|12/19/17 - |
SHAWNEE – It was a first half in survival mode and a second in attack mode Friday night for the Class 4A 16th-ranked Ada Cougars.
Ada overcame the first-half foul trouble of junior playmaker Kobe Burgess and saw him routinely break down Shawnee’s relentless defensive pressure in the final 16 minutes in securing a big 58-50 come-from-behind victory over the Class 6A 18th-ranked Wolves.
The Cougars, who improved to 4-2 on the season, trailed by as much as 14 points in the second quarter after Burgess drew his second foul with just over two minutes remaining in the opening period. Burgess was relegated to the bench for the rest of the half.
“We struggle when he’s not in the game. He’s so explosive and handles the ball really well,” said Ada head coach Garland Parks.
The Cougars were only down 12-10 when Burgess exited the game with his second foul. From there, the Wolves closed out the first quarter with a 7-0 run in building a 19-10 advantage heading into the second.
Ada went scoreless for nearly 5 ½ minutes as the Cougars struggled in breaking Shawnee’s full-court pressure. The Wolves scored the first four points of the second quarter, all on free shots, in taking a 23-10 advantage. The Shawnee advantage eventually swelled to 31-17 with 1:42 left before the break.
A last-gasp flurry by Ada trimmed the deficit to 31-23 as Cody Smith, who paced the Cougars with 18 points, drained back-to-back 3-pointers just 22 seconds apart. Both of those treys came off assists by Jaxson Robinson.
“We were not down on ourselves at halftime. I felt like we played pretty good and hung tough,” Parks said. “Everyone contributed and kept playing until it’s over … not giving up.”
Smith was 5-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from 3-point land, and converted 4-of-6 free throws to go with five rebounds and a pair of steals. Burgess followed with 17 points, four steals and three steals. He was only 3-of-10 from the field, including 2-of-4 from outside the arc, and knocked down 9-of-10 free shots.
Burgess, who recorded four steals and three assists, immediately impacted the game to start the second half as he keyed a 9-2 run to start the third quarter.
Tanner Gilliam, who grabbed a game-leading nine rebounds to go with his five points and four steals, ignited that third-quarter Cougar uprising when he scored off an offensive rebound.
“Tanner was physical, banged the glass, had big rebounds, took care of the basketball and played good defense,” said Parks.
After the Wolves responded with a bucket on the other end, Burgess fed Robinson, who drained a 3-pointer. Seconds later, Burgess stole the ball, drove three-quarters of the floor and missed the layup, but Smith was there for the follow-up. Robinson later converted a bucket as Ada pulled within 33-32 with 5:26 left in the third.
Shawnee took a slim 40-39 edge into the fourth quarter and led 42-39 after two Donovan Neal free throws to start the final period.
But the Cougars went on a huge 19-0 surge to put the game away, led by the dazzling ball-handling skills of Burgess, who frequently overcame pressure and split double teams in getting to the charity stripe and/or helping his teammates do so.
Smith and Burgess knocked down consecutive treys to jump-start that 19-point volley. The rest of the scoring came from the free-throw stripe as Ada was 13-of-15. Burgess was 7-of-8 during that span, and Smith was 4-of-4.
The Wolves were scoreless for nearly seven minutes of the fourth quarter.
Fifteen points came off the bench for Ada as Robinson finished with seven, Kylen Cooper contributed five and Jake Shannon sank a 3-point jumper. Starter Sam Godwin also chipped in a bucket and a free throw.
Carson Meier and Ramey Harrison each tallied 13 points to pace Shawnee, which fell to 1-3.
Ada is back in action tonight at Seminole.