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February 19, 2019

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Did you survive the double OT win at Spencerville?

Grant Pepper talks with the Ada coach

By Grant Pepper
Last Friday night, the Ada High School boys' basketball team won a double-overtime thriller at Spencerville, 48-45. Ada (4-14, 2-3 NWC) won their first NWC road game since Feb. 6, 2015 and also recorded their first road win of the season (now 1-8 as visitors).

The Bulldogs rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to tie Spencerville (2-13, 1-4) at 38 at the end of regulation. After Spencerville freshman Dalton Pritchard hit a tough two-point shot to send the game into a second overtime, Ada closed the game out by winning the final period, 6-3.

Clutch play from freshman guard Brandon Hull, junior post Connor Frazier and senior post Seven Williams keyed the Bulldogs late. Frazier led Ada with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Williams poured in 10 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks. Senior guard Ethan Swaney also contributed 10 points and six assists in the Bulldog win, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

While Ada finished the job with clutch offensive play, it was their defense that spurred the comeback. The Bulldogs allowed just 22 points in the final 24 minutes of the game, surrendering five points in the third quarter.

"We grew up tonight and have to build on this momentum going forward," Ada head coach Dre White told the Icon after the game.

With the win, Ada moves into a three-way tie for fifth place in the Northwest Conference alongside Delphos Jefferson and Columbus Grove. After a week off, the Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday night in a home contest against Lincolnview (10-6, 4-1).

Friday will be Senior Night for the Bulldogs, and they will try to keep the positive momentum going against a Lincolnview team that won this matchup by 29 last year and is currently tied for second place in the conference.

White, in his second year at the helm, talked about last week’s momentous win over Spencerville and looked ahead to Friday night’s battle with Lincolnview on WONB’s ‘The Pep Talk’ this week.

To listen to that interview with WONB’s Grant Pepper, tune into 94.9 FM or wonb.net on Friday at 8:30 a.m. But for now, here is a snippet of that conversation from Wednesday afternoon:

GP: Coach, congrats on a crazy win last Friday night at Spencerville. If you could, go through the flow of that game and how things unfolded down the stretch.

DW: Yeah, Friday was a good one at Spencerville. It was kind of funny, I was talking to the coaching staff earlier in the week and I kind of said, ‘Hey, we haven’t had an overtime game yet this year.’ And sure enough, we go there Friday and we get not one, but two overtimes. So [it was] a good game, one that we needed for our program. As far as that game, we came out and we didn’t play extremely well in the first half. And we just went into halftime down [six points], and we just weren’t playing loose, playing confident. We had a chat at halftime and we addressed that. And I told them, ‘We just need to come out and do what we do. Do the things that we practice and we’ll be fine.’

It was good to see in the second half, I thought the guys did just that. They came out and they just had a different look in their eyes, you know? They were playing loose and confident on the offensive end and on the defensive end, they were buying in. I think the biggest thing I was proud of in that game [was that] I think we gave up 22 points in the second half and both overtimes, so that’s 22 points in 24 minutes, which was awesome to see. We’ve talked plenty this year and in order for us to compete in games, we have to defend. And when we do defend, we give ourselves a pretty good shot to be in games. And we did just that.

GP: What kind of things did you do defensively on Friday night to help in that second half?

DW: We really didn’t do anything differently. We just came out with a renewed sense of focus and intensity on the defensive end. Another thing I told them at half time, you know, we weren’t having fun on the defensive end and the offense was struggling. I told them, if we buy into the defensive end and have some fun on the defensive end -- you know, it’s not the thing that most kids like to do, to defend -- but if you can buy into the defensive end and have some fun, I told them, you’ll be surprised how much can open up on the offensive end. And that’s where our confidence came.

GP: You guys will face a tough Lincolnview team on Friday night, one that beat you guys last year by almost 30 points. It seems like they’ve brought back a lot of familiar faces, too. What have you seen from the Lancers on film and what will be some keys for you guys on Friday?

DW: Lincolnview is definitely a good team. They just had a tough weekend last weekend with two very good opponents, and they had their big one last Friday with Crestview and Crestview got them. But nonetheless [they are] a very good team, a very good program. They shoot the ball very well. They played last night and I believe they had seven threes in the first half, so they can definitely fill it up from the outside and that will be a point of emphasis from us. We just have to step up and be ready for the challenge. We have two league wins now, we’re sitting at 2-3 and at this point, you have to come ready to play and give them all we got. It’s Senior Night for our guys, so I’m hoping the guys can rally around that and we’ll see what happens.

Can’t make it to Ada High School to watch the Bulldogs battle Lincolnview on Friday night? Listen to WONB’s call of the game in your car at 94.9 FM or online at wonb.net. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Follow Grant Pepper on Twitter: @GrantPepper
Follow Sportsbeat 94.9 FM on Twitter: @SportsBeat949FM