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July 24, 2019

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Ada boys edge LTC in final seconds

Phillip Coulson tallied a game-high 28 points for Ada

By Cort Reynolds
ADA - Ada sophomore Brandon Hull sank a fast break layup with seven seconds left, and the Bulldogs dodged a last-ditch halfcourt heave at the horn to post a thrilling 55-54 non-conference boys basketball win over visiting Lima Temple Christian Saturday night.

The purple and gold improved to 4-16 overall with the high-energy win, while LTC dropped to 7-14 after their seventh consecutive defeat.

With Temple ahead 54-53, Pioneer senior post Dakota Clay missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with only 15.5 seconds left.

Ada rebounded and junior Phillip Coulson, who tallied a game-high 28 points, drove in transition and drew the defense before he dished the ball to Hull for the game-winner.

The Bulldog defense then hemmed in Pioneer scoring ace Brody Bowman and forced him to toss up a halfcourt shot which banked off the glass and rim as time expired.

"Phil hates to lose, he carried us," said Ada third-year head coach Dre White. "Once we got the last rebound we got the ball into the hands of our two playmakers, so I did not want to call timeout.

"Phil made the right decision and Brandon knocked it in. It was a big win to get," he added.

Ada led 3-0 before senior Dawson Draper hit the first of 11 Pioneer trifectas to tie it. Coulson sank a bank shot to spark a 10-0 Bulldog spurt.

Ada senior guard Cade Mullins then reeled off eight consecutive points by swishing two corner treys and making a breakaway layin.

LTC edged within 13-8 on a three by Joshua Engle at the 1:22 mark. Coulson sank a 12-footer and Pioneer junior Lincoln Waters splashed a left corner trey to make it 15-11 after the first quarter of play.

Coulson hit a nine-foot runner and senior post Connor Frazier canned a short bank shot to give Ada a 19-11 advantage. Draper nailed a left wing triple and Frazier converted two of four foul shots.

Dakota Clay laid in a putback yet Ada sophomore Micah Cook drained a right wing triple. The quick 5-10 Bowman, who came in averaging 30 points a game, scored his first basket on a driving bank shot with a minute left in the half.

Coulson made an off-balance bank shot with a second left to give Ada a 26-19 edge at intermission. The swarming Bulldog defense limited the speedy Bowman to just two field goal tries in the first half, but to his credit the wiry Pioneer senior guard did not force any bad shots.

"We did a good job face-guarding Bowman," said White. "We ran Zac, Cade and Phil at him, and Brandon had some nice double teams on him, too. Our goal was to run two guys at him and live with the results. They have seen a lot of box and one this year.

"Bowman found the open guy and stayed composed," he continued. "We knew he could explode in the second half. But we made him work for everything he got."
Waters sank a left wing trey to open the second half for the visitors. Coulson sank a reverse layup and then Bowman got untracked by nailing a right wing trey.

Coulson responded by drilling a left wing three as both offenses heated up.

Waters answered by hitting a left wing triple of his own. Mullins capped the stretch of four straight possessions with successful three's by nailing a right corner trifecta.

Clay canned a layup to pull within 34-30 at the 4:30 mark. Hull bounced in a driving scoop shot, but Bowman grabbed an offensive rebound and knocked down a 13-footer.

Clay scored inside again off an in-bounds pass. Coulson again answered by hitting a short banker off a nice Hull assist. Now in a rhythm, Bowman drilled a left wing triple to edge the visitors within 38-37 with 1:44 to go in the period.

Their mano a mano duel continued in the fourth quarter as Coulson nailed a trey from the left wing moments later. Bowman came back and banked in a triple at the 43-second mark.

The Pioneer senior then drilled a 13-foot fadeaway with a second left in the third stanza to give LTC its first lead of the night at 42-41 heading to the final period.
Bowman tallied 13 points in the high-scoring third quarter, while Coulson netted 10 in their personal shootout.

Coulson stole the ball and drove for a layup to open the fourth quarter. Bowman sank a stickback layin, then swiped the ball and netted a breakaway layup for a 46-43 edge with 7:11 remaining to play.

Coulson buried a long right wing three to tie it 46-all 24 seconds later. Waters responded by hitting a left corner trey at the 5:49 mark.

Ada senior Ethan Hall made a nice driving layup, and Coulson made a fast break layin to regain the lead 50-49 with 3:35 to go.

Clay tallied a layup off a nice Bowman feed, but once again Coulson put Ada back in front by draining a long trey from the right wing with 2:11 left.

Pioneer Malachi White hit his only basket of the night, a wide-open triple from the left side, to give LTC its last lead at 54-53 with 1:47 remaining.

Ada turned the ball over and Engle missed a key free throw, but Clay grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 15.5 ticks to go.

But he missed the front end, the Bulldogs rebounded and Coulson fed Hull for the game-winner. LTC had two fouls to give on the last possession, but failed to get to Coulson before he found Hull cutting in from the right side.

Ada is now 4-7 at home, with three of those close home wins coming by a combined total of five points.

The clutch Coulson netted 20 of his career-high 28 points after intermission. Mullins supported him with 11 markers.

Bowman scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Waters netted a dozen points and Clay added 11 for LTC.

"Temple had a few other guys step up and make shots; Bowman is a special player," said White. "He was smart and composed against the face-guarding defense. I thought we did a nice job on him."

Ada hit the bottom of the net on 14 of its 32 two-point field goal tries (44 percent), and they drained eight of 13 three-point attempts (62 percent). Overall, the hosts connected on 22 of 45 floor shots (49 percent).

The purple and gold converted just three of nine from the foul line (33 percent).
LTC knocked down 21 of 46 shots from the field (46 percent), including 11 of 23 behind the arc (48 percent). The Pioneers canned 10 of 23 two-point tries (43 percent), but converted only a costly one of five shots from the charity stripe (20 percent).

LTC committed 16 turnovers while the hosts were charged with just 11 miscues. Ada was out-rebounded by CG, 30-21. Frazier led the Bulldogs with nine boards.
Ada also won the junior varsity game, 64-45, to improve to 4-11. Ty Miller and Trent Ennis each scored 18 points to pace the victors.

The Ada eighth grade NWC boys basketball champions were honored before the game. They beat Spencerville at Crestview Saturday to win the first Bulldog boys junior high conference hoop crown since 2006.

Ada 55 (4-16)
Swaney 0, Frazier 2 2-4 6, Coulson 12 0-0 28, Mullins 4 0-0 11, Hall 1 0-1 2, Hull 2 1-4 5, Cook 1 0-0 3.
Totals: 22-45/3-9/55. 3-pointers (8-13): Coulson 4, Mullins 3, Cook 1.

LTC 54 (7-14)
Engle 1 0-1 3, White 1 0-0 3, Draper 2 0-0 6, Bowman 8 0-0 19, Clay 5 1-3 11, Waters 4 0-0 12.
Totals: 21-46/1-5/54. 3-pointers (11-23): Waters 4, Bowman 3, Draper 2, Engle 1, White 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Ada    15    11    15    14    55    
LTC    11    8    23    12    54
JV: Ada 64, LTC 45.     

Ada (0-9 road) visits county rival Hardin Northern (6-13) Thursday, Feb. 21 in a makeup game.

The Bulldogs (2-5 NWC) then host tough local foe Bluffton (14-7, 4-3 NWC) in the league and regular season finale next Friday.

"Hardin Northern is playing pretty well," said White. "And we know Bluffton is very good. I hope to continue playing as we are now into the tournament, and see what happens."