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February 21, 2020

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Rally by Bulldog boys comes up short late at Ridgemont in opener

By Cort Reynolds

RIDGEWAY - The Ada boys basketball team fought back from a big deficit, but ran out of gas and lost 59-50 at Hardin County rival Ridgemont Friday night in the season tip-off for both clubs.

The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 15 in the second period but chipped away methodically to build a 40-37 lead in the third quarter.

But a rare four-point play by Gopher freshman Landon Newland gave youth-laden Ridgemont the lead back and they never relinquished it, ending the contest on a 22-10 run.

"We dug a big hole early and did not do what we do on either end of the floor," said Ada third-year head coach Dre White. "We had too many breakdowns offensively and defensively.

"Coach Stuck had his guys ready to go, and much credit to his son Mason on a great first game."

Gopher 6-3 freshman Mason Stuck poured in a game-high 25 points in his debut on the strength of five three-point goals. Another freshman, 6-2 Landon Newland, knocked down three treys and contributed 19 points before fouling out late.

Fifty-three of the 59 Ridgemont points were scored by freshmen, with the other six tallied by sophomores.

Bulldog senior post Connor Frazier led Ada with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Junior wing Phillip Coulson netted 14 points and sophomore playmaker Brandon Hull added 11.

Early triples by Stuck and Newland shot the Gophers to an 8-2 lead. Hull scored the first four Ada points and Coulson sank a bank shot to pull within 8-6.

Stuck answered by nailing a trey from the top of the key, followed by a corner three swisher by sophomore Jayden Streets as Gophers shot out of the gate on fire from the perimeter.

A driving layup from Hull cut the lead to 14-8 but Newland nailed a triple and Stuck sank a corner jumper to build the margin to 19-8.

A give-and-go basket by Austin Elsasser gave the hosts a 21-8 lead after one period of play. Ridgemont drained five triples in the first quarter.

Newland's driving layup opened the second stanza, giving the hosts their largest lead of the night at 15. But then Ada started clicking on offense and reeled off 11 unanswered points to get back in the game.

Coulson netted a stickback layin and a long trey to ignite the flurry. Frazier hit his first basket, followed by a Hull hoop. Another Frazier layup sliced the deficit to 23-19 with 4:15 remaining in the half.

Stuck stopped the Bulldog momentum by nailing a right side three-pointer. But following a Gopher foul shot, Frazier made his third basket and Coulson converted a driving layin off a steal to pull within 27-23.

After freshman Lane Underwood scored inside, Coulson splashed a triple. Underwood sank another layin, but Ada senior guard Cade Mullins drained an 18-footer five seconds before intermission to get the purple and gold within 31-28 at the half.

Stuck struck first on a layin to open half two, yet Hull drilled a trey to inch the visitors within 33-31. Mullins split a pair at the charity stripe before Newland banked in a one-footed fallaway.

Coulson canned a reverse layup, and then Ada took its first lead of the game on a layup by sophomore Zac Swaney at 36-35 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Frazier drilled an 18-footer to extend the lead to 38-35, and Newland converted two foul shots. A line-drive shot from the left elbow by Frazier put Ada ahead again by three.

But then the momentum changed when Newland sank a three-point goal while being fouled. He completed the four-point play to regain the lead 41-40 with just 14 seconds left in the period.

A five-footer by Stuck bounced in to start the final quarter. Frazier sank a foul shot but Stuck cashed in a right wing triple for a 46-41 margin. Mullins responded by draining a left wing trey that pulled the Bulldogs to 46-44 with 5:50 left to play.

Stuck canned two free throws yet Mullins netted a layin off a steal to stay within two points at the 4:07 mark. But Stuck again came up with a big basket by nailing a deep triple.

Frazier sank a layup and a free toss to edge Ada within 51-49 with 2:38 left. Newland then canned a foul shot and a layup to give the Gophers a little breathing room.

Frazier split a pair at the line to keep the Bulldogs in striking distance, down 54-50 at the 1:29 juncture. Yet Underwood scored inside off a good interior pass, and Ada committed a costly turnover at the other end.

Austin Elsasser sank a free throw to advance the Gopher lead to 57-50 with 37 seconds to go. The Bulldogs missed a three-point shot, and Ridgemont got possession when the ensuing rebound turned into a jump ball.

Two free throws with 18 seconds left by Gopher freshman Grant Reppart provided the final margin of victory. Tiring Ada tallied just one basket in the final 4:24 and missed three foul shots down the stretch.

Ridgemont outscored Ada 8-1 over the final 2:20 of play.

The Bulldogs grabbed 31 boards as Frazier led all players with 11 rebounds. Ada committed 10 turnovers.

Both teams canned 20 field goals, but greater three-point and foul shooting accuracy gave the Gophers a key edge.

The Bulldogs shot 39 percent from the field (20-51) and made half of their 12 foul shots (50 percent). Ridgemont connected on 49 percent (20-41) of its field goal tries and sank 10 of 14 (71 percent) at the charity stripe.

Ada hit on just four of 19 beyond the arc (18 percent) while Ridgemont drained nine of 16 trey tries for a sizzling 56 percent accuracy clip.

The Gophers made 11 of 25 two-point tries (44 percent), while Ada was successful on 16 of 32 (50 percent) shots inside the arc.

There was no reserve game.


Ada 50 (0-1)

Z. Swaney 1 0-0 2, Mullins 3 1-2 8, Hull 4 2-2 11, Frazier 6 3-7 15, Coulson 6 0-0 14, Hall 0, Gautier 0, Cook 0.

Totals: 20-51/6-12/50. 3-pointers (4-19): Coulson 2, Mullins 1, Hull 1.


Ridgemont 59 (1-0)

J. Streets 1 0-0 3, Stuck 9 2-2 25, Reppart 0 3-4 3, Underwood 3 0-0 6, Elsasser 1 1-2 3, Newland 6 4-6 19.

Totals: 20-41/10-14/59. 3-pointers (9-16): Stuck 5, Newland 3, Streets 1.


1 2 3 4 F

Ada 8 20 12 10 50

Rmnt 21 10 10 18 59

JV: no game.


Ada (0-1 road) visits non-league foe Ft. Jennings Saturday night. "They are always a tough team for us," said White. "We will have to be better than we were vs. Ridgemont.

"We must learn from it and come back tomorrow," he added. FJ hosted Arlington Friday in their opener.

The purple and gold host Kalida next Friday, December 7 in their home opener.