MOORE — Coming into the Class 5A area championship game Thursday night, the No. 1 Ardmore Lady Tigers were confident a return trip to the state tournament was within their grasp.

MOORE — Coming into the Class 5A area championship game Thursday night, the No. 1 Ardmore Lady Tigers were confident a return trip to the state tournament was within their grasp.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Cinderella, who came in the form of the No. 10 El Reno Lady Indians.

Ardmore had its worst offensive performance of the season, as the Lady Tigers managed just 37 points, while El Reno ran roughshod at Southmoore High School, winning the area title 51-37, sending Ardmore to the consolation bracket.

The state tournament is still a very real possibility for the Lady Tigers, but they will have to win the area consolation championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Moore High School against either Altus or Woodward. 

“We got outplayed in every aspect of the game tonight,” Ardmore coach Debra Manley said. “The only positive to come from this is that we have a second chance on Saturday. Whether we take advantage of that or not is up to the kids and how we perform.” 

Ardmore never led the entire game, falling behind early in the first quarter.

El Reno caught fire on offense, opening the game with a 12-0 run before the Lady Tigers scored their first basket of the game at the 3:54 mark of the first quarter.

Going into the second, Ardmore found itself down 21-10, and was desperate for momentum.

The Ardmore faithful got their wish near the end of the first half as the Lady Tigers closed the gap to six points at 24-18 with 1:29 left in the second, and nearly cut it to three at the buzzer, but Shakira Smith’s three-point attempt rattled out, and the Lady Tigers were down 26-20 at the break.

Just 13 seconds into the third quarter, it appeared as normal service was going to be resuming soon as Sierra Gordon nailed a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 26-23.

However, Ardmore wouldn’t get any closer in the third.

El Reno outscored the Lady Tigers 10-5 the rest of the quarter, taking a 36-28 lead into the fourth.

With less than five minutes to go, Ardmore had one last gasp of hope as the Lady Tigers were down just two points at 36-34.

But once again, the momentum shifted back to the ladies in blue as they outscored the Lady Tigers 15-3 down the stretch to finish the game.

Ardmore (22-3) was led by Miyah McGee with 11 points followed by Reagan McCurley with eight points.

Tieronay Banks, Sierra Gordon and Amaya Gordon all added six points in the game.