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Buzzer shot lifts Ada over Ridgemont in opener

By Cort Reynolds

Ada guard Spencer Wall banked in a lane runner as the buzzer sounded to lift the Bulldogs to a thrilling 60-59 win over visiting Ridgemont in the boys basketball season-opener Friday night, November 26.

The win was the debut of new head coach Vince Halliday. "Wasn't that fun," a jubilant Halliday said afterward. "Spencer was outstanding, and it was an outstanding team effort."

Wall tallied a career-high 26 points to pace the Bulldogs to victory.

Gopher Landon Newland had given the visitors a one-point lead by burying an 18-footer from the left wing with 13 seconds left.

Newland scored the last eight Ridgemont points and tallied 11 of their 13 markers in the final stanza. He tied Wall for game-high honors with 26 points.

Ada trailed 35-25 at halftime, but came out of the locker room with a momentum-changing 10-0 run to tie it up. After that the game was nip and tuck until the final second.

"It was anybody's game with a lot of back and forth," said Halliday. "The kids sucked it up and got it done. The starting five played the entire second half, I didn't sub at all.

"I am really proud of the way we fought. The history here (recently) has been not winning the close games. I am super excited, hopefully this is the start of something," he added.

Ada started well, making their first five field goal attempts. Wall sank a triple and a left baseline 14-footer to open the campaign. Carter Conley sank a reverse layup and a short banker as the hosts led 11-4 early. 

Jacob Sutherly made a layup off a backcourt steal, and Wall added another trifecta for a 16-12 lead with a minute left in the first period. 

Newland drained a right wing trey to pull the Gophers within 16-15 after one quarter.

"I thought the first quarter started off really well," said Halliday. "Things got away in the second quarter."

Ridgemont took control with a 20-9 second stanza. Brothers Mason and Xavier Stuck combined for 12 points in the period and the Gophers took the lead with an 8-0 run.

Wall started the second half by nailing a left wing triple. Cayden Murphy scored inside off a Wall feed. Murphy then hit a short bank shot. Conley stole the ball and scored, and Murphy tied it 35-all with a free throw to cap the 10-0 splurge.

"I thought our press bothered them a little," offered Halliday.

Mason Stuck stopped the run with a short banker, and a follow shot by Wes McKinley gave the Gophers a four-point edge. Ada bounced back to tie it moments later on a driving three-point play from Wall at 41-41.

Xavier Stuck sank a basket, yet Wall answered with a follow-up goal inside. A half-hook by Murphy gave Ada the lead briefly, but Stuck drained a trifecta to put the visitors back on top by a point heading to the seesaw fourth period.

Murphy opened the final quarter by hitting two foul shots. Newland responded with a three-point transition drive. Ada regained the lead 52-51 on two Conley free throws and a putback from Ethan Murphy with 4:55 remaining.

A Newland follow banker tied it 53-53 at the 3:33 mark. Wall canned a driving floater 16 seconds later. Ethan Murphy split two charity stripers for a 56-53 lead with 1:43 to go.

Newland drilled a pull-up 15-footer off a screen with 90 seconds left. Two Conley free throws rebuilt the Bulldog lead to three, yet Newland converted a slicing drive with 55 ticks to go to inch within 58-57.

Ridgemont then forced a jump ball and had the possession arrow with 28 seconds left. Ada deflected a Newland pass, but he recovered the ball and drilled a left wing 18-footer to put the green and gold ahead with 13 seconds left.

After a timeout Wall kept his dribble, reversed his direction out of a double team and banked in a 13-foot runner from straight on at the buzzer to win it. 

"Spencer kept his dribble alive on the last play and made a tough shot," said Halliday. "We needed a win like that to get over the hump."

Conley scored 14 points and Cayden Murphy added 11 to support Wall. 

"Carter had a quiet 14," said Halliday. "Cayden probably had a double-double."

Mason Stuck netted 14 points as the other Gopher in double figures. Ridegmont edged Ada 59-58 last year in the overtime opener, which would have been the same score again had Wall not hit the last shot.

The Bulldogs sank 20 shots overall from the field, including 17 two-pointers and three trifectas. 

Ada converted 17 of 22 from the charity stripe (77 percent). 

The Gophers canned 24 field goals, 21 of which were inside the arc.  

Ridgemont sank all eight of its attempts at the foul line (100 percent).

The Gophers won the reserve contest, 60-22. Brody Erickson led Ada with nine points. 


Ada 60 (1-0)

C. Murphy 3 5-6 11, Wall 9 5-6 26, Sutherly 1 0-0 2, Conley 5 4-4 14, Leal 0 1-2 1, Preston 0, E. Murphy 2 2-2 6. 

Totals: 17-3/17-22/60. 3-pointers: Wall 3.


Ridgemont 59 (0-1)

Newland 12 1-1 26, M. Stuck 5 2-2 14, Whitaker 1 2-2 4, X. Stuck 3 2-2 8, McKinley 3 1-1 7.

Totals: 21-3/8-8/59. 3-pointers: M. Stuck 2, Newland 1.


1 2 3 4 F

Ada 16 9 20 15 60

Ridg 15 20 11 13 59

JV: Ridgemont 60, Ada 22.


Ada (1-0) hosts Fort Jennings (0-1) Saturday evening, November 27,  

The Musketeers lost 50-36 to Arlington Friday. FJ lost 61-55 at Ada two years ago.