ada (0-5 NWC) will travel to second-place league foe Spencerville (11-4, 4-1 NWC) Thursday night. "It will be a tough game" said Bass. The Bulldogs have lost 13 in a row since defeating Perry Dec. 8.