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If the relatively inexperienced Duncan Demons are wanting to learn how to perform in the clutch, perhaps they should have taken notes Thursday night.
Ada was perfect from behind the 3-point line, near perfect from the foul line and dominated the boards in the final period as it held off the Demons for a 63-59 victory Thursday night.
It was a tough start to the new year for Duncan, which led throughout the first half but struggled to finish inside the paint in the second.
“Layups, rebounds and free shots killed us,” Duncan coach Mikel Davison said. “We missed a lot of dinks. We weren’t strong around the basket. But they are a good team and their length bothered us.”
None bothered Duncan more than the Cougars 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Cory Kilby, who racked up 32 points and 12 rebounds.
“He’s just a really good player,” Davison said of Kilby. “We just had a hard time matching up with him.”
The Demons might not have been able to matchup with Kilby, but that didn’t stop Cade Baldwin from trying to match his scoring.
Duncan’s senior guard went off for 24 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter. The Cougars, though, fired back with a 9-0 run, holding the Demons scoreless until a meaningless buzzer-beater 3-pointer.
Before that final run, Ada had never led by more than four points.
“If we don’t play hard and play smart the whole time, we’re going get beat,” Davison said.
Junior Isiah Ervin joined Baldwin in double-figures as he rallied 12 points and seven rebounds, while junior Je’Mario McCoy finished with 10 points. Senior Jack Braught added eight points and nine rebounds.
While Kilby scored more than half of his team’s points, he was joined in the effort by junior Walker Whitworth with 12 points, while senior Easton Pingleton added seven points and seven rebounds and senior Deangelo Dunn chipped in with six points.