OKLAHOMA CITY — Experience can often be the best, or the cruelest of teachers.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Experience can often be the best, or the cruelest of teachers.

Unfortunately for the No. 5 Sulphur Lady Bulldogs, experience came in the form of the No. 9 Adair Lady Warriors Thursday afternoon.

Despite an unbelievable 27-points effort by Payton Row, Sulphur wasn’t able to keep pace in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Bulldogs were eliminated in the Class 3A state quarterfinals 54-47 at the Freede Center on the campus of Oklahoma City University. 

“Adair is a team that is always in the state tournament, I think this is like 18 or 19 appearances for them,” Sulphur coach Toby Todd said. “We knew this was going to be a tough matchup for us. I felt like Payton Row gave absolutely everything tonight. If she hadn’t of done what she did tonight then it wouldn’t have been close.”

“We just made too many uncharacteristic mistakes when it mattered most,” Todd added. “For a little stretch there, all the bounces went Adair’s way. There were opportunities for us to put shots in, but we didn’t execute things like we normally do.”

Sulphur had the lead multiple times in a frantic first quarter, but couldn’t find a way to gain a significant advantage.

As a result, the Lady Bulldogs held a slim 12-11 lead going into the second.

Both teams traded the lead before halftime, with Adair’s biggest lead being one point at 14-13 and 15-14.

Sulphur though kept its cool, and held a 23-20 advantage with 56 seconds left in the quarter.

However, despite having multiple chances to extend the lead, the Lady Bulldogs couldn’t cash in, and thus held a 23-21 advantage going to the break.

After the intermission, Sulphur’s second half started in the worst way possible with a turnover on the in-bounds pass.

It was ultimately a sign of things to come over the last two quarters.

Despite briefly holding a 26-25 advantage with 4:50 left in the third, Sulphur was far from in control as the Lady Bulldogs would never be in front again.

Adair ultimately finished off the third quarter with a 41-34 lead.

Down the stretch, Sulphur showed plenty of fight against the Lady Warriors, getting to within two points multiple times at 45-43 and 46-44.

But as was the case the entire second half, Adair had an answer when it mattered most, and eventually claimed the seven point victory.

Abby Beck added nine points for Sulphur while Makella Mobly scored four with Payton James adding three points.

Sulphur ends its season with an overall record of 25-3, having made its first state tournament appearance since 2013 this year.