Without a full-strength squad, Ardmore has strength in numbers.
The Tigers starters and reserves overwhelmed Duncan on Tuesday, as Trelynn Cohee came off the bench to score 15 points and the Tigers rolled to a 49-30 victory. Without senior guard Patrice Bennett, Ardmore (10-9) didn't flinch, shooting out to a 17-4 first quarter lead that was never threatened.
Destinee Howell scored the first five points of the game, and Cohee hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Ardmore ahead 11-2 in a matter of minutes.
Bennett, who received two technical fouls in the consolation final of the Shawnee Invitational on Saturday, was held out by Tigers' coaches on Tuesday.
Even without their senior leader, Ardmore coach Kevin Kelly said the Tigers showed a lot.
Depth. Defense. Ball Movement. Most important for Kelly: passion.
"We talked about that in the pregame," Kelly said. "We had three points of emphasis tonight, and the third one was to play with a passion ... play like tonight was your last basketball game."
Tuesday started an important stretch, according to Kelly, a season-defining one that includes games at home against Carl Albert and Lawton MacArthur, and on the road against Bishop McGuinness and McAlester to close out the season.
"We're trying to treat these last few basketball games as our playoff run," Kelly said. "I was really pleased with what happened out there tonight."
Tee Taylor started in place of Bennett, scoring 12 points for Ardmore, and Howell added seven. Kyla Stapleton, Kevy Davis and Christin Russell each had five rebounds, as the Tigers beat the Demons on the glass 34-19.
There was that hustle factor again tilting in the Tigers' favor. Even when Ardmore's lead ballooned to 20 at halftime, the Tigers were still hitting the floor for loose balls and rebounds.
And it wasn't apparent on the glass, the effort showed in the passing lanes, as Ardmore forced Duncan into 13 turnovers after halftime.
Duncan opened the third quarter on a 4-0 run, but nine of Ardmore's 10 points in the frame came from deep. Cohee and Russell made consecutive 3s to stretch the score to 40-17, then the Tigers put their best string of ball movement together.
Ardmore used six passes before finding Cohee for a wide-open 3-pointer for the 43-20 advantage. Cohee canned five of the Tigers' eight 3-pointers on the night.
"We shot the 3 pretty well tonight," Kelly said. "The second key emphasis for us tonight was ball movement. We'd have a good shot, but we were making that extra pass for a great shot.
"Good shots come from good passes. Give full credit to the girls, because they went out and executed the gameplan really well."
Jamie Carbery led Duncan with 12 points and Rainy Sandford added seven for the Demons.
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