Ada-Borup was just three points shy from forcing an overtime to have a chance at collecting its tenth consecutive win, but the tying shot it put up fell short, just as it did Saturday to section 6A rival Parkers Prairie.
No. 7 Parkers Prairie distanced itself just enough to keep No. 5 Ada-Borup at bay, as it took Saturday’s game 48-44 at Concordia College’s Memorial Auditorium in Moorhead.
Tied 36-36 with 6 minutes and 20 seconds to play, the Panthers (17-0) surged on an 8-2 scoring run before the Cougars quit committing violations and turnovers that led to the deficit, but not before Ada-Borup’s 6 second half turnovers had marred its performance.
“It’s something we’ve talked about as a team – valuing possessions,” Ada-Borup coach Dave Smart said. “Turnovers may not hurt you so much as when you’re playing against a three win team, but against a team like (Parkers Prairie), you have to value each possession. When you give up a possession, you sacrifice a chance to score. We did that too many times in the second half.”
Once Ada-Borup (12-2) cleaned up its act, it made the score jump from 46-40 to 46-44 in a matter of seconds, as Heidi Eggen managed two points while being fouled. Eggen missed the chance at a 3-point play, but Haley Poehler rebounded Eggen’s free throw miss and scored in the paint with a put back lay up with just under 30 seconds to play.
Poehler and Megan Kolness each scored 10 points for Ada-Borup, asEggen and Shaina Stevenson matched each other with 8 points.
On the following possession, Parkers Prairie’s Madison Dorn was fouled and went to the line. Dorn, who finished with a game high 18 points, hit one of the two free throw opportunities to push the Panthers’ lead to 47-44 which Ada-Borup was unable to match with its three point try.
“We took what the defense gave us, and we treated each possession individually with exceptional focus,” Parkers Prairie coach John Noga said. “The same could be said in regards to Ada-Borup, they took what our defense gave them. We were focused on shutting down Kolness, because we knew how good of a player she was from last year’s game, and I think we did our best in limiting her from going on a scoring tear as she has before.”
Last year’s game Noga is referring to is the section championship game in which Ada-Borup won to advance onto state, and it won’t be of any surprise if the two teams meet again in the same setting. With that said, both coaches were well aware of not showing its opponent anything more than what could hurt them come March.
“We have a lot to improve on, but if we only get to beat (Parkers Prairie) once this season, I sure hope it ends up being the next time we play them,” Smart said.