The good news for the Ada Lady Cougars: they overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime against old rival McAlester Tuesday night inside the Cougar Activity Center.
The bad news: The Lady Cougars scored the first point in the OT session and never scored again in a 42-37 loss to the Lady Buffaloes.
Ada had now lost three in a row to fall to 4-7 on the year, while McAlester improved to 5-7.
It looked like McAlester’s Bren Cable had put Ada away when she sank two free throws with 3:39 to play that put the visitors on top 36-25. However, the Lady Buffs wouldn’t score again in regulation, enabling an Ada comeback bid.
Freshman Landyn Owens started an Ada 11-0 run with a 3-pointer, and Taylor Porter followed with a fast-break bucket. Kaley Watkins then sank two free throws with 2:16 left to get Ada within 36-32.
Owens sank two more free throws with 1:06 showing that made it 36-34 and then tied the game when she drove to the baseline for a clutch basket with 13.4 seconds left.
McAlester, who went 0-for-4 from the field during its late dry spell, called time out but was unable to get a shot off as time expired in regulation.
Watkins hit the first of two free shots at the 3:41 mark of the overtime period to put Ada ahead 37-36. It was Ada’s first lead since the first quarter.
Erin Kelley hit a free throw at the 3:06 mark that knotted the score at 37-all before Sydney Shelton sank a pair of charity shots with 2:02 left that put McAlester ahead for good.
There was no other scoring until Brenae Rhone sank a pair of free shots and Cable added one of her own in the closing seconds.
Ada’s biggest lead came after Mikayla Emarthle scored with two minutes left in the first period that put her team ahead 9-5. But McAlester scored the final eight points of the frame — including a pair of 3-pointers by Howard — that gave the Lady Buffs a 13-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
McAlester led 21-16 at halftime and extended it to 28-18 on a putback by Cable at the 5:31 mark of the third period.
Ada closed the gap to 28-23 almost three minutes later on the strength of a late 3-pointer by Dixie Redman.
Owens scored 13 to pace the Ada offense, while Watkins just missed double figures with nine. Emarthle added six points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for the hosts.
Howard led all scorers with 20 points for McAlester and also had five rebounds and three steals. Cable finished with 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
It won’t get any easier for the Lady Cougars, who travel to Ardmore Friday night to take on the Lady Tigers (No. 4 in Class 4A).