For just over two years, the Ardmore Lady Tigers have been able to make the Ardmore High School Gymnasium a virtual fortress against any and all opponents.

For just over two years, the Ardmore Lady Tigers have been able to make the Ardmore High School Gymnasium a virtual fortress against any and all opponents.

However, Friday night their seemingly impregnable defense was finally breached.

No. 10 Lawton MacArthur managed to do what no team has done since Valentine’s Day 2017, and that was claim a victory over the Lady Tigers at home.

The Lady Highlanders escaped Ardmore Friday night with a narrow 46-45 victory on Senior Night.

However, the victory was not without its fair share of controversy.

After Amaya Gordon tied the game at 45-45 with less than 10 seconds left in regulation, the game seemed destined to go to overtime.

But, a foul was called with 4.5 seconds left, gifting MacArthur two free throws, one of which found the bottom of the net.

The call was controversial in nature because the Lady Highlanders player who shot the free throws appeared to slip on the floor rather than be pushed over as the officials had called.

Despite the defeat, Ardmore coach Debra Manley refused to make excuses, citing the cold shooting performance her team displayed as one of the many reasons why the game slipped away.

“Good teams get beat at this time of the year,” she said. “We were going to lose at some point, and this is very humbling. You always hope it doesn’t happen at home or on Senior Night, but it did. Now it’s our job to get back after it on Monday and show we’ve learned from this mistake.”

“Our shots were not falling,” Manley said. “We played our way out of that mess and managed to lead by three at halftime, but it still wasn’t a good performance. MacArthur also took advantage of our turnovers, and at this time of the year, you can’t play good teams and expect to win when you turn the ball over as much as we did.”

Ardmore got its first point of the game off a free throw in the first quarter to make it 3-1 at the 6:54 mark.

The Lady Tigers wouldn’t score again until 19 seconds left in the first, when Tieronay Banks made back-to-back shots to cut the deficit to 11-5 going to the second. Ardmore was down 11-1 in the first quarter before the four point run.

Things didn’t get better for Ardmore early in the second as the Lady Tigers were down by nine points multiple times at 14-5 and 16-7.

But after a furious run down the latter half of the quarter, Ardmore managed to grab its first lead of the game at 25-24 with 30 seconds left before halftime.

Eventually the Lady Tigers took a 27-24 lead into the break, but the game was far from settled.

Ardmore’s biggest lead of the second half was 30-24 at the 7:12 mark of the third.

Both teams traded the lead over the last 1:43 of the frame, before the Lady Tigers managed to grab a slim 36-35 lead going to the fourth.

Despite holding a three-point lead for just under three minutes of the fourth, the Lady Tigers fell behind at 41-40 with 5:12 remaining in regulation.

Ardmore managed to tie the game two more times down the stretch, but were ultimately denied and fell to 20-2 with the loss. 

Reagan McCurley and Sierra Gordon led the way with 12 points apiece for Ardmore, followed by Tieronay Banks with eight points, and Miyah McGee with six points. 

Amaya Gordon scored four points with Tiana Cohee scoring three points.

Ardmore will begin the Class 5A regional tournament Thursday night at 8 p.m. at the Ardmore High School Gymnasium where the Lady Tigers will meet Capitol Hill in the opening round with the winner meeting either Noble or Carl Albert.