Throughout the season and the first part of the playoffs, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers haven’t been tested very often.

Throughout the season and the first part of the playoffs, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers haven’t been tested very often.

Friday night brought them a test, one they passed with flying colors.

Ardmore managed to navigate its way through a nervy fourth quarter and earn a place in the area tournament with a 49-40 victory over Tuttle in the regional winners bracket.

Next up is the regional championship game Monday night against Ada at 8 p.m.

“We played well tonight and our defense was strong when it needed to be against a good Tuttle squad,” Ardmore coach Mark Wilson said. “Tuttle played us in a man-to-man which is something we haven’t seen very often this season. We’re expecting it to be a great atmosphere with a great crowd Monday night against Ada considering it is a rivalry game for us both.”

At the end of the first quarter, Ardmore was clinging to a 12-8 advantage after a physical frame.

But, over the next six plus minutes before halftime, the four point lead grew into a 10-point lead, before Ardmore was able to grab a 23-12 advantage going into halftime.

In the third quarter, it appeared as if the result was academic with Ardmore leading Tuttle 35-19 with 4:05 left.

However, what seemed like a solid lead started to dwindle slightly before Ardmore’s eyes.

Tuttle closed the gap to eight points with less than a minute to go in the third, but still found itself down 37-27 going into the fourth. 

Despite its best efforts down the stretch, Tuttle couldn’t take the lead from Ardmore, getting as close as two points at 39-37 with 4:52 left in regulation.

However, Ardmore had the perfect way to close out the contest, outscoring Tuttle 10-3 in the last three minutes of the game.

Quintarrus Cohee led Ardmore (18-5) with 18 points followed by Braeden Vance with 14 points.

Berto Sanchez added eight points with Demarco Rucker scoring five points.