Will Holiman said his team competed well in the first half, but ultimately fell in a rivalry game.
The McAlester boys basketball coach said he liked how his team performed in the first half before Class 4A-No. 6 Ada went on to hand the Buffs a 63-43 loss on Tuesday night in Bob Brumley Gymnasium.
Despite the loss, Holiman said his players' defensive effort before halftime indicated signs of improvement.
“First half, it was there,” Will Holiman said. “We were competing really well, had our hands up, rotating like we were supposed to."
The game started with both teams strong on the defensive end of the floor, before a scoring barrage on both ends of the court in the second quarter.
Ada’s Jake Shannon scored from beyond the arc to try to distance his team from the Buffs, but a floating shot by Lewis Woodmore and free throws by Adante Holiman helped McAlester cut through the deficit.
The Buffs were able to close out the half with a couple steal-and-scores to bring the halftime score to 32-22 in favor of the Cougars and McAlester boys basketball coach Will Holiman praised his team’s defensive effort.
In the second half, the Buffs continued their strong defensive play, gathering in a steal that led to a Adante Holiman three off the glass. After a two-handed slam by Ada’s Kaden Cooper, the Buffs tightened the defense even more with a scoreless stand to end the third quarter.
The defensive effort would not be enough, however, as the Cougars would outlast the Buffs to steal away the win.
Ada guard Jaxson Robinson, a four-star recruit who recently committed to play for Texas A&M University, did not play in the game.
The Buffs were led by Holiman, who finished with 28 points, and Woodmore finished with seven.
Next up for McAlester is a game on the road Friday night against Broken Bow, and Will Holiman knows what it’s going to take to get his guys prepared.
“Just go compete,” he said, “Get in the gym, and go back to work and get them ready to compete."
Contact Derek Hatridge at firstname.lastname@example.org