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Bulldog girls basketball rallies past USV

Conley scores career-high 15

By Cort Reynolds

The Ada High School girls basketball team overcame a slow start to convincingly defeat traditional arch-rival Upper Scioto Valley 45-32 Thursday night, November 30.

    1       3   4   F
  Ada   5    9  12  19   45
  USV   11    2   11   8   32

A fired-up USV raced to an 11-2 lead, but the Bulldogs regrouped to outscore the visiting Ram girls 42-17 over the next 23 minutes to win going away.

USV edged within 26-24 heading to the fourth period, yet Ada started the final stanza on a 9-0 run to grab control of the game.

Ada improved to 2-1 with its second home win in three nights, while Upper fell to 1-2 with the defeat.

Sophomore post Anna Conley tallied 13 of her career-high 15 points in the second half. She poured in nine of the first 12 Bulldog points in the fourth period, with the other three coming on a key Lexi Poling triple as Ada built a 38-26 lead.

“Anna did a good job finishing and Lexi hit a big three,” said Ada head coach Zach Ricker of the keys to the decisive 19-8 Bulldog fourth quarter.

“We are making Anna be more aggressive, and when she plays with confidence she can be a huge factor,” he added.

Playing six girls most of the night, USV came out strong and then faded. The Rams led 5-0 after an early Brielle Cotterman triple. A spinning drive by Nevaeh Lowery, Patiance Cole’s layin and a Cotterman putback stretched their lead to 11-2 with 2:12 left in the opening period.

Ada freshman Kenley Poling banked in a momentum-stopping trey from the top of the key at the 35-second mark to pull the Bulldogs within 11-5 after the intense first stanza.

“Kenley hit a big three,” said Ricker.

The purple and gold switched to a 2-3 zone defense in the second quarter, a move which stymied the USV offense.

Ada then reeled off the first nine points of the second stanza to seize the lead. Burkhart hit a foul shot and Conley sank a short turnaround in the lane to cut the deficit to 11-8. 

Katie Sizemore canned a six-footer exactly halfway through the period. Burkhart then gave Ada its first lead 12-11 by converting two foul shots with 2:42 left in the second period.

The senior playmaker then finished a fast break bucket to cap the 12-0 run with 36 ticks left in the half.

Cotterman answered with the only USV basket of the quarter nine seconds later to make it 14-13 Bulldogs at the halftime break. It was the first Ram points in almost 10 minutes.

“They really struggled with attacking our 2-3,” Ricker noted. “We were more active in the zone defensively. It was sort of the opposite of Tuesday vs. Cory.” 

Ada switched from zone to man in that game after falling behind 12 in the first period, then rallied to win by eight.

USV rallied briefly to regain an early second half lead. Freshman guard Layla Hunsicker drained consecutive triples to give the spunky visitors a 19-16 edge 1:40 into the second half.

Junior guard Lexi Poling nailed an 11-foot pull-up shot to inch Ada within a point at the 5:33 mark. Conley then sank a nine-footer off the right baseline to put the Bulldogs back on top for good 20-19 at the 4:44 mark.

Burkhart drilled a left side 10-footer 33 seconds later for a three-point edge. Sizemore found the soft spot in the left side of the Ram defense and nailed an 11-footer with 2:17 to go in the third.

Conley then tossed in a half-hook from about eight feet to cap a 10-0 Ada flurry at the 1:17 juncture.

Cole splashed two foul shots to halt the Bulldog run at 26-21. Freshman Raegan Castle drained a triple from out top with 10 ticks left to end the third on a 5-0 Ram spurt as they inched within 26-24.

But Conley stayed hot into the fourth stanza. She made a nice cut, took a Sizemore feed and canned a layup 27 seconds into the final period. 

With seven minutes left Mariah King passed to Conley for another layin and a 30-24 advantage. Just 45 seconds later, Conley hit a soft seven-footer to extend her personal scoring streak to six points and give Ada an eight-point cushion.

A minute later, Lexi Poling knocked down a critical left wing trifecta to extend the margin to 35-24. Cotterman stopped the 9-0 run with a basket 10 seconds later, but the Rams were in trouble.

Conley then converted three of four free throws to give Ada a 12-point cushion. Hunsicker made a nice driving layup to cut the deficit to 38-28 with 3:40 left.

Burkhart then took a charge in transition to halt any momentum USV may have been building. Lexi Poling split two charity stripers, followed by three Burkhart free tosses.

King sank a layup off a nice Conley dish to make it 44-28 with a minute left. Another Poling foul shot gave Ada its biggest lead of 17 points.

Cotterman sank a 13-footer to stop the clinching 10-2 Bulldog run. Hunsicker canned a runner with 10 seconds left to cut the final margin to 13.

“We were short-handed without Autumn (Andreasen), but Kenley stepped up and gave us a lift off the bench,” said Ricker. “We had another slow start but then we started moving the ball better and getting into their (defensive) soft spots.”

Ada outscored USV 40-21 over the final three periods.

Burkhart scored 14 big points, and scrappy Lexi Poling added seven timely markers to support Conley’s offensive outburst.

Cotterman topped USV with 11 points. Hunsicker netted 10 points, all in the second half. 

The Bulldogs connected on 14 two-point baskets, and sank two treys.

Ada converted 11 of 16 free throws (69 percent), while USV canned four of just six charity stripe tries (67 percent). The Rams made eight two-point goals and connected on four trifectas.


Ada 45 (2-1)

Burkhart 4 6-8 14, King 1 0-0 2, L. Poling 2 2-4 7, K. Poling 1 0-0 3, Sizemore 2 0-0 4, Conley 6 3-4 15.

Totals: 14-2/11-16/45. 3-pointers: L. Poling 1, K. Poling 1.


USV 32 (1-2)

Cotterman 5 0-2 11, Hurley 0 2-2 2, Hunsicker 4 0-0 10, Cole 1 2-2 4, Castle 1 0-0 3, Lowery 1 0-0 2.

Totals: 8-4/4-6/32. 3-pointers:  Hunsicker 2, Castle 1, Cotterman 1.

No JV game.

Ada (0-1 road) plays another county rival at Hardin Northern (0-1)
Tuesday, December 5.

With no JV game again, the varsity contest tips off at 6 p.m. in Dola.
“Hardin Northern lost some seniors, but we just have to worry about us,”
said Ricker. “We need to be ready to compete and show up at the
beginning of the game.”