SULPHUR — Normally a program would be overjoyed knowing it was losing just one senior from its previous season.

SULPHUR — Normally a program would be overjoyed knowing it was losing just one senior from its previous season.

But when the senior is J’Sades Ainsworth, the scenario doesn’t sound quite as appealing.

Going into the 2018-19 season the Lady Tigers will have to begin life without their phenom

standout from the last four years, as they will look to forge a new chap- ter with some familiar faces returning.

A total of four starters will be back this season for the Lady Tigers, along with multiple sopho- mores who will be look- ing to shine after debut- ing in solid fashion last season as freshmen.

“Losing J’Sades means we lose a lot of points along with that,” Ardmore coach Debra Manley said. “But in reality it’s actually been a good thing for us, because our kids know they have to spread it around and do their part. The freshman year for a lot of these girls is always the toughest. Our younger girls always know what to do though along with our upperclassmen.”

While graduating Ainsworth means the Lady Tigers will be losing a player who averaged 20.7 points per game last season along with 4.4 assists, 8.7 rebounds and 5.2 steals, the upside is looking just as strong this season.

Sierra Gordon, who will be a senior this season was the second leading scorer on the Lady Tigers squad last year chipping in 17.9 points per game along with 5.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 steals.

Also coming back is Amaya Gordon who was the third leading scorer for Ardmore with 10.1 points per game, 2.5 assists, 9.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals.

Tieronay Banks will be another returning starter this season for Ardmore after she finished her junior season averaging 6.5 points per game to go with 7.1 rebounds and 4.3 steals.

There’s also the small matter of All-Ardmoreite Co-Newcomber of the Year from last season Reagan McCurley along with Miyah McGee, Shakira Smith and Makila Case also returning among others.

“There’s no pressure at all on those returning starters,” Manley jokingly said. “It is a great situation to be in though for us. Reagan (McCurley) is going to be a big player for us this season and she’s going to really be looked upon to help. We have some options with these girls. We can move Miyah (McGee) out to the wing some and give Shakira (Smith) some playing time as well. We’ve got a busy June ahead of us so hopefully we can keep getting better from this.”

Another trend the Lady Tigers have going for them is their consistency for winning under coach Manley.

Since taking over in 2014-15, Manley has never lost more than six games at the helm of the Lady Tigers.

In fact her lowest win total was in her first season with 19, as Ardmore went 21-6 in 2015-16 and 20-6 in 2016-17. Last season Ardmore finished its first season in Class 4A under Manley with an overall record of 22-4, to go with the programs fourth straight regional championship.

She was also named as Co-Coach of the Year on the All-Ardmoreite Girls Basketball Team. 

Ardmore will be taking next week off and then travel to Edmond for a team camp at Oklahoma Christian University.