DUNCAN — While there was plenty of scoring from the No. 9 Ardmore Tigers in their opening game Tuesday night, it was the lack of defense which ultimately haunted them the most.

DUNCAN — While there was plenty of scoring from the No. 9 Ardmore Tigers in their opening game Tuesday night, it was the lack of defense which ultimately haunted them the most.

The No. 20 Duncan Demons took advantage of their opportunities, as the Tigers were handed an opening night defeat 69-59 at the Duncan High School Gymnasium. 

“The lack of defensive effort hurt us down the stretch,” Ardmore coach Mark Wilson said. “It comes down to you have to be able to defend. We have to defend consistently enough to keep ourselves in the game. When we got stops, we were able to make a run.”

“We’ve got some inexperience right now on our team,” Wilson added. “It’s just going to take a little bit for some of these kids to get adjusted to the heat of battle.” 

Ardmore came out strong in the first quarter, taking the lead early and leading by as many as three at 5-2.

However, at the 2:45 mark, the Demons claimed the lead at 11-8. and finished off the first with a 6-5 run to lead 17-13 going to the second. 

Ardmore managed to get to within one point at 28-27 with 2:11 left in the first half, but the Demons got a free throw down the stretch and led 29-27 going into the halftime break.

It only took 30 seconds into the third quarter for the game to be even at 29-29, and just 31 seconds later the Tigers were back in front at 32-29.

However, Ardmore couldn’t stop the Demons from going on a 14-5 run down the stretch to end the third quarter, as Duncan led 43-37.

Duncan led by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter at 49-37, but Ardmore managed to make a late run.

With less than three minutes to play, the Tigers were within three points at 56-53, but couldn’t get the stops necessary to close the gap any further.

Dylan Williams led the Tigers with 21 points in the game, followed by E.J. Cohen with nine points. 

Dante Roberts and T. J. Hamilton each scored eight points in the contest. 

Ardmore will be in action Thursday and Friday at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, where the Tigers will take on Heritage Hall Thursday, and the host Titans on Friday.