Sophomore Hayden Ludwig (34) tries a jumper during the first half of action in Lincolnview’s 48-46 win over Ada on Friday night. Ludwig led the Lancers with 16 points in the win, including four in the final 16 seconds. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
MIDDLE POINT — After a 20-point effort in Lincolnview’s win over Temple Christian on Tuesday, Lancer head coach Brett Hammons talked about how sophomore Hayden Ludwig has grown as player throughout the season.
With the game on the line on Friday night, Ludwig stepped up and drained two free throws in the final seconds to give his team a 48-46 Northwest Conference victory over visiting Ada.
With 15.7 seconds on the fourth quarter clock, it was Ludwig who drew contact and the Lancers holding a 44-43 lead. He calmly went to the line with a one-and-one situation and sank both free throws to put the Lancers up by three.
Seconds later, it appeared that Ludwig had turned from hero to goat when Ada’s Austin Dumbaugh drove the line, made the shot and drew a foul. It was whistled on Ludwig, who was called for contact with the body. Dumbaugh, a senior, knocked down the free throw to convert the three-point play and tie the score with nine seconds to go.
That’s when Ludwig redeemed himself.
Lincolnview’s Kyle Williams took the in-bounds pass and raced up the court, surging past the Ada defense. As the back line of defenders converged to stop the ball, Williams found Ludwig under the hoop. Ludwig pump faked and got Dumbaugh in the air, drew the foul and was on his way to the line to seal the win.
“We drew it up that we wanted to get it in Kyle’s hands,” noted Hammons after the win. “When the game’s tied with that many seconds left, we want to try to get it to him. Fortunately for us, they kind of overplayed it and (Williams) was able to bring it up the floor. I told him, when he gets it, look to attack. We were going to go four-low and, luckily, he beat most of the guys down the floor.”
Though Williams, the senior, the team’s leading scorer and unquestioned leader, has taken, and made, game-winning shots in the past, this time, he made a game-winning pass.
“He made a great pass to Hayden,” Hammons added. “He was able to see Hayden out of the corner of his eye and got him the shot fake. That’s why we try to do that in those situations. We want to get the ball in Kyle’s hands.”
Ada’s Brayden Sautter managed to get the ball up the court quickly enough to get a decent look at a long 3-point attempt that would have stolen the game for the Bulldogs, but it missed wide to the left. Ada fell to 4-10 on the season and 0-6 in conference play.
“I understand their record, but, like I told our guys coming in, Ada has played quite a few good teams tough,” Hammons continued. “I don’t think their record is indicative of how good they actually are, as a team. I’m just proud of those 13 guys in that locker room.”
Ludwig paced the Lancer attack with a game-high 16 points.
“He was huge again for us, for the second game in a row,” noted Hammons of Ludwig’s recent strong play. “Especially in those situations. He struggled shooting free throws earlier this year and to come back down (after committing the foul), with three seconds to go when it’s tied and be able to knock those in, I’m just extremely proud of him.”
“The confidence that he’s starting to get now, which is great going into the end of the year, into the tournament, hopefully it can continue to grow”
The Lancers (9-8 overall, 5-1 NWC) allowed six offensive rebounds to Ada in the opening quarter, allowing the Bulldogs to play to a 10-10 scoreboard after one. An 11-0 Lincolnview run gave the Lancers a nine-point lead late in the first half, but the score was 21-16 at the break.
Ada trimmed the lead down to 30-29 late in the third quarter before Ludwig hit from 18 feet out, then scored on a tip-in after a Williams miss, accounting for a 34-29 Lincolnview lead after three.
In the fourth, Ada got a pair of jumpers from Spencer Archer to bring the Bulldogs back within one, at 36-35. The lead would bounce between one and three points the rest of the way until Dumbaugh’s late drive knotted the score with nine seconds to play.
Ten of Dumbaugh’s 12 points came in the final period. He missed the bulk of the first half after collecting two early fouls.
Lincolnview’s Justis Dowdy added 14 points and three assists for the Lancers. He also came up with two blocked shots on one Ada possession with under a minute to play.
“He didn’t have the greatest game on Tuesday night, but he came out tonight and played hard,” Hammons said of Dowdy’s strong all-around performance. “He looked to attack, we feel like that’s when he’s at his best. He got himself going and he gave us great defensive effort as well. In a guy who gets that many minutes, we need a good well-rounded game and he was able to deliver that.”
Score by quarters
Ada 10 6 13 17- 46
Lincolnview 10 11 13 14- 48
Sautter 5, Willeke 12, Bass 4, McBride 5, Dumbaugh 12, Archer 8, Conley 0, Ansley 0
Leeth 2, Williams 11, Dowdy 14, Adams 2, Ludwig 16, McCleery 1, Farmer 2