Ardmore’s Damontre Wright came to Saturday night’s regional championship ready to play.


Ardmore’s Damontre Wright came to Saturday night’s regional championship ready to play.

The 6-foot-3 senior forward hit 11 of his 12 shots from the floor for a game-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help lead the Tigers to a 68-39 victory over Duncan and  a 2010-11 regional championship.

Four of Wright’s rebounds were at the offensive end, and he converted all four of those into second-chance buckets for Ardmore. His efforts drew praise from Tigers coach Mark Wilson.

“Damontre had played so well and with so much energy over the past few weeks it’s difficult to put into words,” Wilson said. “His shooting percentage is off the charts, because he is working so hard inside to get clear for those shots.

“Someone else who is playing great of late is senior Darail Taulton. His game has gotten better and better as we’ve gone through the season. And this is a great time to have all these guys picking up their game intensity. The playoffs are where you want to play well.”

Ardmore (17-5), ranked No. 3 in Class 5A, advances to next week’s area tournament in the winner’s bracket. Game times and locations will be announced on Monday.

Duncan (15-8) will advance as well, but will do so in the consolation bracket, where one more loss will end its season.

The Tigers’ defense almost completely shut the Demons. Duncan simply could not get a ball inside because of the Ardmore quickness on defense. As a result, the Demons put up 20 3-point attempts out of 57 shots, but they managed to hit just one.

For the game, Duncan hit just 16-of-57 (28 percent) from the floor to Ardmore’s 53 percent (28 of 53). Most of that had to do with the Tigers’ offensive patience and high-percentage shots. Ardmore attempted just nine shots from beyond the arc and hit three.

Wright scored 10 points in the first period as Ardmore moved ahead 18-11. The Tigers, still shooting a high-percentage inside the paint, built on the advantage and led 33-20 at intermission. An 11-2 run early in the period all but put the Demons away.

In the third quarter, the Tigers’ defense picked off six Demon passes and turned most of them into fast-break buckets. Three minutes into the third, the Tigers led 46-26. Entering the fourth, Ardmore had a 53-28 lead.

“We played a tired team tonight,” Wilson said. “Duncan played a tough basketball game Friday night against Deer Creek in which they had to battle for every point. And it began to show, especially in the second half. And that’s why you want to do well during the regular season. You hope to host regionals and get to rest people like we did Friday. And that keeps everyone fresher down the stretch.

“This team has developed into a pretty gritty team this year,” Wilson said. “They have had to battle through plenty of adversity, both personally and teamwise. And they have become a better squad because of that. They’re playing with toughness, and they are a very unselfish bunch. I’m extremely proud of the way they’ve pulled together to become the hard-nosed team they have become.”

Trey Cohee had 15 points for the Tigers and Nino Jackson chipped in with 11. Taulton pulled down 11 rebounds to go with his six points.

Jared Griffin paced the Demons with 11 points.

Friday
Ardmore 62, Durant 17
Ardmore forced Durant into 26 turnovers and the Tigers were lethal in the Lions’ passing lanes in an easy opening win of their 5A regional.

Wright led the way with 18 points and Jackson scored eight of his 14 off of dunks.

The Tigers opened the game on a 10-0 run, hounding the Lions into mistakes in the backcourt. Ahead 32-11 at half, a 13-2 third quarter advantage allowed Ardmore to rest its starters in the fourth quarter.

Quentarius Willis added eight points off the bench for the Tigers.