There was a burst of energy, Ardmore got to running and suddenly the Tigers were back.

Ardmore closed the second quarter with a surge, but couldn't sustain it for an entire game against Lawton MacArthur, as the seventh-ranked Highlanders pulled away in the second half for a 65-52 win.

Ardmore went behind 17-11 after the first quarter, and trailed by double digits in the second before a 12-6 run kept the game close entering halftime. In that run, the Tigers did what they did best: got out on the break and kept MacArthur from getting comfortable in the halfcourt with its significant size/length advantage.

Ardmore only trailed 35-28 at half, but couldn't keep up in the third quarter, as the Highlanders expanded their lead to 14 on the strength of 10 Ardmore turnovers in the period.

Ardmore turned the ball over 25 times in the game, something the Tigers couldn't afford to do, according to coach Mark Wilson.

"Defensively, we did a better job. Our problem was we turned it over 25 times," Wilson said. "That's 25 opportunities to score in a game."

Darius Graham paced MacArthur with 21 points and eight rebounds. The burly post man was one of three double-digit scorers for the Highlanders in a balanced effort. Lawton MacArthur's starting five players each had no fewer than seven points.

Dre Johnson led Ardmore with 17 points, Anthony Willis added 10, and Seneca Maytubby came off the bench to post nine points and seven rebounds. Maytubby's entrance into the game in the second quarter gave the Tigers a noticeable boost.

With Maytubby's work down low and Keyshawn Brown (four assists) and Johnson effective on the break, Ardmore was able to match MacArthur 18-18 in the second.

"I thought we rebounded a whole lot better tonight in comparison to the way we rebounded Tuesday against Carl Albert," Wilson said. "Seneca Maytubby came off the bench and gave us some energy. We have to have five guys that play with that much energy in order to overcome some of the physical things we don't have."

Ardmore (8-13) will have two more regular season games on the road against (Bishop McGuinness, McAlester) before starting the 5A regional playoffs at Lawton MacArthur against Piedmont.

Friday marked the final home game for Ardmore this season. Seniors Jeff Surrell and Johnson were honored before the game.

Erik K. Horne