This season when the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers have played competition from Texas, the end result has generally been favorable.

This season when the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers have played competition from Texas, the end result has generally been favorable.

Thursday night was no exception for the Tigers, as they rolled past Keller Fossil Ridge 68-55 in the opening round of the Ardmore Holiday Classic tournament.

With the victory, the Tigers not only moved to 2-0 this season against teams from the Lone Star State, but moved into the semifinals of the tournament against either Northeast Academy or Fort Worth Nolan Catholic tonight at 8 p.m.

Three players scored in double figures as the Tigers moved to 6-1 on the season.

“We had two good days of practice leading into this tournament,” Ardmore Coach Mark Wilson said. “There were specific things we worked on like getting the ball deeper inside into our big guys. I was very pleased with how we executed considering we haven’t played many teams who run a man offense this season.”

Speaking of big guys, senior center Berto Sanchez made his presence felt on the evening, scoring 19 points, with almost all of them coming down in the post position off rebounds or passes from his teammates.

“Not very many teams have someone that can guard Berto,” Wilson said. “This was one of his best games from start to finish. We did a great job of giving him (Berto) the basketball tonight. Braeden (Vance) had a solid game as well and did a lot for us out there.”

“I thought Jamal (Clark) had a great game as well and made some good decisions out there,” Wilson added. “Our defensive effort was solid as well. I’m proud of the kids.”

Braeden Vance finished the night with 11 points, with Jamal Clark leading the way scoring wise for Ardmore with 24 points.

After multiple lead changes and one tie in the first quarter, the Tigers finally found a rhythm, pulling out to a 20-10 advantage at the end of the frame.

Fossil Ridge managed to cut the Tigers lead to five points before halftime, but the Tigers kept the Panthers at bay, holding on to a 37-28 lead at the break.

Things got a little too close for comfort in the third quarter as Fossil Ridge cut the Ardmore lead to 42-40 with 4:20 left in the quarter.

But, Ardmore instead turned the game around and finished the third on a 12-1 run to lead 54-41 going into the fourth, where both teams scored 14 points.

Demarco Rucker and Quintarrus Choee each added five points.

Fossil Ridge was led by Matthew Coleman with 12 points followed by Marcos Carlis and Keylan McNeil each with 10 points. 

Del City and Putnam City West also won in their respective games.