“We’re not here to do that. Get out and shoot 15-footers.”

“We’re not here to do that. Get out and shoot 15-footers.”

Ardmore boys basketball coach Mark Wilson was quick to squash out the impromptu dunk contest that started midway through the No. 2 Tigers’ shootaround on Friday. But the Tigers were just having a little holiday fun.

On Monday, it’s back to business.

The Tigers will tip off the Ardmore Holiday Festival against Eagletown on Monday at 8:20 p.m. The eight-team tournament (eight more for girls) will run until Wednesday and in those three days the Tigers are confident they can avenge last year’s disappointing fourth-place finish.

“We’ll be in the finals,” Tiger guard Dominique Godwin said Friday. “I’m confident in the way the team’s playing.”

Ardmore making the finals won’t be an easy task. The Tigers’ side of the bracket contains 5A challenger Southeast (4-1) and Allen (Texas), which has nearly 20 games under its belt this season.

Class B Eagletown is the smallest school in the tourney, but that doesn’t make Wilson feel any better. According to Wilson, Eagletown was two games short of the state tournament last year.
“They have four returning starters and a smaller lineup,” Wilson said. “They are fairly athletic but have some real good shooters.”

Three of the four teams on the other side of the boys bracket are from 6A. Putnam City West will play Del City in the first round, while Westmoore will play 5A’s No. 1-ranked Guthrie.

If all goes according to plan, Guthrie and Ardmore could meet in Wednesday’s 3:30 p.m. final in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the OKRankings.com coaches’ poll.

“They beat us three times last year,” Wilson said of Guthrie. “But we have a long way before that.
“We definitely have an opportunity to see how good we are. We are ahead of schedule from normal, but this group has played as well up to now as any group I’ve had.”

Erik K. Horne,
(580) 221-6522