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Bulldog boys basketball edged by Ridgemont

By Cort Reynolds

The very young and inexperienced Ada High School boys basketball team tipped off its home and season opener by losing a close 48-41 battle to visiting county rival Ridgemont Friday night, December 1.

The Bulldogs played well for most of the game, but a third-period lapse proved to be the difference.

     1    2   3   4   F
Ada    8   16     7   10   41
Rmt    8   15   16     9   48

Ada led by a point at halftime yet an 11-2 run out of the second half gate by the junior-laden Gophers all but decided the outcome. Ridgemont junior guard Kolton Manns scored seven points in the decisive spurt.

The Bulldogs were unable to contain Manns, who led all players with 26 points.

Ada starts off 0-1 after the defeat, while Ridgemont is 1-0.

“We did not do a good job on Manns,” said Ada third-year head coach Vince Halliday. “The first three minutes of the third quarter we did not score, and gave up a run. Other than that, the game was pretty much dead even.

“We are starting two freshmen and two sophomores, so this is a great learning experience,” he added. “Ridgemont was just a little bit better.”

The teams battled to an 8-8 tie after the opening stanza. Powerful Ada sophomore post Slade Gossman scored four early points, as did burly Gopher junior post Colton Bailey.

Ada soph wing Zack Zimmerman splashed a right wing trey to open the second stanza. Gossman canned a power layup to give the hosts a 13-8 lead.

Kolton Manns then took over and drove to score six straight points and give the green and gold a 14-13 edge with 3:40 left in the half.

Ada junior Ian House banked in a runner high off glass, but Bailey answered by hitting a half hook seconds later.

Zimmerman drained a left corner trifecta to put Ada back in front at the 2:46 mark. Gossman’s putback layin gave the Bulldogs a 20-16 lead at the 2:11 juncture. 

Manns responded by nailing a trey, then making a steal and converting a layin to go in front 21-20. But House scored a layup on a fine find by freshman Carson Conley.

Zimmerman canned a left elbow jumper for a 24-21 edge. Manns then made an acrobatic rebound/baseline pass as he fell to the floor to a teammate for a basket just before the halftime horn to inch the Gophers within 24-23.

Manns then sank a triple to start the third period and ignite the decisive spurt. “That third quarter run to start the half was the difference,” Halliday agreed.

Gopher Harrison Reppart hit a bank shot, followed by a Manns follow shot. Manns then sliced through the defense and banked in a tough hanging drive with two Bulldogs draped on him for a 32-25 lead at the 5:02 mark.

A layup by Connor Manns capped an 8-0 spurt 16 ticks later.

Gossman stopped the run with a layup halfway through the third stanza. Zimmerman then finished a nice coast-to-coast driving shot to cut the deficit to 34-29.

Reppart answered with a runner, and Xavier Stuck hit a one-footed runner to put the visitors back on top by nine. 

Zimmerman bounced in a tough leaner at the 2:12 mark, and Ada trailed 39-31 heading to the final period. Ridgemont won the momentum-changing period, 16-7.

A Stuck layup opened the fourth quarter. Ada senior Carson Gossard bounced home a spinning drive into the lane, and a House bank shot pulled the Bulldogs within 42-35.

After Stuck hit two foul shots, Conley pivoted around and made a short flip shot in the lane. Zimmerman then spun his way to the hoop and made a pretty reverse layup with 2:35 remaining to inch Ada within 44-39.

A baseline-driving layup by Conley made it 45-41 at the two-minute mark. But with less than a minute left, Ada was called for a controversial and costly double dribble turnover. 

Manns converted two foul shots with 28 seconds remaining to put Ridgemont up by six. Ada missed a trey try, the Gophers rebounded and split two foul shots with 15.4 ticks left to put the game out of reach.

“We played hard, our energy off the bench was good,” said Halliday. “We fouled a lot more (20 fouls to 11). “

Zimmerman topped Ada with 16 points. Gossman added 10 and House six off the bench. The rest of the Gophers besides Manns combined for 22 points, with Stuck netting nine markers.

“Zack scored the ball pretty decently,” said Halliday.

Ridgemont outscored Ada 14-3 at the charity stripe. The Bulldogs converted just three of eight at the foul line (38 percent). The Gophers canned 14 of 21 free throws (67 percent).

The Gophers canned 14 two-point goals and two triples. Ada sank 16 two-pointers and a pair of treys, but got outscored by 11 at the foul stripe.

Ada rolled to a 55-30 win in the JV game. T.J. Griffith led a balanced attack with 11 points. Blake Zoladz and Andrew Allen each scored nine points. Dawson Manns led the Gopher reserves with 13 markers.


Ada 41 (0-1)

Zimmerman 6 2-2 16, Hickman 0, Conley 2 1-2 5, Dysert 1 0-0 2, Green 0, Blankenship 0, Gossard 1 0-0 2, Lawrence 0, House 3 0-0 6, Gossman 5 0-4 10. 

Totals: 16-2/3-8/41. 3-pointers: Zimmerman 2.

R’mont 48 (1-0)

Stuck 3 3-6 9, Patterson 0 1-2 1, C. Manns 1 0-0 2, K. Manns 9 6-9 26, Reppart 2 2-2 6, Bailey 1 2-2 4. Totals: 14-2/14-21/48. 3-pointers: K. Manns 2.

1 2 3 4 F

Ada 8 16 7 10 41

Rmt 8 15 16 9 48

JV: Ada 55, Ridgemont 30.


Ada hosts Ft. Jennings (0-1) Saturday night in another non-league game. FJ lost to Arlington 76-57 Friday in their opener.

“They have five returning starters I think who were sophomores last year,” said Halliday.