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Bulldog boys fall to big Arlington flurry

By Cort Reynolds

The Ada High School boys basketball squad fell victim to a 28-0 first half run by the visiting Arlington team and lost 60-45 in a Tuesday night non-league game on January 18.

The Bulldogs tied the game 8-8 on a Cayden Murphy reverse layup, but then plunged into a long scoreless drought. Arlington authored 28 unanswered points bridging the first two quarters, and never trailed after being behind 6-3 early.

The Red Devils led 38-11 at intermission, capitalizing on 14 Bulldog turnovers to net many easy baskets. Ada played better in the second half, winning the final two quarters 34-22.

The Bulldogs dropped to 4-11 with the loss. Meanwhile, Arlington improved to 8-7 with the convincing victory.

"Every shot they made in the first half was a layup or free throw," lamented first-year Bulldog head coach Vince Halliday. "Not many people recover from 28-0 runs. I don't have any answers.

"We did a good job in the second half and scored 34 points," he added. 

The Bulldogs got off to a solid start. Murphy tallied five quick points, and junior Carter Conley nailed a right wing trey to help tie it for the last time at 8-8.

Arlington then reeled off the last nine points of the first stanza to seize a 17-8 lead. Quick guard Caden Russell then tallied eight points and post Rylar Essinger netted six in a 19-0 spurt to start the second period.

Junior guard Spencer Wall finally stopped the long Devil run by hitting a left wing trifecta with two minutes left in the half. But it was the lone basket of the period for Ada as Arlington built a 27-point halftime cushion. The Red Devils canned several fast break baskets, many off live ball turnovers against lagging Bulldog transition defense.

"We have to value the ball better," noted Halliday.

Wall drained two triples and a foul shot in the third period, which the Bulldogs won 19-9. Grant Preston splashed a trey from the top of the key, and he bounced in a short shot to help Ada creep within 17.

Jaden Leal sank a fast break layin to make it 47-30 heading to the final stanza.

Russell converted four foul shots early in the fourth period. Wall canned a follow basket off his own missed southpaw bank try, followed by an Ashton Cowan stickback hoop. 

Conley hit three foul shots and Preston drilled a left wing triple in the final two minutes. Gage Hoffer sank two foul shots and a follow shot to pull Ada within 60-43.

Leal tossed in a circus shot drive off glass to provide the final score.

Wall led Ada with 14 points, including three treys. Preston and Cayden Murphy added eight markers apiece.

Speedy sophomore Russell topped all players with 22 points. Burly Devil 6-2 post Essinger contributed 17 markers. "Russell and Essinger had really good games," Halliday noted.

Ada connected on 14 baskets, nailing seven two-pointers and seven trifectas. The Bulldogs converted 10 of 17 charity stripe attempts (59 percent).

The Red Devils canned 21 baskets, connecting on 21 two-pointers and no triples. Arlington converted 18 of 29 free throw attempts (62 percent). 

Arlington also won the JV game, 54-37. Kaine Fisher led Ada with 10 points. 


Ada 45 (4-11)

C. Murphy 2 3-6 8, Conley 1 2-4 5, Sutherly 0, Leal 2 0-1 4, Wall 4 3-4 14, Preston 3 0-0 8, E. Murphy 0, Cowan 1 0-0 2, Hoffer 1 2-2 4.

Totals: 7-7/10-17/45. 3-pointers: Wall 3, Preston 2, C. Murphy 1, Conley 1.


Arlington 60 (8-7)

Russell 7 8-13 22, Essinger 8 1-3 17, J. Griggs 3 1-1 7, Kin 0 1-2 1, Berry 1 1-4 3, Cavinee 1 6-6 8, Newlove 1 0-0 2.

Totals: 21-0/18-29/60. 3-pointers: none. 


1 2 3 4 F

Ada 8 3 19 15 45

Arl 17 21 9 13 60

JV: Arlington 54, Ada 37.


With no game Friday, the next Bulldog contest is at Hardin County rival Kenton (3-9) Saturday night, Jan. 22. Both teams come in riding seven-game losing streaks.

The slumping Wildcats started 3-2 under first-year head coach Ryan Miller, but have struggled since. Their scheduled home game with Coldwater Tuesday night was postponed.