DELPHOS — And then the roof caved in.
That is the best way to explain the Delphos Jefferson and Ada game played at Delphos that resulted in a 47-46 win for the Wildcats in Northwest Conference play Friday.
The Bulldogs had played well enough to take a 39-32 lead into the fourth quarter before 3-of-7 free throw shooting and seven turnovers did them in.
The entire game consisted of big momentum swings as a first-quarter score of 19-12 in favor of Ada (3-6, 0-2 NWC) was followed by a 16-6 second quarter in favor of Jefferson. Ada then bounced back to outscore the Wildcats 14-4 in the third period before the Wildcats took the final period by a 15-7 margin and claimed the win.
“Those were two young and inexperienced teams out there so you are going to see those wide momentum swings,” Jefferson coach Marc Smith said. “In the end we found a way to get the job done.”
Ada jumped out to a quick start behind eight first-quarter points from junior Austin Dumbaugh, but foul trouble in the second quarter forced Dumbaugh to the bench for most of the period.
Jefferson (3-6, 1-1 NWC) got two 3-point buckets from Austin Jettinghoff in the second quarter to grab a 28-25 lead going to the half.
Dumbaugh bounced back with seven third-quarter points and the Bulldogs took that 39-32 lead to the final period of play.
“Pressure is not our M.O. but we were forced to try it and we got just enough to cause some turnovers,” Smith said. “We were drawing things up in the huddle.”
Ada was still leading 44-36 with 1:58 to play when Jefferson ran off seven unanswered points thanks to three consecutive Ada turnovers.
The Bulldogs then converted on 1-of-2 at the free throw line on consecutive possessions and went ahead 46-43 before freshman Dalton Hicks got Jefferson back to within 46-45 with only 11.8 seconds to play.
Following the seventh Ada turnover of the quarter on the ensuing in-bounds play freshman stand-out Trey Smith converted in the lane to give the Wildcats a 47-46 lead and ultimately the win when Ada missed a 3-point try at the buzzer.
“We were 3-of-7 at the line and had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter,” Ada coach Chris Sautter said. “They made the plays and we didn’t. We had Dumbaugh miss time with foul trouble and then Mason (Acheson) fouled out but we have to have people step up and make plays.”
Dumbaugh led the Bulldogs with a game-high 19 points while Spencer Archer chipped in with 11 points for Ada.
Jefferson got 15 points from Smith but also got eight points from Jettinghoff and Zach Ricker in addition to seven-point efforts by Ross Thompson and Nick Fitch.
“These kids have a good work ethic and practice hard,” Smith said. “We needed a win like this.”